January 17, 2018

Church Attendance

George Stiekes

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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 10:24-25

I knocked on the door of a couple in the area a few years ago and talked to them about the Lord. They told me that they were Christians. When I asked them which local church they attended, they told me that they did not go anywhere to church in the area and that Jerry Falwell was their pastor.

I later began to think about their answer and asked myself this question: Can a person be a genuine Christian and not obey the Lord by regularly attending and being involved in a local church? Obviously, I considered that there would be those providentially hindered by illness or handicaps.

The church is God’s program for this age. Jesus Christ is both the builder (Matthew 16:18) and the head (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). The church is a living organism, composed of living members joined together, directed and governed by the Lord Jesus Christ. This building is unique because it is made up of living stones (I Peter 2:5). A Christian who truly wants to obey the Lord and become the kind of person God wants them to be cannot afford to dispense with this divine provision for the individual soul. Our regular attendance is important because:

1. The church is referred to in Scripture as the body of Christ with many members. Every member is important to the successful function of the local church (I Corinthians 12:12, 27).

2. Jesus Christ regularly gathered every Sabbath among other faithful worshipers – as His custom was (Luke 4:16). We are commanded to be like Christ (Romans 8:29: Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 2:5; II Corinthians 3:18; Matthew 16:24; John 10:27).

3. We are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:24-25) for mutual strength, encouragement and to stir up love and good works.

4. Every born again Christian has been given spiritual gifts that are to be used in and through the church ministry. Every gift is important to the performance of every other gift (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:1-31).

5. There are 38 one another passages in the New Testament beginning with the command to love one another. It is impossible to regularly keep these commands outside of the body of Christ.

6. For the most part, the epistles were written to churches, not individual saints. The Apostle Paul assumed that this is where the saints would be gathered. Everywhere he and his team went on their missionary journeys, they planted churches and appointed pastors.

7. After His resurrection, Christ met with His followers on the first day of the week – (John 20:1, 19, 26).

8. Revelation 1:13-16 & 2:1 reveals Christ walking among His churches. John saw Him in His glorified body and fell at His feet as dead, an act of worship.

Can you imagine a student that does not attend college classes or a soldier who never reports for duty? How about a salesman who makes no calls? You cannot really be an author without writing or a parent without children. In the same way, you cannot be a Christian without gathering with the saints on the Lord’s Day.

Sir William Robertson Nicoll stated, “The holiest personal life can scarcely afford to dispense with stated forms of devotion, and that the regular public worship of the church, for all its local imperfections and dullness, is a divine provision for sustaining the individual soul.”

You cannot hope to grow in your relationship with the Lord without assembling yourself on a regular basis when the saints gather according to the instruction and example of God’s Holy Word.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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