Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Faithfulness To YOUR Church - Part Two

Here is a link to PART ONE if you have not already read it first.
Hebrews 10:25
"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."

Empty Pews 1
Now we come to the important question of the subject of church: are you faithful? Specifically, are you faithful to the church God has called you to? As a pastor, I never begrudge anyone a vacation. We all need them from time to time. This often means that you will miss a Sunday. Again, I have no issues when members miss our church because they are out of town on a vacation. But, as I am apt to say from time to time, "You can take a vacation from work, but not from God. Find a church to attend when you are away from here." So, when I speak of faithfulness, I am not talking about those who miss for a occasional vacation, yet are still faithful to God's House.

There also comes a time when people miss church due to illness. Sometimes, that illness is short-lived and they are soon back to their fellowship of believers. But other times, these illness' turn long term and some believers and church members even become bedridden and a shut-in. It is my belief that God gives grace to those who are in this predicament, and it is the responsibility of the church to minister to them in their homes (James 1:27, James 5:14, Romans 16:1-2, Psalm 68:5,  Acts 6, 1 Tim 5, etc.). So, when I speak of faithfulness to YOUR church, I realize there are those who want to attend and assemble, but are hindered by health.

Now, what about the rest of the time? There seems to be a lessening of the importance of attending church in our day. I see many believers who choose hobbies, activities, and work, to name a few, over attending worship on Sunday mornings with their fellow believers in Christ. It seems the norm for many today is to work all week and play all weekend. But is this what God has saved us for? And for many church's, Sunday morning is the "big service" of the week in which the lost and those looking for a church are invited to. What are they to think when the one who invites them does not think it important enough to be there? What are they to think when they show up to an empty church? You may come back that night, or next week - but will they? Did we miss our God-given opportunity?

Empty churchWe often use the phrase "my church" when we discuss it with others, but yet so many of those same people neglect the assembly when something else comes along. There was a time and a day when believers would do all their personal activities and hobbies on a Saturday in order to make it to church on Sunday morning. But today, the Lord's Day often is taken up with activities that have nothing to do with our Lord, and bring no glory to our savior Jesus Christ. 

As I discussed it with our church this past Sunday, I reminded those who were there that we can show up to church on Sunday mornings and still not be faithful (faithfulness is MUCH MORE than mere attendance in a pew/seat), but you CANNOT be faithful and willfully chose to consistently miss church. I wonder sometimes if people do not take our invitations to church very seriously because they watch us and observed that we don't take our attendance very seriously? If God has led you to a church (and it is His will for every believer to be a part of a local assembly), then be faithful to where God called you! Your church needs you, and you need your church!

Remember, a week without church makes a Christian weak. 

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