Question:

I have been struggling with this question, and I'm constantly being made to feel guilty for not making Wednesday evening services. I used to go to every service that I could until I got my current job where I work at least ten-hour days and I am on call once or twice a month. I absolutely love the job because my boss is a Christian and I love the work. I often prayed to get out of my last job and I finally did only by God's grace.

Now I can't make services as often because I'm so drained of energy from work. I know that if I don't get to bed at a decent time, I might not make it to work the next day. I get up at 4 AM. To be at a service till 8:30 at night really makes it tough.

Now I tithe 10% every week from my paycheck. On top of that, I probably give another 5 to 8% per week. I feel as though my pastor is getting in the way of my spiritual journey by making me feel guilty because I haven't been attending midweek services. This is something I had done for a year straight before I started my new job. I did it because I wanted to. I never thought that this would become an issue.

So according to you I'm not going to make it to heaven because I don't attend Wednesday evening service any longer? What about in my time of retirement when I'm at the church whenever the doors are open? Anytime I have free time like that and able to, I am at the church. Now that my life has taken a different course I'm being judged for not being able to do something I always enjoy doing before. The thing is that at my last job I was so miserable because it took me away from Sunday service as well as Wednesday. I have health issues and I am a single man in his forties who just doesn't have it like I used to. I have prayed for the strength wisdom and knowledge to be able to do what's right and what pleases the Lord. Whatever happened to whosoever shall believe in me shall have eternal life and never perish? I believe in Jesus with all my heart. I know I'm a wretched sinner going to hell without him. I know that I fall so far from his glory. I know that I sin when I don't even realize that I'm doing it but when I finally do catch myself, I ask for forgiveness and it's important to me. I just don't understand how not being able to attend midweek services is going to buy me a spot in hell, especially when it's normal for me when I am able to attend.

Answer:

I assume you are referring to Is it a sin not to attend Wednesday night Bible study? This question was asked whether we should attend Bible classes that are not on Sunday if it was at all possible. The answer given dealt with those who were able to attend but chose not to do so.

We all have to make a living. "For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either" (II Thessalonians 3:10). Some people's job doesn't allow them to attend services as often as they would like. We are near an Air Force base and often the servicemen are not given a choice as to when they must work. This is different from a person who could attend but finds other things more important than being with his fellow Christians. What I pointed out is that people in the latter group are demonstrating their lack of commitment by their lack of attendance.

Jesus illustrated the problem when he stated:

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).

Attendance is not the only command (Hebrews 10:25), but anytime someone decides that something God commanded is not that important will develop instability in his faith over time.

When someone is hindered from attending Bible classes, I offer to hold classes at a time that is convenient for him. This isn't as good as being with all the brethren at scheduled services, but at least he is still learning and growing his faith. Sadly, many turn the offer down.

In regards to your own situation, whether you can handle fewer hours of sleep one day a week or not is something you'll have to decide. But do keep in mind that we answer to God for the choices we make, not men.

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