Summary: Who's in Church that is keeping you out?

Heb 10:23-25

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

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. KJV

These verses tend to upset or confuse a lot of folks, when it is really quite simple. Some want to ignore it completely. They want to only be part of the invisible church so that they can be invisible from the gathering of the believers to do church at Bishop Burger King or Monseigneur McDonalds. Maybe it is at the lake or in the tree stand, but they are all so close to God there. When I was in the military quite a few lads left the unit to see Friar Fastfood instead of going to a meeting of the saints.

Others go to the other extreme and say that you cannot have God as your Father if you do not have the Church as your Mother. Others do not go quite that far but will threaten you with fierce rumblings of God's wrath if you are not at all four formal services and all the special meetings that might be called including a three week revival or evangelistic service.

If you read the first chapters of Acts it does not seem to many into the invisible church nor did they have to be threatened to attend church every day! A church supper, prayer and preaching every day sometimes until midnight was a thrill for them even though they worked from dawn to dusk. Of course, they did not have the distractions of ESPN or 500 other channels, Iphone, Ipad and aye, yi, yi and yada, yada, yada to fill their evenings.

Of course when you pray until the Spirit fills you so that you can preach the Word of God with boldness that takes some time. Also when you read an entire epistle at one service and not just a verse or a block of verses that takes some time as well. If all you have is one epistle or book of the Bible you read it again the next night and the next. Repetition is how we learn and that much repetition should bring about some learning and renewing of the mind. Is it any wonder they turned the world upside down? Might be a lesson there.

Nonetheless, while each person is actually the church, and not the building, the passage clearly states the the parts of the body or the building blocks of the church/kingdom are to meet regularly. Very hard for the folks given the gifts in Ephesians four to do their job if the people that they are to train for the work of the ministry are not there on a consistent basis.

Other than to receive training and blessings from church attendance you can see that you are to attend to give as well. You have gifts you need to use as they were given for the edification of the body. You are there to provoke one others as they provoke you to love and good works. Yes, I know some folks seem to think their gift is to exercise the negative connotation of provoke and they do all they can to provoke debate and disunity at every opportunity and at times the best of us are provoked to sack them like a quarterback or open up the can of whoop butt that they hand us and beg us to open it. They can make it very hard to deny their request, but let that trial of your patience strengthen you so that you can better provoke others to love and good works.

Unfortunately, we need to be provoked in the right way because there is so much to distract us and hold our attention and energy that we get off mission. We exercise our talents and gifts to make money to give our family nice things. Yet, we fail to realize that the most valuable things we can give them besides our time is an example of our good works for and love towards the saints as well of those outside of the household of faith. While we are provoking others it reinforces our soul as well and then others provoke us as well and hopefully all that provoking and reinforcing will keep us in a frame of mind to hear the Spirit and not the call of the flesh and satan. How often do we need that? Much more than we think. Daily worked very well for the first century church. Man, they had power and fruit. May we be able to get a portion of their mantle!

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