IS IT A SIN TO FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLY?
From the beginning of the church Its members have met In assembly for the worship of God and for mutual edification. Of those converted on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, It Is said, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and In breaking of bread, and In prayers." (Acts 2:42.) Later, the Inspired historian tells us, "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Soul: and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And It came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first In Antioch." (Acts11: 25, 26.) A little later, Luke reports of the apostle Peter, "And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, who was surname was Mark; where many people were gathered together praying." (Acts 12:12.) Still later we are told, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break broad, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7.) Finally, we have these exhortation, "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: 25.) From this passage It would appear that even In the first days of the church, as now, there were some who were guilty of forsaking the assembly.
Over the years certain questions concerning the matter of "going to church" have been discussed and debated. Just how Important Is It to attend the services of the church? Can one be just as good a Christian without going to church regularly as he can by going every time? Does going to church really have that much to do with what kind of person one really Is? Isn't It how we live every day that really counts?
There Is no doubt but that simply "'going to church"' does not make one a Christian. It Is equally true that how one lives every day Is vitally Important. But that still does not alter the fact that the Word of God Is filled with commands, examples, and Inferences for Christians to meet together In worship to God. Let us therefore, give serious consideration to the question, Is It a sin to forsake the assembly of the saints?"
COMMANDED TO WORSHIP
Jesus commanded his followers to worship God. To the Samaritan woman he said, "God Is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him In spirit and In truth." (John 4:24.) If one falls to do what Jesus here commanded, has he sinned? John wrote, 'Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin Is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4.) Jesus said, "if ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14: 16.) How much does one really love the Lord who fails to obey his command to worship God? Failure to attend the services of the church Is far more than an attendance problem-it Is a heart problem, a love problem. "For this Is the love of God that we keep his commandments: and his commandments and His not grievous." (I John 5:3.) PLEASE CONSIDER THIS ARTICLE PRAYERFULLY!
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