Monday, February 5, 2007

What do you mean I can't go on Sunday?

Well, it's time for me to get on my church soapbox!! I am amazed at the Christians who consider church as an "if I have time" activity. I can't imagine doing anything else on Sunday morning other than gathering with my brothers and sisters in Christ to collectively worship God in spirit and truth. What else could be more important? Who else is worth my time, adoration, praise, and worship other than almighty God? It is clear in Scripture that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

I am amazed at the excuses people give for not coming to church on Sundays! Where is the commitment to worship? Where is the hungering and thirsting for God and His Word? Have we replaced our commitment to worship corporately for trivial things? For my whole life Sunday has always been revered as the day we worship with other believers. There is never a question about whether or not we are going to church. Even on vacations when I was growing up my mother would tell my father to find a church and we went. (no, sadly my father was not the spiritual leader so my mother made sure we were in church regularly.) That has carried over into my adulthood and parenting. It was a wonderful heritage my mother passed on. Sunday worship is not replaced by anything else.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a legalist and I don't go out of legalism. I also want to clarify that worship is to be a way of life and cannot be relegated to one place, time or segment of our lives. It must occur in our everyday lives. I am talking about our corporate worship that is done with our fellow believers on Sunday where we are exhorted, admonished and encouraged from God's Word from God's messenger. If our lives are lived out in worship the natural overflow of that is that we desire corporate worship. I understand that there are emergencies and sickness and travel and those all have their place in our lives but just how easy is it for us to bag church for something else? Do any of these find their way into your Sundays?
-If someone in your home is sick, is it necessary for everyone in the family to stay home and take care of that person? Why would dad or mom not get the rest ready and head to church for the teaching and preaching of God's Word?
-In our home if we have company that does not deter us from worship. We let our guests know that they are welcome, even encouraged, to join us for worship. If they choose not to come we do not change our plans. We do what we normally would do on Sunday, which is go to worship, and return at our usual time. If we remain home on Sunday, when we would normally worship, what does that say to our guests? It says that worship is not that important to us.
-Would you ditch church to play golf, watch a game on TV, stay in bed because you went to bed too late on Saturday?
-Do you find yourself staying home because you "just don't feel good"? I have to be really sick to stay home or have something contagious. (Hey, most people probably don't "feel good" most days because we are in bad shape physically!) I love worship! I love the opportunity to sing praises to my God, fellowship with the saints, hear the Word boldly proclaimed, and just be part of the wonderful way in which God's people minister to one another. Why would anyone want to miss out on that?

Warning: Satan will do everything in his power to divert, discourage, and just plain wreak havoc in your home to prevent you from going. Do not, I repeat, do not give him the victory! Persevere, press on, tie those shoes, change that dress, leave that mess and go get some encouragement from God's Word. That mess will still be there when you get back and you'll be in a whole lot better frame of mind to deal with the train wrecks when you return!

Worship is so critical in our home that we prepare for it all throughout the week by making sure our plans do not keep us up or out too late so that we are well rested and prepared in our hearts and minds to worship on Sunday. Why would a Christian choose not to come to church, or come late or leave early? Well, I have a few ideas of my own!
-They are not Christians at all. I hear you gasping! But let's face it, most churches have at least half, if not more, of their congregation consisting of lost people.
-Worship is not a priority.
-Sleeping in is more desirable.
-They have the mentality that their own personal quiet time is enough.
-They are disobedient to Scriptures clear command to assemble.
-Church is just an aside to their normal activities. If they have time or don't have anything better to do.
-Church is only a social statement.

We must examine our priorities and see where corporate worship fits in. Is worship important to us? Have we set aside Sunday as the day we corporately worship no matter what else may come up? Are we going out of legalism or because we truly desire to hear God's Word being taught? Nothing is ever on our calendar on Sunday mornings. That is worship, period!! I long for Sundays! I love Sundays!!

Where were you Sunday? In church worshiping in spirit and truth or sleeping in, taking a drive in the country, watching TV?
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
I highly recommend reading "The Ultimate Priority, John MacArthur on Worship". You will gain a clear, Biblical perspective on the whole purpose of worship and what true worship is.

Hope to see you in worship Sunday!

For Christ and His kingdom,