Love Motivates Faithful Assembly
Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” (John 14:23-24) Our attitude toward faithfully assembling with the saints is proof of whether or not we love God. Every Christian must come to understand the responsibility of faithfully assembling with the saints as it relates to our love for the Father. Attending all the services of the church is of grave importance to the Christian who wants to honor God. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly.
A lack of Love for God keeps many from faithfully assembling with the saints. The love of some is so weak that they want to give as little service to God as they can get by with. They are in love with the world but still feel that they love God. This divided allegiance has caused them to feel that attending worship service is optional instead of mandatory. Those who truly love God and desire heaven as an eternal home share a great concern relative to regular attendance at all services of the church. It would be difficult to imagine Christians having any other attitude than that expressed by David in the long ago concerning his worship. "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'" (Psalms 122:1) Jesus is our example. (1 Peter 2:21) Love for God lead Him to the synagogue on the Sabbath Day. (Luke 4:16) Faithfully assembling with the saints is our loving response to the love of God.
Assemble with the saints because of your love for God. Does one prove love for God by sleeping through Bible study time on Sunday? Or visiting on Sunday and not being in Bible study or worship? Or when on vacation forsaking Bible study or worship time? Those who willfully forsake the assembling are saying to God, "God I really do not love you." "I do not care about you." "You are not first in my life."
Assemble with the saints because God desires and commands your loving attendance. God, Christ and the Holy Spirit desire and command our faithful attendance at the assembly of the saints. "Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witneses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:24-31) Those who willfully and deliberately forsake the assembling are insulting God! They do not love Him as they should.
Assemble with the saints because of your loving desire to put the kingdom first. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) Those who claim to be putting God first in life but are willfully absent from the assemblies are only deceiving themselves. Forsaking the assembly shows no love for God. Where will a person who loves God and who is seeking the kingdom first be when the saints are assembled?
Assemble with the saints because all faithful brethren desire your loving presence. Willfully failing to assemble with the saints is a discouragement to elders, preachers, teachers and all faithful brethren. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." (Hebrews 10:24) Elders must watch for our souls and give account to God. (Hebrews 13:17) Their work is made more difficult by those who do not have enough love for God to keep them from forsaking the assembly.
Assemble with the saints because of your desire to have a good influence on others. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." (Matthew 5:13) Parents speak volumes to their children when they deliberately forsake the assembly. Husbands or wives speak volumes to their mates when they deliberately forsake the assembly. Those who faithfully attend all the assemblies of the saints are using their influence for God. Those who do not have enough love for God to attend the assemblies are an influence for Satan.
Assemble with the saints because of your desire to build up the church instead of weaken it. The faithful Christians love what Christ loves. He loves the church and wants it to be strong. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." (Ephesians 5:25) Many members do not love the Christ and His church enough to be faithful. They will not even faithfully attend the services of the church. Their indifference and neglect of the services of the church weaken the church. This lack of love must be a great disappoint to our Lord.
Assemble with the saints because of your loving desire to become a stronger Christian. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18) Can you imagine a person who truly wants to loves the Lord and wants to grow spiritually not attending all the services of the church? Those who willfully forsake the assembly are without hope in eternity. (Hebrews 10:24-31) They do not love the Lord!
Assemble with the saints because of your desire to go to heaven. Those who do not pray, do not work and do not attend are committing spiritual suicide. The crown of life awaits those who surrender their all to the Master. "...Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10) A dedication that will not get you to all the services of the church is certainly not a dedication that will get you to heaven. Forsaking the assembly shows a lack of Love for the Lord.
Strive to develop a loving faithfulness that will get you to all the services of the church. Those who do this will be taking one major step toward Heaven! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Life on earth is always better when learn to love Jesus as Lord and Master.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037