Summary: A sermon that encourages church attendance
"Does Church Attendance Matter?"
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I. It matters because submission to God's Word matters -- "Not forsaking..."
a. The command
As this is an imperative statement it is clear that it is not an issue of preference, suggestion, option or experimentation. As with every command in Scripture there is the expectation that submission to authority will bring blessing and failure to submit will bring about the withholding of same. Jesus said, "If ye love me keep my commandments!"
A. T. Robertson translates this as "not leaving behind, not leaving in a lurch." It is the same word used to describe Demas who had forsaken the Apostle Paul.
b. The compliance
What are the blessings of compliance? Namely, that when we come together there is communion, fellowship and a sense of intimacy that develops as we worship together.
Jesus meets with believers who assemble together. That is his promise.
c. The caution
"...as the manner of some is..." is as the custom of some is, that is there were some who had already developed the a pattern of neglect. A careful reading of this passage will reveal that unfaithfulness in attending the services of the church is a part of a process that leads to willful sin and disobedience.
II. It matters because of the significance of the church
"...the assembling of yourselves together..." can be translated gathering together.
a. The Sanctified Ones
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
b. The Separated Ones
The church is the ecclesia, "the called out ones."
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
c. The Serving Ones
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In his book, When God Whispers Your Name, Max Lucado tells the story of John Egglen, who had never preached a sermon in his life before the Sunday morning when it snowed and the pastor wasn't able to make it to the church. In fact, he was the only deacon to show up. He was not a preacher, but he was faithful and that meant on that particular Sunday morning he preached. God rewarded his faithfulness, and at the end of his hesitant sermon, one young man invited God into his heart. No one there could appreciate the significance of what had taken place that morning. The young man who accepted Christ that snowy Sunday morning was non other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the man who has often been called, the "prince of preachers." God blessed his preaching and when he was still less than 30 years old he became the pastor of London's Metropolitan Tabernacle. His sermons were so powerful that although the building could hold 5000 people, the crowds who came to hear him were so thick that they would line up outside trying to hear his sermons. That amazing life of faith all started on a cold Sunday morning with the faithfulness of a deacon who had never preached a sermon before that day. Faithfulness means being committed to what God lets us have the chance to do, whether it looks like a big assignment, or a small one. Giving the sermon to a handful of people on a Sunday morning when almost no one shows up doesn't seem all that significant, but it demanded faithfulness & God blessed John Egglin's faithfulness.