Summary: Second in the You Should Be Committed series, reasons why we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
You Should Be Committed Part II: Believers...Assemble!
Twelve reasons why a local clergyman stopped attending athletic events:
Every time I went, they asked me for money.
The people with whom I had to sit didn't seem very friendly.
The seats were too hard and not comfortable.
The coach never came to call on me.
The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.
I was sitting with some hypocrites--they came only to see what others were wearing.
Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.
The band played some numbers that I had never heard before.
The games are scheduled when I want to do other things.
My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches anyhow.
I don't want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.
Last week, we discussed the "top ten" reasons why people quit attending church.
Simply got too busy - 19 %
Family/home responsibilities prevented attendance - 17 %
Church members seemed hypocritical - 17 %
Church members were judgmental of others - 17 %
Moved too far from church - 17 %
Work situation prevented church attendance - 15 %
Church was not helping me develop spiritually - 14 %
Stopped believing in organized religion - 14 %
Church was run by a clique that discouraged involvement - 12 %
Got divorced/separated - 10 %
We separated them into two categories:
Stuffed Skins: Excuses (not reasons) "I'm simply too busy". "I moved too far from church". "My family/home responsibilities prevented attendance" "I stopped believing in organized religion"
Fault On Both Sides of the Fence: "Church members seemed hypocritical" "Church members were judgmental of others" "Church was run by a clique that discouraged involvement" "Church was not helping me develop spiritually"
This week, we are going to look at the opposite side of the issue:
The Top 10 Reasons You Should Be In Sunday Worship or The Benefits of Assembling Together.
The Top Ten Reasons You Should Be In Church
1) Shows our love for God
2) Spiritual Strength Building
3) The Lord's Presence
4) Fellowship with other Christians
5) Obedience to God
6) Accountability to spiritual leadership
7) Corporate Prayer
8) Remembrance of the Lord's Day
9) Blessing to the Christian
10) Edification of Believers
Love Toward God
Love for God First and foremost, what is the motivation of the Christian in attending church? It should be because of a love for God.
I have talked to quite a few people that say that they love God, but never set foot in a church. That would be like saying that you love your family with your whole heart and do all you can to never visit with them.
The first question of the Westminster Confession is this: What is the chief end of man? The answer: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If you cannot glorify God amongst other believers, and do so according to the way that God has commanded (assembling yourselves together), then what makes you think that you will love and glorify Him in other areas of your life?
Look at what the Word of God says about love for God, as shown by our praising Him in the assembly of believers:
I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. Psalm 22:22 (NKJV)
I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly. Psalm 40:9-10 (NKJV)
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." Hebrews 2:11-12
Loving God includes public admission and public demonstration of loving God. Each person does this different degree, but would include simply being in church!
The Top Ten Reasons You Should Be In Church, Part II
The Lord's Presence Inhabits The Praise of His Own In Gathering Together
Yet you are holy, O you who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. Ps 22:3 (NASB)
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Ps 22:3, KJV
The Hebrew word for enthroned (NASB) and inhabitest (KJV) speaks of sitting and inhabiting. When we gather together as Christians God is both exalted in the praises of His people and actually inhabits the praise of His people. God is present in a special way when His people assemble. In the church service, in prayer fellowship, in discipleship we experience the same thing.