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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Wally Fry @ https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com
Original post @ https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/gods-garden-turnip-for-church-the-finale/
Seen On a Church Sign
Turnip For Church-Turn Up For Church
I had said earlier that my intention here was to do a full out, in depth of the importance of the local assembly of believers in the life of individual believers. I have been away from this series for a couple of weeks, because frankly I have been stuck. Nothing has come into my heart or mind to write about this subject. That can only mean that I am suffering from the inability to write, or we are done. Since I normally don’t lack for words, I can only conclude the Holy Spirit is requesting that I not belabor the point any longer. So, we will conclude with some gatherings from other thoughts I have had on this subject, then move along to something else.
To say that the act of worshiping God in church on Sundays has become less popular over the years would be an understatement. On any given Sunday, on a good day, perhaps half of the people who claim membership in any given church will be present for Sunday morning worship. If you happen to be around Sunday night or Wednesday night, the number is even more drastically reduced.
Where is everybody? It seems that everyone has a million good reasons why they don’t attend church, so we cannot even begin to list them all here. For today’s article, we are going to cover some really good reasons why we should be in Church Sunday morning, and then we will cover and rebut some of our lousy excuses for not going.
Reasons to Come To Church Sunday
Because God said so. That’s pretty simple, right? Rather like your parents telling you “Because I said so!” when you questioned them. Only in this case, it is the Creator of the Universe saying so, which carries a lot of weight. In fact, ignoring what God clearly tells us to do is a very risky proposition to be honest. Hebrews 10:25 is the clearest, most up front message from God concerning how He feels about us meeting for worship. There, Paul was inspired to tell us about “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” In other words, don’t skip church, like some people do!
It’s what Jesus did. We talk often about becoming Christlike, which means we are to strive to be like Jesus. Well, Jesus attended church regularly. In Luke 4:16 we are taught that Jesus attended worship regularly in the Synagogue. The believers in the early church certainly followed Jesus’ example, as we see in Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers“
We need to go to church and bring our lost family and friends with us. Primarily here I am speaking to saved persons who have unsaved family members around who would go to church if they did. What I am about to say may sound harsh, but it is true. If we are saved, how can we stand idly by while our children, husbands or wives drift off into an eternity separated from God in Hell? If we understand what salvation did for us, and the consequences of not being saved, one would think we would literally drag those people to church with us. An observer might question our love for our unsaved family members when we allow this to happen. It might even be a sign that we might do a salvation check of our own if we so lack understanding of what salvation means that we don’t bring our unsaved family to hear the Gospel.
It helps us grow. Of course, we can read, study and meditate on God’s word outside of church, and we should. But there is nowhere we can get as much good Bible study poured on us in so short a time as we can at Sunday School and Church. There, we are given the gift of Preachers and Teachers who have spent substantial time preparing just to provide the rest of us maximum learning and growth in the minimum amount of time. What they give us in perhaps a half hour would take us hours to study ourselves.
We can fellowship with other believers. Really, fellow Christians are the people we should have the closest relationships with. God actually tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Not that we should turn our backs on non believing friends, but our primary relationships should be with fellow believers. And, obviously, the best place to be with other believers is in Church. Why would we make a conscious decision to NOT be with people who will love, encourage and support us?
Our Not So Good Reasons for Not Going to Church
Here are some common objections for not regularly worshiping in God’s House, and some reasons why they really aren’t very good objections:
“I can worship God just fine in my fishing boat.” (or golf course, ball game or even my Sunday drive. No, actually, you can’t. To be cliche, we can’t truly worship God in a fishing boat anymore than we can fish in a Church house. Church is primarily for worship of our God. And worship is not worship if it is shared with anything else. Trying to worship in a fishing boat would only be a lot of fishing with some vague thoughts about God tossed in. The Bible teaches us that God is a jealous God; He wants all of us, not just a leftover. How are we to love God? Matthew 22:37 tells us to”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind“
“The church if full of hypocrites.” Yes it is and there is room for one more. That’s between them and God, not you and them. That’s like saying, “I’m not going to the gym because there are too many out of shape people there,” or “I won’t go to a doctor, there are too many sick people there!”
“Those people are worse than me anyway!” See the last point. That is between them and God, not them and you. We are judged by God’s standard only for ourselves. We are not judged in comparison to any other person.
“They just want my money!”. Who doesn’t?. Not to be flip, but anything we involve ourselves in is trying to get in our wallets; why don’t we stop doing all of those things? God doesn’t need our money; actually it’s all His anyway. If we have it, it is only because He gave it to us. We are merely His stewards of what He gives us. God’s work, however, does take financial support. So, yes, occasionally we may be reminded about what the Bible says about giving to support the work of the Lord. Sadly, some greedy TV preachers have made all churches appear corrupt. Your giving, however, is between you and God; it is not between you and where you go to church. If that’s not true, find a church where it is true.
“Sunday is my day off and I like to sleep in and just rest.” You know, Jesus got up early one Sunday morning about 2000 years ago. Only, He didn’t wake up from bed, HE WOKE UP FROM BEING DEAD! Had that not happened, where would we all either be or headed? Without the Resurrection, our salvation would be incomplete and eternity in Hell would be our only option. I can promise you from personal experience, if you give God His day even on your day off, He will give you all the rest you need.
We could go on and on for pages with many more good reasons we should attend church regularly; we could do the same with the myriad reasons we do not attend church regularly. These are just some of the bigger reasons for going and bigger not so good reasons.
My prayer is that anyone reading this who, for whatever reason, no longer sees the need for regular worship in God’s house will come to understand that God does want us to do that. Further, I pray that they and the Holy Spirit can work through the issues that hold them back from this wonderful gift God has given us.