Well-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l Now, That's Different
By: Luther Blackmon (Edited)
Have you ever tried to picture in your mind what would happen if some eccentric multi-millionaire philanthropist should announce in the local newspaper that during a specified assembly of the church he would present each person present with one thousand dollars? Well, I have. And in fancy's vision I see a strange and motley crowd.
The rich and poor, the fat and frail, the believers, scoffers, atheists, and even the God-is-deaders would be there. The Republicans and Democrats, the segregationists and the integrationists, the famous and the infamous would be in attendance. People who haven't spoken to each other for years would sit side by side if necessary. The once a weekers and the once in a whilers would all show up. Grandpa would rub his rheumatiz leg with goose grease and turpentine and be there himself. Folks who haven't been there because they're afraid to drive at night would chance it. Backsliders would suddenly warm up and take a place where they could be seen.
All of the puny excuses, anemic alibis, and any lies people might have been telling themselves and others about why they didn't attend worship would disappear like dirt before intensified Tide, or like cockroaches before Raid. We would have a crowd that would make the average political convention look like a country picnic - that is, until the money was passed out. We would look for a major slump after that. What kind of person would do for money what he would not do for his own soul?
Editor's Note: The above short articles make a worthy point. The church is important for a number of reasons. It is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). It is also the body into which the Lord adds all who truly come to salvation (Acts 2:47). The church is to gather together as the Lord's body to worship God and encourage one another on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:23-25). In so doing, God is glorified and we are edified. Nobody can force anyone to come to church services. Attendance is a choice. Unless hindered in some way beyond one's control, not attending is also a choice! As Paul illustrates so capably in his comparison to the human body (1 Corinthians 12), every member of the body of Christ is important and needed for the effective functioning of the church as a whole. When you're missing, a vital part of the Lord's body is missing...