Do You Have Just Enough Religion To Get By?
Brother Will Montgomery of East Liverpool, Ohio, held our spring gospel meeting here at Mount Vernon. We had a very good meeting, and I appreciate Will’s faithful and powerful preaching. One afternoon, we were sitting in my living room talking about his religious past. He was raised a Catholic. I questioned him about his experiences as a Catholic, and he was more than willing to answer my questions. One question I asked him was, “Were you a faithful Catholic?” His answer was funny, yet, so indicative of many religious people: “We went to church just enough to keep them off our backs!” We had a good laugh! Friends, think about his answer. Could that apply to some in the Lord’s church? I know the answer. It does. Sadly, it does.
Actually, going to our assemblies just enough to keep the brethren off one’s back does not answer whether God is satisfied because we could be, and sometimes are, neglectful in doing what Hebrews tells us to do. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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. Hebrews 10:24-25.
Notice from this passage that we are to consider, provoke unto love, and exhort each other regarding our assembling together. If you are faithful regarding your attendance, check on a brother or sister who is not attending as he or she should. Lovingly encourage that person. He or she may listen!
I know it seems as though a million things have been written concerning attendance, but please consider the following.
1. Can one seriously say he or she is putting the Church first with a “hit-and-miss” attendance record? Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
2. Can one seriously say he or she is faithful while “dropping in” a few times a month? Read Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter. It is filled with people who did many great and extraordinary things because they had faith. Hebrew 11:6 records, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” First, the Hebrews writer says faith is a necessity! He also says God will reward those who are diligent. This implies much effort. Faithful people are diligent in all aspects of obedience, including attendance.
3. Can one seriously say he or she is offering God the best while not attending on a regular basis? People who do not attend regularly will typically also not give as they should, get behind the local work in spirit, support gospel meetings, fellowship with the saints, nor will they show much interest in evangelism.
Solomon said, in Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
I hope this is of some help in the on-going battle to get brethren not just to attend church enough to keep people off their backs. –14310 Wooster Road, Mt. Vernon, OH 43050.
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