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Summary: This sermon gives six reasons why church attendance is important

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“A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

What a nice little story. But it does embody what happens when we no longer fellowship with other believers. As much as we try to keep that fire burning inside, we find ourselves feeling cold and isolated. So we turn to other things in our life to warm ourselves. It can be self pity. It can be harmful habits. It can be unhealthy relationships. But nothing warms us like the fellowship with other believers does.

I speak from experience. There have been times in my life when I have been “in between” churches, trying to find that right one. And during that time my embers got very low.

Today I want to give you six reasons why attending church regularly is important to each of us.

1) Church is a family reunion. “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”

Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Before we get too rattled about what Jesus said let’s understand the situation. We wasn’t being cold toward his earthly family or disrespecting his mother. That would have been a sin. He knew the purpose for the visit was to take him home. His brothers did not believe his claim to be the Son of God anymore than anyone else did. They had brought mom as a leverage point.

But Jesus wanted everyone to understand that when they became a believer, they became a part of the family. The Bible says we are adopted into his family making us his brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:15). Therefore we are his Father’s children and joint heirs with Jesus of all the riches of God’s Kingdom. (Romans 8:17)

Every time we meet together we are having a family reunion. We should be having a great time, don’t you think? All that’s missing is the fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

2) Church is a classroom. “My people are being destroyed

because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. (Hosea 4:6)

A little history lesson is necessary. God’s word was no longer being taught by the priest to the Jews. This lack of knowledge was leading to their destruction. All this responsibility lay on the shoulders of the priest, or pastors. And it would affect generations to come.

Now although this was written as a warning to the Jews we must remember that we are grafted into the same vine that they are on. And because of that we receive the same blessings and curses that were promised to them. (Romans 11:17)

Therefore I have a grave responsibility of teaching you the truth of God’s word. And you have a responsibility of being here to receive it. I will live up to my responsibility. Will you live up to yours?

The lack of knowledge of how to handle explosives could lead to you losing an arm or your life. The lack of knowledge about God’s word could be even more destructive. And it could affect your children and grandchildren.

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