Summary: A message dealing with the scriptural commands to worship in church as a family.
THE FAMILY AND CHURCH ATTENDANCE
Introduction: I believe, if ever there was a time for this message, it is now. All across this nation in Bible-believing churches where the Word of God is loved and proclaimed, there is a very sad trend taking place. It has to do with indifference by families, young and old, to the attendance of church services and true worship. This indifference has to do with attitudes toward the attendance of Sunday School, AM, PM and Mid-week prayer meeting. But even deeper, I believe, is an indifference in people’s hearts to the things of God which is in direct relationship to their lack of interest and commitment to the Lord’s work through the local church. Very few people have a vision of what God can do through the local church.
Realing that the pressure of shame never works in most people’s lives, it will be my purpose this AM to show you what God’s Word says and pray that the Holy Spirit will be allowed to use the Word to bring changes in our attitudes and actions in regard to church attendance.
I. THE PRIORITY OF LOCAL CHURCH ATTENDANCE
Does God’s Word make church attendance a priority? Does God make church attendance and worship in the Lord’s house a priority? If the answer is a resounding yes, then each believer here needs to ask themself a question - Am I obeying this command of God and is it a priority in my life and my family’s life?
A. It is a priority because church attendance is commanded by God--Heb. 10:25
Apparently, it was the attitude of some at the time when the book of Hebrews was written to not attend the worship services of their local church. They probably felt, as many do today, that they could worship God just as well at home as at church. It is true that we can worship God at home and at church, but why would God put such a command in the Word of God if He didn’t intend for His people to obey it and follow it? Why would God issue such a command to believers if it didn’t really matter if they obeyed it or not? The point is clear - God doesn’t make useless commands for his people to follow. The believers who received this letter in the first place were even having difficulties in remaining true to their profession and what they had been previously taught because of the rise of persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. If ever there was a time for believers to gather together for mutual protection, fellowship, comfort, ect it is when they are under attack by the world. But many were defecting from the local church to their own harm. The Musk Ox seems to have more sense than believers at times. When they are faced with danger they form a circle with their heads and horns outward and with the young in the center. They gather for mutual protection rather than individually running away. Faithfulness to the local church was necessary as the author of Hebrews wrote.
We will examine in the second part of the message this AM some of the benefits of regular and faithful attendance at a local church that preaches the Word of God and lives it. If God’s Word tells us to not "forsake the assembling yourselves together" then I believe that entails coming to church everytime the doors of this church are open for the purpose of singing, preaching, and fellowship. I realize that some have work schedules that often prevent them from making it to all the evening services of the church, but for many there is absolutely nothing preventing them from coming to church for the evening services other than a lack of surrender in their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it difficult to make your way to church several times a week? Is something that important worth the effort on our part to be in obedience to the written Word of God? We all have cars that buzz up and down these roads with great speed. We do not have to walk to church. What is keeping you from faithfully attending all the services of this local church? Is it TV programs on Sunday and Wednesday evenings? What is keeping you from bringing your family to Sunday School and the study of the Word of God during that hour?
Faithful and consistent church attendance and worship is a priority to God, is it a priority in your life?
B. It is a priority because the next generation needs to learn the importance of church attendance and what it means to worship the Lord.
Notice what it says in Psalm 78:4-8 "We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that ehy should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God."