Summary: How important is the corporate worship of the saints? Mnay say I can worship God as well in the privacy of my home as I can at church? Is this true or an excuse?
The announcement that the Cleveland Browns were moving to Baltimore after 30 years in Cleveland devastated many people. Among the many Browns fans interviewed, one man sat in his pickup truck and wept as he said, "Now me and my family will have no place to go on Sunday."
I want to ask you to do something this morning. I want to ask you to relax, stretch out your legs, take off your shoes, and wiggle your toes around, because I am getting ready to stomp on ‘em. I make no apologies for this message, and if this offends someone or hurts someone’s feelings then most likely it was true and you needed to hear it. As a preacher I have been given a command by God to preach the whole counsel of God and to address issues that the church needs not simply issues that the church wants to hear. So, I ask you not to come to me and tell me that your feelings are hurt or you are offended, if that is the case take it up with God because this message comes from His Word. Therefore, I want to also ask that you to listen and allow God’s Word to convict you if you need that conviction. I also hope that individuals who need to be corrected would show some spiritual maturity and accept instruction and rebuke and bring it to change in your life. Perhaps this message applies more to some people here than others, but there is definite application for each person. I bring this message with all the love that I could possibly have for each believer here and also because of my love for God and my passion for the Kingdom of God. There is something though taking place in the Lord’s Church and yes, even in the Lord’s Church here that is hindering the Kingdom of God.
Most people here have made a decision to call themselves Christians. I do not know why you give yourself that name, but nevertheless you would not be here if you did not in some way consider yourself Christian. When you made that decision to become a Christian for whatever reason it may have been, whether you know it or not you made a commitment to Jesus. The level of that commitment depends on a few things. First, it depends on how serious you are about that decision. Second, it depends on your motivations for making that commitment. Thirdly, it depends on your awareness of what God has done for you. You daily make decisions regarding what your commitment to Jesus will be. You decide what things you will or will not do because of your commitment and faith. Obviously levels of commitment vary from person to person. You decide things like how much time you will spend reading the Bible and praying depending on that level of commitment. Obviously levels of commitment vary from person to person. You also decide how often you are going to come to church, whether you are going to come sometimes on Sunday morning, or to Sunday night also, or to every service possible. Obviously levels of commitment vary from person to person.
As the Hebrew writer wrote this letter to the Hebrew Christians apparently some of the Christians had begun a bad habit of missing the weekly public assembly. The writer says not to forsake, abandon or leave behind the regular Sunday morning worship services. It seems that many people in the church and even among us have taught themselves that they do not have to be faithful in coming to church. I want to say something that I will repeat a few times in this message in hopes that you remember it. If you are not going to come regularly (every week) to church, then coming sporadically is a waste of time. We have been given a command to meet together and like it or not missing church is breaking a command of God. Breaking a command of God is a sin, yes, sin can be forgiven, but habitual and purposeful sin will not be forgiven.
Text: Hebrews 10:24-25
I. Reasons People Don’t Come to Church
The Scriptures tell us that Satan is the Father of lies; he is a great tempter and leads believers astray. I believe that Satan has worked diligently within the church to keep people away from the Church. He has worked to put the lie into people’s minds that it really does not matter how faithfully they come. Therefore, people come up with an impressive list of excuses as to why they miss church. I think though sometimes we are quick to place the blame for our struggles and our sin on Satan when perhaps it is really because of our own calloused and sinful hearts that we act and live the way that we do.