Just how important is it to be at services when the church meets? Now, at the beginning of a new year, is an especially good time to consider this question. As Christians, we need to always be examining ourselves to make sure that our lives reflect true faithfulness (2 Corinthians 13:5). But many people are reflecting on their lives more seriously right now than they normally would do.
How important is it to be at services when the church meets? In answer, we need to consider what is accomplished by gathering with the church to worship God and study His word. First, we are commanded to so gather (Hebrews 10:23-25). The text states that gathering with the church for worship and study helps us, as individuals, to remain strong, dedicated, faithful (verse 23). Being with our brothers and sisters in Christ also provides encouragement and strength for each other (verse 24). The "assembling of ourselves together" is key to meeting both needs and is thus instructed (verse 25). So, by assembling with the church we (1) help ourselves grow spiritually, (2) we help our brothers and sisters in Christ grow spiritually, and (3) we obey a commandment from God.
How important is it to be at services when the church meets? Spiritual growth is vital for our personal well being. Getting to Heaven is not a casual matter. It should be the most important thing in our lives. And, we should instill the seriousness of the matter in our children. Our lives need to demonstrate "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25). The Christian Virtues need to be the virtues by which we live (2 Peter 1:5-9). We need to "Be faithful until death" in order to be assured of "the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). To grow spiritually is to grow in our faith, and faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Worshiping and studying God's word together with the church contributes immeasurably to our personal spiritual growth.
How important is it to be at services when the church meets? Our children desperately need the specialized teaching they receive in their Bible classes. When parents choose to not bring their children to Bible class, they deprive them of instruction in God's word that is vital to their spiritual development. And, their careless attitude can be discouraging and disheartening to the teacher who preapres to teach his/her class and then finds no students present!
How important is it to be at services when the church meets? It provides the right positive example for our fellow Christians and for the multitudes who have yet to become Christians. One of the most powerful lessons we can give as to the value and superiority of Christianity as compared to every other lifestyle is in the living example of our daily lifestyle (Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 2:15-16). Our purposeful absence from services can have a profound negative influence upon others.
Let's make up our minds right now, at the beginning of this year, to commit ourselves to be at every service possible. It will glorify God. It will help us individually to grow in our faith. It will help our children to develop spiritually. It will provide a powerful example to those around us. Let's do it, let's be at services when the church meets...
Gary L. Hutchens