TEN REASONS FOR FAITHFUL CHURCH ATTENDANCE©

By ROBERT J. SARGENT

BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH

1701 HARNS ROAD

OAK HARBOR, WASHINGTON 98277


". . . and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty." (1 Samuel 20:18)

Doctrinally, that is, in the Bible, you will find no such thing as an "invisible church". Alas, practically, when you get right down to it and see the number of pews left vacant by many of God's people on any given Lord's Day, you might well think there must be an invisible church.

As one preacher said, we are living in a "High steeple Ä few people" age. One reason for this is because many of the churches of our land are nothing but spiritual ice boxes, deadened by the hoary blasts of formalism, socialism and modernism.

The great swelling words of skirted preachers offer no warmth for cold hearts or food for hungry souls, and at best entangle the simple, beautiful message of salvation in a web of theological profundities.

However if you have the privilege of belonging to a real New Testament Church, that is, a fundamental Baptist church, then it becomes a travesty should you be unfaithful to the house of God.

We are told that "actions speak louder than words" and every time you miss a church service you have in effect voted against the church and declared something else to be of more importance.

Below are some very good reasons for faithful church attendance. They are good reasons because they are Bible reasons. You see, church attendance is not a case of whether you want to or not, it is "Thus saith the Lord!" You can be sure there is much blessing in being where God wants you each time your church's doors open.

1. BECAUSE IT IS GOD'S PLAIN COMMAND

"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)

This scripture ought to settle the matter once and for all. Faithfulness in attending church services is a command to be obeyed, not an option to be considered! Our attitude should be, "God said it Ä that settles it", and be found in our rightful place every time the opportunity presents itself.

We are to assemble ourselves together. There is great blessing and strength in being together with God's people in a church meeting. Sitting at home listening to a radio preacher or watching a service on television is no substitute.

Missing church is really an act of disobedience, and Christians who do so cannot rightfully claim Jesus Christ as their Lord nor ever fully love Him. This is so because Jesus said: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

Listening to the excuses of some, you would think God was a cruel task-master in wanting His children to be faithful to every service of their church. However we are taught in 1 John 5:3 that all of God's commandments to Christians are "not grievous", they are given for our blessing and spiritual benefit.

The fact is, you need to start living for the Lord and quit trying to fit Him in with your plans. If you are too busy to attend the meetings of your church Ä YOU'RE TOO BUSY!"!"

2. BECAUSE IT PLEASES YOUR PASTOR

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

Over every New Testament church God sets a man in the place of leadership and authority as its pastor or shepherd. To him is given the responsibility of watching out for you spiritually, whilst to you is given the command to obey him and submit to his leadership.

Without any fear of contradiction, you can be sure your pastor wants you present (and active) in every church meeting. He has a right to, and it grieves him when you are absent Ä even when he knows why. Every pastor can testify of the blessing of faithful, dependable church members. They strengthen his ministry which in turn is profitable to the whole church.

If you really mean business with God and take the teaching of this verse of scripture for what it says,you will be faithful in church attendance Ä not just to obey your pastor, but to please him so that with joy he may give account of your life and service to God.

3. BECAUSE IT MAINTAINS A GOOD TESTIMONY

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Your absence from your church meetings has a bad and wrong influence on others. It tells everybody else to stay away too, that the church is not worth going to!

You can never be a soul winner and be unfaithful in church attendance at the same time. Imagine the hypocrisy of inviting some soul to attend a gospel service Ä and not showing up yourself.

Be careful! Rightly or wrongly, men see much more in what you do than in what you say, and your unfaithfulness just may be the cause of some lost soul remaining lost forever.

4. BECAUSE OF THE LORD'S SPECIAL PRESENCE

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)

"In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:22)

In John's gospel chapter 20 and verses 19 through 29 we are told how on the first day of the week (Sunday) the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in the midst of His disciples. They were in every way a New Testament church Ä they were assembled together, and each one of them was a baptized believer.

Three things are immediately evident from this account: This wonderful experience brought peace to the disciples, (v. 19c), they received direction for their lives, (v. 21b), and Thomas, who was not there, missed out!

Now it is a blessed truth that every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and can have constant personal fellowship with the Lord. Nevertheless, the scriptures are plain that a faithful church attending Christian enjoys a special presence of the Lord.

Every New Testament church is a Temple of God. The first chapter of the book of The Revelation tells how the Lord Jesus Christ stands in the midst of His churches (imperfect though they be).

His presence is real and special. Like Thomas of old, you miss out when you miss church. He had no peace, heard no Christ-given directions, and had little faith Ä until he was back in church the following Sunday!

