New Caney, Texas
Most people recognize the importance of some church attendance. Jesus authorized the church to assemble and keep certain acts of worship (Acts 2:42). Not only did God command men to assemble to worship, there is a psychological need for a public show of one's devotion to God, as well as the emotional benefit that is received.
Church Attendance Has Advantage Of Practice
Church attendance is an act of obedience. It shows a faith that works! "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works" (Jas. 2:18).
Church attendance is a devotion. It shows loyalty through punctuality. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them . . ." (Acts 20:7). It is not enough just to be a church member, or to say "Lord, Lord." One must do the will of God (Mt. 7:21ff; Lk. 6:46).
Church attendance is an example. It speaks through its action. Failure to attend also is an example; and it speaks through its inaction!
(1) Like the early church, we should continue steadfastly! "And they continued steadfastly. . ." (Acts 2:42a). Attendance to the services of the church in the first century often committed the attender to prison or death. Yet, the Hebrew writer encouraged them, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25). "Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
(2) Like the early church, we should meet regularly. "Upon the first day of the week" (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2) make an appointment with the Lord. Let nothing interfere!
(3) Like the early church, we should give generously. They continued steadfastly in fellowship (Acts 2:42b). All good and perfect gifts come from God (Jas. 1:17). He has been very gracious toward us. When we ask for blessings, He does not send us curses (Mt. 7:7-11). Covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Idolaters shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8). "God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
(4) Like the early church, we should exhort continuously. "But exhorting one another..." (Heb. 10:25). Exhort because we love. The person who quits is in danger of damnation. Exhortation is the life-line to bring them back.
(5) Like the early church, we should pray fervently. "And they continued steadfastly . . . in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Prayer shows dependence upon God; therefore, prayer is the essence of the life in Christ.
(6) Like the early church, we should commemorate gratefully. "This do in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11:24). The early church was steadfast in "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42). They came together on the first day of the week for that purpose (Acts 20:7). One should be glad to come for worship (Psa. 122:1).
(7) Like the early church, we should sing scripturally. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
Yes, not attending speaks to my Lord, my brethren, my family, my neighbors. It says, "I don't care like I ought." Now is the time to make this spiritual change. A new year is upon us. Resolve to be His!
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 3, p. 80