Summary: Church attendance helps demonstrate our obedience to Christ.
A. WHY MUST YOU BE IN CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY?
1. Because of the example of the early church.
a. On the birthday of the local church everyone was present. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).
Be present on September 16, 1971 at Thomas Road Baptist Church for the first chapel of Lynchburg Baptist College. Being there is like being present for the Day of Pentecost. If you miss it, you will never have another opportunity to be present at the first meeting of Lynchburg Baptist College. Present: 154 students and over 300 visitors.
b. A continual practice. “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:46).
c. Even in the face of difficulties and oppositions. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
2. Because of the admonition in scriptures. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
3. Because attendance helps demonstrate our obedience to Christ.
a. Jesus invited us to come to Him. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
b. Jesus invited us to follow Him. “Jesus said, ‘Follow Me’” (Mark 1:17). “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
c. When we come to church, we come to the local body of Jesus. “The church which is His body” (Eph. 1:22-23).
4. Because singing together Christian hymns and songs strengthens us in many ways. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
a. Music instructs us in the faith.
b. Music worships God.
c. Music testifies.
d. Music motivates our love and service.
e. Music strengths us.
f. What do you miss by not singing with others?
5. Because there is power in corporate prayer. “If two of you will agree . . . My Father will do it” (Matt. 18:19). “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them’” (Acts 4:24). “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
B. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T ASSEMBLE?
1. You miss Jesus! “Now Thomas . . . was not with them when Jesus came” (John 20:24).
a. His doubts grew because he missed seeing and hearing Jesus. “Unless I see in his hand . . . put my finger into the print of the nails . . . I will not believe” (John 20:25).
b. He missed the first giving of the Great Commission. “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).
c. The church was incomplete.
d. Jesus rebukes those missing. “He rebuked their unbelief . . . because they did not believe those who had seen him” (Mark 16:14).
2. You disappoint God. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).
3. You refuse to come to God Himself. “For you do not come to a mountain (Old Testament Sinai and Temple) . . . but you come to . . . the living God . . . to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first born” (Heb. 12:18, 22-23).
4. You wound your conscience because you didn’t do what you were supposed to do. “Do not refuse Him who speaks” (Heb. 12:25).
5. You may not turn back but you slip back. “See that you do not refuse Him . . . if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven” (Heb. 12:25).
6. Large membership and empty pews are a negative testimony to the outsiders.
C. WHAT ABOUT DIFFICULTIES?
1. Some who must work on Sunday, i.e., police, nurses, emergency personnel, etc.
a. Some don’t have a choice.
b. Make sure it’s an interruption and not a choice to miss.
2. Some are disabled and/or sick.
a. Don’t spread germs and disease.
b. Church should provide for those unable to attend.