Is it effective to preach or teach the need for attendance in church assemblies? When delivering a lesson on attendance, it seems to fail the logic litmus test simply because those who need the lesson most are often not even present. If we take this view, the probability of teaching on a subject as sensitive as this, would never likely be considered. In view of this, the decision to teach must be one of a pre-emptive nature, preventing absence from becoming an issue. To do so we need to understand the benefits of assembling with brothers and sisters in Christ.
This past Sunday we examined this very subject opening with the provocative statement, “Attendance is not the most important aspect of Christian practices.” I believe attendance is actually a symptom, a sign of what is our underlying motivation. It is important, but there are other aspects that far exceed it. For instance, “…without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Heb 11:6); another is “love God, with all your being, and your neighbor as yourself…” (Mark 12:29-31); and there is “our need of forgiveness of sins…; the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23); sin sets up a wall between God and man (cf. Isaiah 59:2); “…when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death…” (James 1:15). These things are of grave importance for us, with faith leading the way. Our pursuit of faith comes about when we “hear the word of Christ…” (Romans 10:17) Hopefully, each time we assemble, we hear the words of Christ, grow stronger in faith, hear more about our need of forgiveness and how it comes about, as well as how to love God and our neighbor. Our desire to grow is our motivation to seek that growth “together”.
When tempted to ask, “Do I need to go to church,” consider these scriptural concepts; seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33); make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:16); abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58); present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice…which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1). If we are practice these, one thing is sure, our attendance will not be an issue.
Copyright © 2009, Nolan P. Rutter