Purpose: To encourage us to attend every worship service.
1. God desires to be worshiped by His followers. (John 4:23-24) "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
2. I feel that, many times, we forget this fact.
3. For this reason, I would like to list five reasons why we should attend every service.
4. Please note that I am not talking to:
a. Those that attend faithfully.
b. Those who miss because of physical illness.
c. Those who have jobs that require them to work.
1) However, if you have a job that continually causes you to miss service you should do everything possible to correct the situation.
2) This comes with putting God first.
5. I am talking to those who willfully choose to miss on a regular basis.
A. We are told that we are to love one another.
1. 1 Peter 1:22. "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently"
2. 1 John 4:7. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
3. John 13:34-35. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
B. If we love one another...
1. We will want to exhort one another (Hebrews 10:25).
2. We will want to spend time together. (Acts 2:46) "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart"
3. Our love has to be shown (1 John 3:18).
A. We are told that we are to put the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33).
B. Oddly enough, the world seems to understand that better than the church. Even thought they choose not to obey it.
C. What kind of example are we setting...
1. For our neighbors. (1 Timothy 4:12) "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
2. For our children. (Ephesians 6:4) "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
A. We are told to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18) "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
B. Even the apostle Paul realized the need to continually grow. (Philippians 3:13) "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before". (1 Corinthians 9:27) "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
C. How can we expect to grow when we only spend an hour or two a week studying God's Word?
D. Attending services can help:
1. Our love for each other to grow.
2. Our love and appreciation for God to grow.
3. Our knowledge of God's Word to grow.
A. Some people have to have it stated specifically before they will obey.
B. We are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
C. We are commanded to obey our elders. (Hebrews 13:17) "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
1. Our elders have chosen for us to meet three times a week in order to help us grow.
2. The elders have a great responsibility and we must obey them in all that is right.
D. The first century church met more than three times a week (Acts 2:46).
A. When we love God, we no longer view worship as an obligation but a privilege.
B. We should not ask how many times we have to meet, but how many times we get to meet.
C. Think on this...
1. Do we ask how many football games we have to watch?
2. Do we ask how many times we have to go hunting or fishing?
3. Do we ask how much time we have to spend with our spouse.
D. If you love God, you will want to honor and respect him.
1. Worship is a great blessing.
2. Worship is also a great responsibility.
3. It is totally necessary for our growth as individual Christians.
4. What better way to spend our time could we possibly have?
-- Ralph Price, December 2001 --