It’s no secret that church attendance has fallen on hard times.  Every denominational meeting I attend seems like a funeral, as leaders bemoan statistics.  Numbers are down across the board.  Many have given up, assuming that the demise of the church is inevitable.  Others are scrambling, looking for new methods to reach people.  I don’t have all the answers, but I do feel I have some insight.  I think many have lost sight of the reason why they should attend church.  They aren’t aware of the purpose for gathering with other believers.  So, it’s no wonder they are quick to skip worship for other priorities and slow to invite friends to church.  Let’s consider five Scriptural reasons we should attend church.

Jesus went to weekly worship.

While on earth, Jesus was often found at the place of worship.  Most children feel as if their parents drag them to church.  This wasn’t the case with Jesus.  As a youngster, He compelled Joseph and Mary to spend more time at the house of God (see Luke 2:41-48).  When He grew into adulthood, He regularly graced the Synagogue and Temple for prayer and the proclamation of God’s Word (see Luke 19:45-48 and Luke 4:16-30).  If our Lord thought it was important to show up at the place of worship, shouldn’t we?

The early church went to weekly worship. 

A mere cursory reading of the New Testament reveals that the first Christians were diligent to gather on the first day of the week (see 1 Corinthians 16:1-2).  Sunday was set aside for the Lord.  When the people assembled, they were focused on fellowshipping with each other, studying God’s Word, and prayer (see Acts 2:42).  It’s unthinkable for us to expect God to bless us as He blessed the early church, when we are often negligent to do the same, simple things they did.

God has told us to go to weekly worship.

Some things should be obeyed simply because God has declared them.  Worship is one of them.  The Lord has flatly told us to not neglect “worship meetings, as some habitually do” (Hebrews 10:25).  Our misplaced priorities and flippant disobedience are proof that we aren’t as devoted to Jesus as we profess.  Those who love Jesus obey His commands (see John 14:15).

It’s good for us.

I recently made a home visit to a family that has been visiting our church.  The woman told me, “I look forward to Sundays.  They seem to give me what I need.  They prepare me to face my week.”  Her comments were congruent with the wisdom of God.  By Divine design, the Lord has established the first day of the week as a time for spiritual edification and encouragement (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Jesus is alive!

Do you know why the church traditionally meets on Sundays?  I’m sure you do.  It’s the day upon which Jesus defeated death.  He got up from the grave on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1).  Since the first resurrection morning over 2,000 years ago, Christians have been gathering on Sunday mornings to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death.  We have a good reason to meet for worship!

Dr. Patrick Latham

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