“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
It is a blessing to worship together with other believers. Singing songs to the Lord, hearing his precious Word expounded, lifting our voices in prayer with other Christians, loving and being loved — these are the means the Lord uses to strengthen our hearts.
In Paul’s day there were people who shunned public worship for one reason or another. Likewise, their modern counterparts have little desire to be in God’s house with his people. This is a bad thing, no matter what the rationalization. When a believer begins to attend church less frequently or only sporadically, it could be a sign of spiritual trouble. There are a lot of rationalizations; “I work so hard that I’m just too tired.” “We need more family time.” “I can worship God in my kitchen.” Or the ever-popular, “The church is filled with hypocrites.”
Do not let disappointment or church politics keep you from experiencing spiritual renewal. Folks who have little appetite to be with other believers have, in fact, little appetite for Christ. To be a healthy part of the church body always implies two things: a desire to stay connected and the humility to admit our need for other believers. If the apostle Paul asked for prayer and longed for fellowship with believers, we should, too. We all need the encouragement of brothers and sisters in Christ to help us along our way.
Attending church regularly is not a matter of legalism but spiritual logic, especially as we see “the Day” approaching. Soon Jesus will come again and all the cares of life that bog us down will disappear in a millisecond. What matters most is our faith in Christ, our growth in grace, the fruit we produce for his glory, and the fulfillment of his will for our lives. Much of our spiritual development happens as we interact with other members of the body of Christ on a regular basis, so be diligent in gathering together with fellow believers.
Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.