January 24, 2012
The New Testament teaches us all about the love of God. 1st Corinthians 13 which talks about the importance of love is my favorite scripture in the Bible – what a powerful message to us. However, there are also warnings - some dire - in the New Testament, and one applies to a malady of Christians in the modern church. This concern is the lack of a commitment on our part in attending worship and bible study classes on an every Sunday basis. It seems like we decide when we get up on Sunday mornings whether we want to “go to church” or not, based on our energy level, or whether we have some other “more important” activities to enjoy. Becoming a Christian (believing, repenting, confessing Christ, and being baptized) is just the first step in our Christian walk – the start of the race. We are all “babies” in Christ at that point in time regardless of our age. Babies are great, but after a time, you expect them to start to grow. And each of us is expected to grow spiritually, a critically important fact that many new Christians do not grasp. You grow spiritually by attending worship every Sunday, and also attending one of our extraordinary Bible school classes (we have some simply great teachers). Learning along with other Christians is so much more productive and enlightening than attempting to do the same alone. We can’t continue to be “babes in Christ” because there are so many challenges thrown at us by our enemy that require us to become strong in the Lord. Also, how can we lead others to Christ if we do not know him through studying his love and his commands in Scriptures? How important is meeting together to grow spiritually every Sunday?
The Hebrew writer challenged the first century Christians, who were already having this same attendance issue, in the Hebrews 10:23-30. It says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
It is abundantly clear, that God views regular church attendance as critically important to our growth in Christ. Let’s have an attitude of looking forward to Sunday worship and bible study classes as the high point of our week – a chance to learn and grow close to God. I know I don’t want to be in a position of “no sacrifice for sins left” as I need all the forgiveness and grace I can get.