by Joe Greer
I have always been perplexed by those who do not see the benefit of attending every assembly of the church. It is a time of worship to God, a time for building faith and knowledge in His word, and a time to encourage and be encouraged by those of like mind. It is a time for spiritual nourishment, getting filled up … recharged … refocused, and prepared for challenges that this life brings.
If a local church has planned and scheduled four hours of assemblies each week and you miss one of those hours … well, you have missed 25% of the time you could have been with Christians in collective study and worship. Twenty-five percent is pretty significant, but what if you miss 2 hours … that is 50%. Wow … you have missed out! Think about the Bible studies you were not a part of and the songs and prayers you did not get to participate in.
Amazingly, some choose to only attend one hour a week. You are receiving only 25% of the spiritual nourishment that comes by assemblies together. You are missing so much. Someone sent me the note below. I do not know who wrote it, but I thought it was really good …
A ‘church-goer’ wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the preachers are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”
This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this… they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”
So … why go to church? For one thing, spiritual nourishment. We all need it. Not one of us is so strong that we do not need to be edified, or built up in faith. We all need it. It is amazing that those who even admittedly acknowledge weakness in faith are often those who miss the assembly of the Christians on a regular basis. Go figure.
Bible preaching draws us closer to the Savior. “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Col. 1:28 We need to hear it … often.
Christ gave gifts to the church (i.e. preachers and teachers) to assure a building up in faith … an “edifying of the body of Christ.” To miss this teaching is to leave one lacking in “the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God” and at risk to being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” But when the church grows together in truth, it “causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Eph. 4:11-16
And, think about the building up that takes place as the whole church assembles and works together. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb. 10:24-25
For us to be made stronger by the prayers of the saints … for us to be admonished by voices of brethren lifted in spiritual song … for us to be humbled and grateful for ability to give to the Lord’s work and to be encouraged by Bible preaching … for us to be reminded of the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord as the saints eat the Lord’s supper …we have to be at the assembly!