Why do you attend any period of worship? That may seem an unnecessary question! But your answer will explain why you feel as you do about that time of worship (good or bad), and also it may explain why you attend as often or as infrequently as you do. Many engage in “spectator worship.” They attend in the same fashion as they go to a ball game or some form of entertainment. They do not feel personally involved. They have come to RECEIVE! Then if the songs are not the ones they like to sing, or the preacher happens not to be as polished or as interesting in his delivery, they find themselves bored and “getting nothing out of it.” Thus they dread to return, and when they do come it is mostly out of compulsion of conscience.
1. “Worship” is translated from four Greek words:
a. Proskuneo — “to kiss the hand towards”; to make obeisance, do reverence. The act of homage, John 4:24.
b. Sebomai — to revere, stressing feeling of awe, Matt. 15:9
c. Latreuo — to serve, to render religious service, homage, Phil. 3:3.
d. Eusebeo — to act piously towards, Acts 17:23,
2. Each of these words express action one does toward God. Worship is an external act motivated by an internal feeling. It is not what one receives but rather what he gives to God!
1. “In Spirit” signifies that bodily presence alone is not all that is important. Our coming together may bring us a step closer to hell than heaven if we fail to worship from the heart, I Cor. 11:17,27-29.
2. “In Truth;” signifies that more than the emotion of the heart is important. What we do as well as how we do it matters with God, Matt. 15:7-9; Rom. 10:1-3.
II. Some Reasons Offered For Not Assembling With Others To Worship
A. “Nothing There That I Cannot Get Somewhere Else.”
1. This person misunderstands the purpose of meeting. It is not to enjoy ourselves, but to “commune with God,” I Cor. 10:16; Acts 20:7.
2. He also misunderstands the nature of the church which is “the holy temple” of the Lord, Eph. 2:19-22. Understanding that Christ is in our midst, Matt. 18:20, every Christian should want to be there, Psa. 122:1; Psa. 84:10; Psa. 107:32; Psa. 111:1.
B. “Too Many Hypocrites Go There.”
1. If that is true, be assured they will reap what they sow, Gal. 6:7-9.
2. Wouldn’t you rather meet and shake hands with the hypocrites here for a few times rather than in hell for eternity?
C. “I Do Not Get Anything Out Of The Service.”
1. This is evident proof you put nothing into it. Surely you brought a Bible and can read and meditate on good things even if the preaching is lousy. Surely you can sing “with grace in your heart to the Lord,” and pray, commune, and give in reverence of Him! I Peter 2:5.
2. Instead of criticizing the way others are doing it, perhaps your eyes should be on yourself, Matt. 7:1-5.
III. Why Should We Attend Every Service?
A. To Hold Fast The Profession Of Our Faith, Heb. 10:23.
1. Why would a Christian WANT to miss an opportunity to worship? Could it be indifference? Would the same reasons keep us from going other places? Read Psalm 95:1-6; as you answer these questions.
2. God is faithful, Heb. 10:23. His care for the saints is constant When we pray we know he answers every prayer, 1 John 5.14-15. But how would we feel if His response to our needs was inconsistent? Would we call Him “faithful” if Jesus were present as regularly as you? Matt. 18:20.
B. To Provoke One Another To Love And Good Works, Heb. 10:24
1. “Let us consider one another” — by attending you encourage others to faithfulness. By “forsaking,” you sprinkle the leaven of indifference which discourages others.
2. “Exhorting one another,” Heb. 10:25. We do not live to ourselves if we are faithful Christians, but we lift up one another to holiness.
C. “Not Forsaking The Assembling Together,” Heb. 10:25.
l. Literally this verse is hinged to the preceding two. If we are going to hold fast the profession of our faith and provoke others to love and good works, we must not “forsake” the assembling.
2. There may be times we have to “miss” an assembling of saints, but when we “forsake” we have an attitude problem. If we choose not to do what could be done with planning and effort, then the Lord is displeased, Luke 14:33.
D. To Continue Steadfastly In The Apostles’ Doctrine, Acts 2:42.
1. Do not treat the teaching and preaching as entertainment, but instead open your Bible and take notes. View it as edification so that you can be better equipped to teach someone else, Heb. 5:11-12; 1 Peter 3:18.
2. Indeed you will “get something out of the service” if you will put yourself into it! Otherwise you will be bored. What kind of worshipper would one be who had the attitude of Psalm 119:33-40?
E. Because We Seek First The Kingdom Of God And His Righteousness, Matt. 6:33.
1. The next time you are tempted to forsake the assembling, ask yourself how you would feel if Jesus were to come again? If the brethren were meeting together to worship God, and you were at home in bed, or watching T.V., or playing golf, or fishing, or visiting friends, how would you explain to Him that you loved Him with “all your heart, soul, and mind”? Matt. 22:37.
2. The judgment day will be a surprise to many who have allowed their priorities to be the things of this life, Luke 14:16-24.