Questions about Church Attendance
Must I attend “every” church service or just Sunday morning?
Does Hebrews 10:25 teach this?
What is “the day approaching” in Hebrews 10:25?
Are other services – Sunday night, Wednesday Bible study, gospel meetings, and singings – optional?
Does the Bible command attendance at worship times other than the “first day of the week”?
How often did Christians meet in the first century?
Is it a sin to miss a church service?
Does this passage require attendance on Sunday night and Wednesday night?
What does the Bible teach (other than Hebrews 10:25) about church attendance?
What does it hurt if I miss a church service?
Is missing church a sin? Is it a “willful” sin?
Our lives are “too” busy, crowded with other things.
We are time conscious and clock watchers, (one hour, no more).
We stay out too late on Saturday night.
We schedule activities right after morning worship
We are still busy by church time Sunday night.
Seek the kingdom first – Matthew 6:33
Kingdom of God is the church (Matthew 16:18-19)
First in priority, on top, above all else, most important
NOT – I went to church and got that out of the way first, now I can do some things I want to do.
“His righteousness” – Doing what God says is “right”
“These things” – food, clothing, shelter, will be added as a bonus
Redeeming the time – Ephesians 5:16
Time is precious – don’t waste it – can’t get it back
Redeem – value it and use it to best possible advantage
Christians make their time count.
We must decide how each moment will be spent.
Sleep in, coffee with friends, worship God, play golf, fish, watch TV – Which is these is the best use of my time?
Are you redeeming the time or wasting it on trivial things?
Zealous of good works – Titus 2:14-3:1
We must always be on alert, ready, anxious, at the starting line, poised and prepared for good works.
Christians are ready to worship God.
We cannot be indifferent and apathetic about worshipping God.
Lovers of worship – Psalm 84:1-2, 10
Psalm 42:1-2, 4 – As animals pant for water, we should pant for God
Christians realize a “need” (drive, desire, longing) for worship.
We would rather spend one day with God than 1,000 without Him.
Where would you “rather” be?
Does this describe your attitude?
What Difference Does It Make?
Reverence and respect (fear God). (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Worship is being offered and chose not to come.
Glory and honor is taken from God.
Shows God your preference of others above Him. (Matthew 18:20)
Lack of gratitude for your blessings. (James 1:17)
Hinder or prevent the salvation of others.
Make it harder for the preacher to preach.
Discourage other members.
Weak members are encouraged to stay away.
Preacher – What he has studied is not important.
Song leader – Songs selected are not helpful.
Elders and deacons – Work of local congregation is not valuable.
Downward spiral begins.
Missing once makes missing again easier to miss again.
Other activities start to fill in the space.
This makes it more difficult to return to worshipping God.
Rob yourself of growth in faith, knowledge and understanding.
Miss out on encouragement, teaching and admonition of others.
Commanded to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 11:24 – “Take, eat.”
Acts 2:42 – “Continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread”
1 Corinthians 10:16 – Communion with Christ
Acts 20:7 – On first day of week
1 Corinthians 11: 17, 18, 20, 33, 34 – When you come together in the church (when the church is assembled for worship)
Commanded to give.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – On the first day of the week
When the church is already assembled for worship
Place in a “common treasury” to be ready to meet obligations and needs
Commanded to assemble.
Hebrews 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling
What about “other” assemblies?
The church assembles at more times than just Sunday morning at 10:30.
What about Sunday school, Sunday evening, Wednesday Bible study, Vacation Bible School, Gospel Meetings, and other times designated by the elders?
Acts 2:46 – Continued daily
1 Corinthians 14:26 – Whenever you come together
Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-5 – Shepherd (lead, feed, protect, help to grow) the flock – It is the duty of the elders (shepherds, pastors) to feed the flock as they see the need.
The time and frequency of these meetings is in the realm of judgment and at the discretion of the elders.
Many in the church regard these services lightly. After one service on Sunday, they feel they have done their “duty” to God.
Hebrews 10:21 Jesus is our High Priest
He is over the house of God.
House of God is the church. (1 Timothy 3:15; Galatians 6:10)
Hebrews 10:22 Our challenge is to draw near (and remain close)
With a true heart
In full assurance of faith
Hebrews 10:23 We must hold fast (hang on tight)
The confession of our hope
Without wavering (no doubts)
Believing that God will keep His promises
Hebrews 10:24 Consider one another
Encourage (stir up) each other
Motivate others to be more loving
Promote good works
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling
Forsake = AWOL, abandon your post, renounce, give up
“Missing” a service is not the same as “forsaking”
Miss because of work schedule
Miss because of illness, hospital, ICU
Miss because out of town
Some (even in the early church) were leaving their post of duty
We must exhort and encourage each other as we sing, pray, commune, give, and study.
Is this text just speaking of the first day of the week?
This text is not limited to the first day of the week.
This text is not speaking of one who “misses” a church service.
“Don’t quit assembling together” is the main message of this verse.
The opposite of forsaking the assembly is exhorting one another.
What is the urgency? What is the “day approaching”?
Sunday – This would imply a weekly cycle of stronger encouragement as each new weekly service approached. This would also imply that Sunday was more important than other meetings for worship.
End of time, Judgment day – Problem: We have no signs. We cannot see it approaching.
Time of trial, persecution, difficulty, death – This is more likely the meaning here. As a challenge to our faith arises, we need the encouragement that comes from worshipping together.
Four problems with the attendance of some members –
Not worshipping regularly (twice a month, twice a year)
Not worshipping for all the services (Sunday AM only)
Not worshipping at all (not attended in 3 years)
Attending but not worshipping
Hebrews 10:26 If we sin willfully
Forsaking the assembly is a “willful” sin.
We have received knowledge (understanding) of the truth.
There is no sacrifice to cover “willful sin”.
1 John 5:16
Hebrews 10:27 What does one who forsakes have ahead of them?
Adversary of God
Hebrews 10:28 Difference from the Law of Moses
Under the Law of Moses – capital crimes required 2 or 3 witnesses
There was no mercy shown.
Hebrews 10:29 Sorer punishment
Jesus becomes a rug to wipe your feet on.
Treated the blood of Jesus as if it were not holy
Despised the Holy Spirit of God’s grace
Hebrews 10:30 God will deal with them
Vengeance belongs to God.
God will judge His people.
Hebrews 10:31 Be afraid
We should fear God (respect, honor, and obey) Ecclesiastes 12:13
If we do not fear (respect and obey) of God then we should fear God (be afraid of the punishment coming).
The issue is not “missing” but intentional neglect.
Bodily presence is not as important as the spiritual desire to worship.
This is not a matter what we “MUST” do but what we “WANT” to do.