by Jeff Hamilton
Text: Hebrews 10:19-21
I. When we talk of worshiping God, one aspect of that worship is our gathering together
A. Psalm 122:1 - Is this your attitude, or do you feel dragged here?
B. Zechariah 8:21 - Are you inviting others to join you?
C. Isaiah 2:3 - Do you want others to learn?
D. To worship God requires assembling with fellow Christians
II. Hebrews 10:19-27
A. The writer of Hebrews discusses the conversion of a man
B. Jesus consecrated a new and living way through his sacrifice on the cross. As a result, we can boldly enter the holy place (the church). – vs 19-20
C. What is this new and living way?
1. Draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith (vs 22)
2. Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience - repentance (vs 22)
3. Having our bodies washed with pure water - baptism (vs 22)
4. Holding fast the confession of our hope that it not waver, obedience until death (vs 23)
5. Provoking one another unto love and good works - obedience (vs 24)
6. Not forsaking our own assembling together - gathering together is about of the Christian life (vs 25)
D. Failure to live this way, knowing its truth, puts it in the category of a willful sin.
1. You know what you ought to do, but chose to do otherwise (vs 26-27)
2. We are not talking about missing services because
a. You were sick
b. Someone had to stay with a sick child
c. Your job gives you no option but to miss some services
3. We are discussing those who as a matter of choice or preference are absent from the assembly
III. What does it mean to choose not attend?
A. It demonstrates one’s contempt for spiritual things
1. Romans 8:5-9 - When you decide not to attend, is it because of spiritual reasons or worldly reasons?
2. Galatians 6:7-8 - If missing the gathering of the saints is due to worldly reasons, what do you think will be the result?
B. It means choosing not to do something that you know is good for you - James 4:17
C. It means choosing not to give or receive encouragement
1. Hebrews 10:24-25 - It is difficult to encourage others to live better if we only see each other infrequently
2. I Corinthians 14:26 - Worship is not just for God, but it benefits the worshipers
D. It means choosing to violate a direct command - Hebrews 10:25
1. Recall the definition of sin - I John 3:4
2. Would it be wrong to miss a 1000 services? How about 100? How about 10?
a. When does something become wrong?
b. In the number of times it is done or in the action that is chosen?
c. Is murder wrong because of the number of times someone kills or is it the action?
d. Is stealing wrong because of the number of times someone steals or is it the action?
3. Some sins are done out of ignorance, through a weakness in our spirit, or unintentionally, but how many of you at times made plans knowing you would not be able to attend services?
a. A Christian does not live a sinless life, but he should not be planning to violate a command of God
E. It means choosing to be ignorant of God’s ways
1. Israel of old was destroyed because of a lack of knowledge - Hosea 4:6
2. They sought to establish their own righteousness - Romans 10:3
3. Our knowledge must grow - II Peter 1:5, II Peter 3:17-18
4. Many of you tell me as you leave that you learned something new that day. How much would you learn if you didn’t come?
5. We have our kids schooled because we understand that on their own, most children will find something more important to do than to learn.
6. When people decide not to attend, the things they learn rapidly diminishes because they find other things to do than to learn about God’s ways.
F. It means choosing to setting a bad example
1. How many of your neighbors, friends, family, or spouse will be lead to God as they observe your indifference to worship?
2. I remember meeting people on more than one occasion were a bit put out because they came to a service but the person who invited them to come wasn’t there.
3. Show yourself to be an example - I Timothy 4:12
4. Let your light shine - Matthew 5:13-16
G. It means choosing to discourage the faithful
1. Perhaps you think the faithful never get discouraged, but you’re wrong
2. Acts 28:15 - Paul took heart and was encouraged when he saw others willing to meet with him.
3. There have been times in other places where my family was the only ones to show up for a Bible study or a service. It doesn’t take too many in a row before you are wondering if it is worth the effort.
IV. What if everyone decided to attend services as often as you? Would the church grow and prosper or would it wither and die from a lack of interest?
A. If one member can choose to attend or not to attend, then two can. If two can then ten can. If ten can, then all can.
B. You see, your choice is to set the pace or drag the rest down.
C. Attendance is important.