And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24, 25 ESV)
Donald Whitney, in his book, Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church, has a chapter called “Why Go to Church?” in it he discusses many things, one of which stems from this verse in Hebrews. He writes,
The great concern of the writer of Hebrews 10:25 was that a spiritual erosion was taking place within those who had gotten into the habit of neglecting the meetings of the church. He knew that if they continued to shun the public worship of God with the people of God they would be in danger of spiritual ruin.
Neglect of church attendance is almost always one of the first outward signs of backsliding and one of the initial steps taken by those whose path ends in complete apostasy. Statistics show that if you don’t go to church for a month, the odds are almost two-to-one that you won’t go for more than a year. Without the encouragement to persevere that is provided by the public worship of God, the preaching of the Word of God, and the fellowship of the people of God, there is a much greater tendency to drift spiritually…
Of course, church attendance is no automatic guarantee against spiritual setbacks. No Christian progresses in faith with perfect consistency. But without going to church, backsliding–or worse–is almost a certainty. In fact, based upon Hebrews 10:25, “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” actually is backsliding. If you can miss church and not miss church, then something is absent from your heart and faith.
How regular is your church attendance? Have you ever sensed the truth to these words?
Thanks the Lord for his provision of the church and the communion of saints.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 1 Ch 5-6 He 10, Am 4, Ps 85