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Summary: As prolific as the church was in the days of Paul, it suffers today. Either people do not come, or people come for the wrong reasons. The church is abundantly immersed in paradoxes. Whether verbalized, or thought, the operative question of the day is, “

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Dealing with Today’s Church

Hebrews 10:24-25;13:7,17

1 Timothy 4:13

Acts 2:42

INTRODUCTION: The New Testament repeatedly emphasizes the importance of local assemblies – ie: local churches. The pattern of the Apostle Paul was to establish local churches in every community he went to. Yet, as prolific as the church was in the days of Paul, it suffers today. Either people do not come, or people come for the wrong reasons. The church is abundantly immersed in paradoxes. Older people are more likely to attend church than younger people, yet at the same time are more resistant to the gospel. Teens, once very faithful in church attendance drop off sharply, sighting that it is difficult to find a place. Even those securely in the church have lost the sense of direction as to purpose and meaning.

Whether verbalized, or thought, the operative question of the day is, “Why should I attend church?” It is a question that deserves an answer and an attitude that deserves a challenge!

So, in our time together this morning, I would like to deal with why we should come to church, why we don’t come to church, and what kind of church should we be coming to.

I WHY SHOULD I ATTEND CHURCH

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

A The first reason to attend church is to spur or stimulate each other to good deeds

1 We are to consider this -- What an exhortation to believers!

a Give attention to one another.

b Fix your attention upon one another.

c Give continuous care to one another.

d Watch over one another.

THE ATTENTION WE ARE TO GIVE IS TO SEE THAT EACH OF US IS STIRRED UP AND LIVING FOR CHRIST!

ü It is possible to worship God individually, but it is not possible to fulfill this mandate to the church apart from being in church

ü Can’t do a one another thing ALONE!

2 We are to watch over each other to make sure none of us is slacking.

a When you’re here it is possible to observe when others are not.

b When others are not here for a period of time – guess what? You need to start considerin’!

B The second reason we are to attend church is that the church provides encouragement against the day

1 We are not to “give up” meeting together

2 Churches are meant to be encouraging places

a Each of us has a responsibility to be an encourager

The book of Hebrews continues with additional reasons to be here in the pew week after week …

Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

C The third reason we are to attend church is that the church provides good role models.

1 Leaders who proclaim the Word of God faithfully are worthy of being followed

2 Leaders are those who are concerned for your very being

3 Leaders know their accountability.

4 Leaders can be hurt when we do not follow biblical instruction

D The fourth reason we are to attend church is that church attendance is the established biblical pattern

ILLUSTRATION: From the Local News -- Paris Hilton Not Welcome In Jersey Middle School

BUENA BOROUGHN.J. - Parents in an Atlantic County, N.J., community say Paris Hilton has no place in their classrooms.

They are upset that the hotel heiress may tape a segment of her reality show, "The Simple Life," at Cleary Junior High School.

Officials say the possibility of the show coming to the school is still in the talking stage and nothing has been agreed on. But some parents who have children at Cleary are furious and say that, under no circumstances, do they want any part of Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie.

"I think it’s crazy," said Linda Burch, a parent.

"I’m hurt. I’m disgusted," said Cecilia Bachinsky, a grandmother of one of the students.

"One word -- livid," said John Krokos, a student’s uncle.

Parents and other angry residents have started a grassroots effort to keep "The Simple Life" away from Cleary Junior High School.

"I think it’s a very detrimental thing happening to our children," Bachinsky said.

"I can say there’s probably a possibility, but we don’t know anything definite. That’s why I really can’t comment," said Tom Kearny, the school district’s business administrator.

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