Why is Attending EVERY Service Important?
1. In my life as a Christian, I have noticed the following in every church...
a. There are some Christians who attend every service of the church whenever possible
1) They are present for Bible study on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening
2) They attend both Sunday morning and evening worship services
3) When the church has a gospel meeting, they attend each service
4) They frequently attend gospel meetings at other congregations
b. There are other Christians whose attendance is infrequent
1) They attend only once on Sunday, and that sporadically
2) They do not participate in the Bible studies
3) They are not present for most services during local gospel meetings
4) As for attending a gospel meeting elsewhere...very unlikely
2. Why the difference?
a. Why do some Christians attend every service, and others do not?
b. Does it really make a difference?
3. I am of the conviction that it makes a very real difference!
a. It makes a difference in the spiritual life of the Christian
b. It makes a difference in the spiritual life of the congregation
4. I want to share with you some reasons why every Christian ought to attend every service
a. unless hindered by illness or circumstances beyond their control.
5. There are several reasons why faithful Christians choose to attend every service……
I. TO FULFILL THE COMMANDS OF GOD
A. WE ARE COMMANDED NOT TO FORSAKE OUR ASSEMBLING...
1. This command is found in Heb. 10:25
2. Forsaking that one assembly a week makes it a lot easier to miss other assemblies
3. Those in the habit of attending every service are not likely to begin skipping services
4. Can lead to stopping attending altogether!
B. WE ARE COMMANDED TO EDIFY ONE ANOTHER...
1. We have a responsibility to build up one another - Rom. ; 15:1-3; Heb. 3:12-14
Rom So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Rom 15:1-3 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. (2) Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. (3) For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."
Heb 3:12-14 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (13) But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (14) For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
2. Simply our presence alone encourages others in attendance
3. Can we really say that we are edifying others...
a. When we are absent most of the time?
b. When we attend so infrequently, we hardly know the other members?
c. When we are not present to notice that others have stopped attending?
C. WE ARE COMMANDED TO SEEK FIRST THE
... KINGDOMOF GOD
1. Jesus commands us to put the
first - Matt. 6:33 kingdomof God
a. We all have priorities, we must simply put them in the right order
1) Many Christians will not accept a job if it means missing services, and yet they find that God provides for their needs
2) Many Christians will not play sports, or other extracurricular activities that conflict with their service to God
b. It is one thing to miss because one provides critical services to others (such as medical needs), but to miss just to make money?
c. Some stay home on Sunday because of aches and pains, but on Monday go to work, the grocery store, or the mall with the same aches and pains (???)
2. Putting Christ first even before family - Matt -38; Luke 14:26
Mat -38 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (38) "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Luk 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
a. Some stay home because of family visiting - is that putting Christ first?
c. Some stay home to baby sit grandchildren - is that putting Christ first?
b. Who is our true family? – cf. Matt. 12:46-50
Mat 12:46-50 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. (47) Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." (48) But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" (49) And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! (50) "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."
D. Can anyone say that they can faithfully keep such commands when they consistently miss many of the
services of the church?
II. TO GROW AND DEVELOP SPIRITUALLY
A. THE SERVICES ARE DESIGNED FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH...
1. Hearing the sermons and attending the Bible classes helps one to grow and develop into a mature Christian - cf. Heb. 5:12-14
Heb 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (13) For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. (14) But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
2. Even the songs are designed to teach as well as praise – Col. 3:16
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
3. Prayer, the Lord's Supper, even the collection, are designed to bring us closer to God as well as to
B. OUR GROWTH IS DEPENDENT UPON OUR DIET...
1. One cannot grow as God intended on a starvation diet
2. Those who attend irregularly eventually suffer from "spiritual malnutrition"
a. Leaving them susceptible to temptation
b. Rather than living strong, joyful, peaceful, spiritual lives
C. I have never known a person who chose to attend only one service a week to be a strong, faithful Christian.
1. They were more like the chaff than the rooted tree as described in Psa 1:1-6.
III. TO HELP THE CHURCH FUNCTION PROPERLY
NEEDS WORKERS... LOCAL CHURCH
1. The church is like a body, needing every individual part to do its share – Eph. 4:15-16
Eph 4:15-16 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, (16) from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
2. No one can say they're not needed, or that they do not need others. - 1 Cor. 12:12-19
(We are all a part of the body … body can’t say to the eye, “I have no need of you…” We need every part)
3. To function properly, a church needs both spiritual and physical service
a. leading songs, prayers, reading scripture, and preaching…… ushering, preparing communion …..teaching children and adult classes
b. visiting the sick, helping the needy, teaching the lost, strengthening the weak
B. THE CHURCH IS DEPENDENT UPON ITS MEMBERS...
1. Members who attend infrequently rarely do little else for the church
2. Do you want the church to grow?
a. Do you want to see souls saved?
b. Do you want to see the weak encouraged?
c. Do you want to see our (your) children have good teachers?
