“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Church is the place we should be hearing the Word of God and be strengthened in following the Lord. Our own Bible reading is one way we grow in the things of the Lord. However, God has ordained the local church to also assist us in our spiritual walk. It is there we can get the spiritual food God has given His appointed preacher to disburse to us. It is there many can hear the Gospel and be saved. It is at a church that we can find a place of ministry, and where we can serve God.
Going to church is the right thing to do, but many reasons keep people from heeding God’s commandment to attend. I certainly would
not give the devil the credit all the time; sometimes our own natural flesh, which struggles at doing right, intervenes and keeps us from attending. Between the two, there are a lot of excuses and wrong decisions that people make to keep them out of church. Here are a few of them that keep too many from God’s house:
Sin. Going to church and hearing from God’s Word reminds too many of their sin. To avoid conviction, they stay away from church; so they do not get the unpleasant reminders of their wrong doings.
Church hopping. They try this church; then that one; then go to another with a friend. Soon they find themselves out of their routine of faithfulness to the church to which God had led them. They have absorbed so many different doctrines, that they do not know what to believe and are confused. In a short time, they are not attending any church at all, and may even have a bad attitude about church.
Discontentment. Folks can easily find a reason for not being happy with their church. “I don’t like the way the preacher preaches. He screams too much”, or “They sing too much”. There is no perfect church; and if there were one, it would not be perfect after we entered.
Hurt feelings. Probably the number one killer of church attendance is when folks get their feelings hurt and leave the church. “No one shook my hand”, “No one even said hello to me. It just is not a friendly church”, “The people don’t like the way I dress”.
People forget why they are supposed to go to church. They are to be in the church service to hear what God has laid on the preacher’s heart to give to his people. Although it is important to feel comfortable there, they should be there in obedience to God’s commandment!
Lack of understanding. Many do not have a clue as to what the Bible teaches. If they attend a church that does preach and practice the doctrines taught in the Bible, they do not understand them, do not like them, and leave. Many just go for the religious trappings of the denomination in which they were raised, and do not realize that many “religious” practices are not biblical.
Pride. The old folded-arm excuse, “No one is going to tell me what to do!” keeps many out of church. They have not figured out that the preacher’s message that got them indignant and wanting to leave was from the Word of God. Often, they leave not because of what the preacher said, but because of what God said to their heart.
Legitimate reasons. Legitimate excuses for missing church like sickness, or vacations can become a habitual reason for non-attending.
Few excuses are acceptable that keep us from God’s house. We cannot please God, when we are staying home from church. Even the unsaved know where a Christian should be on Sunday morning.
God started the church and sent His Son to die for it. The local church is important to God. Be at one this week! Be faithful in attending one that is teaching what the Bible instructs, and where you believe God has led you to attend.
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” I Corinthians 3:9