Forsaking Attendance

Forsaking the Attendance of Christian Assemblies

Question – Please tell me why Christians miss many assemblies of the church; offering no reasons for their absences. Isn’t it essential to spiritual growth to be present at all the assemblies if possible?  – Allen G.

Answer …  Hebrews 10:24-27 – Perhaps one of the most often violated instructions in the New Testament is the admonition found in Hebrews 10:24-27 – 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (KJV) There is no plainer command found in the New Testament for Christian to be faithful in attendance than these four verses. Yet; many members of the congregation will be absent from the assemblies several times each month. I am not suggesting that there is never a time when a faithful Christian will miss an assembly.  The problems of health, family, and emergencies will cause many Christians to miss a service occasionally but for a member or family to absent themselves from the assembly two or more times monthly on a continuing basis is surely a sign that faithfulness is not important to them. Perhaps there is more than one cause of their unfaithfulness; please note the following list:

Perhaps they are too involved in worldly pursuits – Titus 2:11-12 – 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (KJV)

It is also true that many Christians do not consider it needful to be at all meetings of the church; many consider the Lord’s Day {i.e. Sunday} as the only day needed for complying with the admonition to partake the Lord’s Supper, etc. But the Scriptures state

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – 1 now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. – Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Acts 20:7 – and upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (KJV)

NOTE — Acts 20:7 — [And upon the first day of the week] Showing thus that this day was then observed by Christians as holy time. Compare 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10. [To break bread] Evidently to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Compare Acts 2:46. So the Syrian understands it, by translating it, “to break the Eucharist”; that is, the Eucharistic bread. It is probable that the apostles and early Christians celebrated the Lord’s Supper on every Lord’s day.  — (From Barnes’ Notes)

NOTE ALSO: Christians all; are to grow spiritually – requiring attendance at Bible study, gospel meetings, special classes, etc.

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.

1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (KJV)

Ephesians 4:15-16 – 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Every Christian ought to seek to grow on a continuing basis; I have been a preacher of the gospel for 52 years and I still am learning more and more as I attend Bible study both as a teacher and as a learner in the teaching of others. We must always do all that we can to gain knowledge so that we can teach others as someone taught us; as Paul instructed Timothy long ago – cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 – “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (KJV)

I do not know all the reasons for absences at Bible study and other worship times but I am convinced that the Christian who loves the Lord and wants to please him as well as to grow as they ought; will attend every worship privilege and every study session that they possibly can. Don’t you?

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