5. BECAUSE JESUS IS COMING AGAIN

". . . and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)

". . . that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." (1 John 2:28)

One of the great declarations of the Bible is that Jesus is coming again, and coming soon. The question is, what if He came at church meeting time? Would you be ashamed as you stood before Him at the Judgment Seat?

Imagine a red-faced, sleep-eyed Christian (a lover of the "gospel of St. Mattress") freshly raptured out of his bed clothes standing before his Master trying to explain how Sunday was his only day of rest.

Think of an embarrassed believer there with a fishing pole in his hand trying to tell the Lord of could worship Him just as well out in nature.

Picture an unshaven saint with scarlet complexion with his glorified power mower beside him standing before his Lord desperately trying to think of the verse about a man not taking care of his family being worse than an infidel.

Humorous? Not really, for if this should happen to you it would be a moment of disgrace. But isn't it just that whether Jesus comes or not? Dear Christian, live each moment of your life here on earth as though in the next instant you'll hear the shout and the trump of God.

6. BECAUSE THE BIBLE TEACHES YOU TO TITHE

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse . . ." (Malachi 3:10)

"Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store . . ." (1 Corinthians 16:2)

The only way you can obey the Bible command to tithe is to be faithful in church attendance. Think about it!

First of all, God says for you to bring your tithe into the storehouse Ä not "Send them in"; and then He names the proper day for you to do this Ä "Upon the first day of the week" Ä that is, every Sunday.

7. BECAUSE JESUS LOVES YOUR CHURCH

". . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (Ephesians 5:25)

The Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Church. He established the first New Testament church during His earthly ministry, and has commissioned His churches down through the ages to carry on His work of preaching the gospel (Mark 1:14-15; John 3:3-7), baptizing those who believe (John 3:22; 4:1), and teaching them the Word of God (Matt. 5:1, etc.).

Each New Testament church is central to God's love plan of reaching men and women with the gospel of salvation. It is a true statement, "Through the churches Christ acts Ä without the churches He cannot act."

If your church is so near and dear to the Saviour, and if He loved it enough to die for it, that is sufficient reason for you to hold it near and dear to your heart, love it, and never take lightly your responsibility to faithfully attend its services.

8. BECAUSE YOUR CHURCH NEEDS YOU

"And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it . . ." (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Missing church meetings discourages those who are trying to carry on the work of the Lord Ä the pastor (of course, everyone expects him to be there!), the Sunday teachers, Bus workers, Nursery attendants, singers and musicians, and so on.

In the book of Numbers we read how ten spies discouraged the hearts of God's people with disastrous consequences. It is still a sin to discourage God's people!

Each New Testament church is likened to a body and is referred to as "The Body of Christ" with Christ as its Head. Just like your own body, every member is vital. If you happen to be one of those who think they are insignificant in your church, read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

Yes, your church will carry on when you are absent, but it will be just like you going through life missing a limb Ä handicapped. Whether you think so or not, when you miss church meetings, the whole church suffers!

9. BECAUSE IT

GLORIFIES GOD

". . . whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus . . ." (Ephesians 3:21)

The supreme motive of Christian living is to glorify God. You are saved to glorify God, and one of the ways you can do this is by faithful church attendance because God gets the glory in the church.

What do you suppose the opposite of glorifying the Lord might be? Isn't that what you are doing when you play truant with the Lord?

10. BECAUSE YOUR CHURCH IS THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE

". . . the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

Missing church services not weakens you spiritually but makes you susceptible to false doctrine. Through the centuries the Lord's churches have kept and preserved the faith once delivered unto the saints.

Your church is a pillar of the truth, that is, it upholds and declares the truth Ä and without such churches, truth soon collapses. It is also referred to as the ground of the truth and certainly gives you a solid foundation to serve the Lord upon.

Upon understanding these truths, it is little wonder that Christians who habitually forsake the fellowship of their church, those who are "church hoppers" or who refuse to unite with a New Testament church drift off into many unscriptural practices such as ecumenism, pentecostalism and invisible churchism.

Dear Christian, do you not see the importance of your church? It is a spiritual umbrella of protection for you. You are on safe, solid ground when you are faithful in church attendance.

NOTE

This article is copywrited and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the author. YOU CAN OBTAIN THIS ARTICLE IN TRACT FORM BY WRITING TO: BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH PUBLICATIONS, 1701 HARNS ROAD, OAK HARBOR, WA 98277. PHONE: (360) 675-8311. THE COST IS:

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