3. A church is no stronger than the collective strength of its members
a. The church is like the links in a chain
b. If there is a missing link in the chain, it can affect the entire chain
C. Churches where the attendance drops on Sunday and Wednesday nights, where the members do not attend gospel
meetings, will never live up to their potential in service to the Lord.
IV. TO PROVIDE A GOOD EXAMPLE AND INFLUENCE
A. CHRISTIANS ARE TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE...
1. For one another - 1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:7-8
1Ti (Paul to Timothy)…. show yourself an example of those who believe.
Tit 2:7-8 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, (8) sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
2. For those in the world - Mat -16; Philpns 2:15
Mat 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. ………… (16) "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Phi …. prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
B. FAITHFUL ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD INFLUENCE...
1. It sets a good example for babes in Christ, the spiritually weak, visitors, and our own children!
a. You may think you can survive on one service a week
b. But what of those who need encouragement, and they notice you missing?
2. It influences our friends, relatives, and neighbors cf. 1 Pet. 2:12
1Pe 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
a. They admire your conviction and devotion to the Lord
b. They may begin to wonder what it is that makes you so devoted to the church
3. It is provides great support to the elders, preacher, and other Christians
a. Your presence alone is a source of great encouragement
b. Your absence creates anxiety for anyone concerned for your spiritual welfare
C. We cannot escape being an influence to others. Will our influence be good or poor?
V. TO BE READY, WATCHING AND WAITING
A. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST ARE TO BE PREPARED...
1. Jesus warned against getting caught off guard - Matt 24:44; 25:13; Mark -37
Mat 24:44 & 25:13 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Mark -37 "Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. (34) "It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. (35) "Therefore, be on the alert--for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at , or when the rooster crows, or in the morning-- (36) in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. (37) "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"
2. Paul taught the need to be prepared - 1 Thess 5:1-11
3. It is part of enduring to the end - Matt. ; 24:12-13
4. It is part of making the best use of our time - Eph. 5:16
B. ATTENDING EVERY SERVICE CONTRIBUTES TO OUR PREPARATION...
1. As we sing songs about the Lord's coming
2. As we study the Scriptures that promise His return
3. What if the Lord came Sunday or Wednesday night, and you were staying home out of convenience
rather than assembled with the brethren?
C. Can we say that we are ready, watching, and waiting for the Lord, when we willfully miss many of the
opportunities to be with His disciples?
VI. TO HAVE A CLEAR CONSCIENCE
A. A GOOD CONSCIENCE IS IMPORTANT...
1. Jesus died to cleanse our conscience – Heb. 9:14
2. We were baptized, as an appeal for a good conscience - 1 Pet. 3:21
3. We are to have faith and a good conscience
- 1 Tim 1:19
Some have rejected keeping a good conscience and it has made shipwreck of their faith!
4. The goal of our teaching is to have a good conscience - 1 Tim 1:5
5. And so disciples like Paul sought to serve God with a good conscience - Acts 24:16
B. MISSING SERVICES CONTRIBUTES TO A GUILTY CONSCIENCE...
1. When you miss, not because of illness or some other circumstance beyond your control, you feel
a. Because you know where you should be
b. You really don't need a lesson like this...common sense tells you that you would be better off assembling with the Lord's people
2. A guilty conscience soon leads to a hardened conscience
a. A conscience can become "seared", so that it no longer functions properly
- e.g., 1 Tim. 4:2
b. Once your conscience is hardened regarding attendance, it is more likely to become hardened against doing what is right in other areas
c. Causes us to be liars – exaggerating our illness – or even lying about why we are not attending
3. Could you say what the writer of Hebrews did?
- Heb. 13:18
Heb Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.
4. If we make it a habit not to attend all the services of the church, can we really say " we have a good
conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things "?
1. Why attend every service? The faithful and fruitful child of God attends...
a. To fulfill the commands of God
b. To grow and develop spiritually
c. To help the church function properly
d. To provide a good example and influence
e. To be ready, watching and waiting
f. To have a clear conscience
2. For such reasons (and many others), the faithful child of God will the same attitude expressed by the sweet singer of
"I was glad when they said to me, `Let us go into the house of the LORD.'" (Psa 122:1)
3. Is that your attitude?