Monday, August 13, 2012
I really have a mixture of feelings about this campaign. First of all, does my participation count? As a regular attendee, is it ‘back’ for me?
On the other hand, there have been days when I’ve met and talked with people without mentioning church attendance. I really should be encouraging them, if not coming with me to mine, to find a local church that provides an atmosphere for their spiritual growth.
The Bible is clear about attendance:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 KJV)
David told us what it meant to him:
A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (Psalms 122:1 KJV)
Is it possible to worship, praise and adore our Lord without being inside a church’s building? Absolutely. Every day is the day the Lord has made and we are to spend time with Him rejoicing. It’s just that being in church provides fellowship, exhortation, lessons, sharing – a host of things we cannot do alone.
So, why don’t Christians attend church regularly? Oh, there are a host of reasons, and for years I employed many of them. The children had activities on the weekend. My Beloved Husband worked out of town and weekends were our only time together. We needed to go visit Mom and Dad – her health was failing and he was the only care-giver. The list can be endless. But useless.
The children’s activities should have been scheduled around God, or we’re not giving them that example in our own lives. When we were all home on weekends, how better to express our gratitude than being with God’s people? When visiting others, attend their church, or set an example by finding one nearby.
Those weren’t reasons, they were excuses, just like the ones Satan used with Christ in the wilderness. Each temptation offered physical pleasure – bread, safety from bodily harm, the world’s riches! Instead, Christ accepted the bread of life from the mouth of God, a release from temptation and the cross to gain the world’s souls.
Yet, church attendance is not what it should be. It is not a reflection of the number of people who profess Christianity as their chosen religion.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 KJV)
Perhaps we’ve had the mouth part – and have forgotten the heart. We’ve sought the salvation and ignored the service. We want to be in heaven without the curse of Genesis 3:17-19. Sorry about that. We’re living with the consequences of more than our own errors.
Come with us to church any Sunday – next Sunday will do fine – and learn more about Him and His word. We’d love to have you!