Shall We Forsake Our Assembling With The Saints?
From time to time we see those who become lax in their attendance of Bible classes and even the worship services. When this happens we need to correct the problem quickly. An apathy towards attendance is the sign of spiritual sickness in any congregation. Our attendance tells a lot about us as an individual. If we are always irregular in our attendance (or if we just hardly come at all) it indicates that we are suffering from various spiritual sicknesses. If we never (or hardly ever) attend scheduled Bible classes on Sunday and Wednesday nights, our lack of attendance says the following about us:
1. We lack SPIRITUAL MATURITY. Apparently we have not learned that God expects us to be present at every service if we are physically able. God tells us to “not forsake 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). The term “assembling” includes each and every time God’s people are assembled together for worship or study. The record shows that the first century Christians assembled together daily in the temple or in each other’s homes. They had much to learn. Have we concluded that we “know it all” and have nothing left to learn? If so, we need you to be present if for no other reason than to teach the rest of us who do not already know everything.
2. We lack a PROPER LOVE FOR CHRIST. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). It is Christ who desires that we “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” WHY? What is His interest? Why would our presence be so important to Christ? Because He is here, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). We need to be reminded that this verse is as much scripture as Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins...” This statement of Jesus should have just as much meaning to us, and our commitment to assemble together should be just as strong as our commitment was to baptism. If Christ is in every assembly where two or three are gathered in His name, doesn’t it make good sense that we should desire to be there also. If Christ is present at every assembly (including Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes), doesn’t it make good sense that Christ notices our absence. Oh, how He must grieve over our habitual absences. If Christ is present at our assemblies, and we love Christ, then we will be at the assembly if at all possible. Nothing would be more important, not TV, not our kids ball games, nor resting for the next day—NOTHING.
3. We lack a PROPER LOVE FOR OUR BRETHREN. It is discouraging to the brethren that are assembled to see so many who profess to love Christ but then show their disrespect to Him by their continuous absence. We are not to be an example of discouragement to anyone. If we cause discouragement, we become a stumbling block to the faith of others, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Romans 14:13). How can we think that Christ will continue to stand by us when we ourselves have become a stumbling block to others and are actually involved in tearing down His church rather than building it up? Yes, our attendance tells a lot about us as an individual Christian. Our lack of attendance says that we are not fully converted. We have never made a true commitment to Christ. Our absence says we could care less about our brethren in Christ, and as far as we are concerned the church can die and all the world can go to hell!
By John D. Cotham
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