Faithfully Worshipping God
Worship is a privilege only children of God have. There are many blessings we receive from faithful attendance in worship. God has commanded us to assemble regularly to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Hebrews 10:25-27 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation." The command is not to forsake the assembly as some were doing then, and as some are doing today.
When we forsake the assembly of the church, except for sickness or circumstances beyond our control, we are not only disobeying God, but we are robbing ourselves of all the benefits of worship which would have helped us to grow and become spiritually strong. We are warned that we can lose our inheritance in Heaven. "Let no one cheat you of your reward" (Colossians 2:18). One of the ways to lose our inheritance in Heaven is to disassociate ourselves from the house of God, which is the church, by forsaking the assembly. To forsake the worship assembly is to sin willfully.
By forsaking the assembly, we endanger our souls because as the above verse says, "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins." Even though one may be a good person, if one continues in the sin by forsaking the assembly or any other sin, he will face "a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation." Christ is our only sacrifice for sin.
Why is it sinful to forsake the assembly of the church for which the Lord shed His blood and died? The Bible says that by forsaking the assembly one "has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29). By forsaking the assembly one is saying that he no longer cares to be a part of the church for which Christ shed His blood and died. What will happen to one who continues to forsake the assembly? God says "vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord…it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31). By forsaking the assembly one throws away his inheritance in Heaven and will inherit the eternal torment of Hell.
When people fall away from the Lord, it is usually not a sudden thing. They usually start by forsaking the assembly of Wednesday night Bible study. Then they start missing Sunday evening worship. Next they stop coming to Sunday morning Bible study; and then finally they stop coming to Sunday morning worship. This is the usual path of apostasy for most people who fall away. Some may come back and "visit" several times a year and a few may even attend only the Sunday morning worship with little regularity. These are described in 2 Peter 2:22 as, "A dog turns to his own vomit again, and a sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." Some members have turned to their own vomit and are in the pig-pen and they can no longer smell the stench. It is sickening to the Lord to see one, for whom He died, reject His salvation and go back into sin. Christ is only the saviour of the body, the church (Ephesians 5:23). We must be faithful to Christ in His church. Let’s not lose our souls by unfaithfulness.
In Luke chapter 17, Jesus healed ten men who were lepers. Then in verses 14-18 Jesus said, "’Go show yourselves to the priests’…And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?’" Jesus could ask the same question today. "Where are the others?" For Sunday morning Bible study there are a number who choose not to attend. Are they sleeping late or didn't see a need to come? And what about Sunday evening worship when there is about half in attendance than there were that morning? Did they have something else "better" to do? On Sunday evening Jesus is probably asking, "Where are the others?"
On Wednesday evening those who return are also small in number. "Where are the others?" Are they home watching television or resting after their day’s work? What about gospel meetings? The same question could be asked: "Where are the others?" Were we not all cleansed of our sins by Jesus’ blood, just as He cleansed all ten lepers of their leprosy? Is there not something wrong with one’s heart, who does not have time for Jesus. Shouldn’t we be grateful to Jesus for what He did for us? Jesus says if we love others more than Him we are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). If we are not worthy of Him, we will be eternally lost. To be pleasing to Jesus so we can go to Heaven when this short life is over, we must "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). Nothing is as important as pleasing God so we can go to Heaven.
We see that the Christians in the first century "continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them" (Acts 20:7). The Christians were steadfast and faithful in their worship of God together.
When we were baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins in order to be saved "we were baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13), the church. It was then that "the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Act 2:47). We then became a member of "the house of God which is the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15). In being part of the house of God, the church, we are God’s "children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17). We then received "an inheritance…reserved in Heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:4).
Going to Heaven should be our number one priority in this life. After we are baptized, how do we continue to get forgiveness of sins we commit so we can go to Heaven? "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). To continue to be cleansed from all our sins as Christians, we must walk in the light of God's word and have fellowship with one another. By forsaking the assembly we are not walking in the light and having fellowship with one another and will not continue to be cleansed of our sins. If we are not being cleansed of our sins, we will die in our sins and be lost, because, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). We must serve the Lord faithfully, which includes our faithful attendance if we really want to go to Heaven.
Questions Lesson #19
1) (Hebrews 10:25-27) By forsaking the assembly of the church
We sin willfully.
It is alright to forsake the assembling of the church.
It is not a sin to forsake the assembling of the church.
2) (Hebrews 10:25-27) There is no forgiveness of sins of which one will not repent.
3) (Hebrews 10:25-27) What will be the end results of one who continues to willfully sin?
Nothing will happen.
A certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation.
We can be forgiven at the Judgment.
4) (Hebrews 10:29) A Christian who continues to sin willfully tramples underfoot the Son of God.
5) (Hebrews 10:30-31) What will happen to the Christian who continues to sin willfully?
He will be punished a little.
The vengeance of God will be taken on him.
Nothing will happen.
6) (Hebrews 10:31) It is not a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
7) (2 Peter 2:22) One who falls away and becomes unfaithful
Doesn't need to worry that he is unfaithful.
Is still pleasing to the Lord.
Is likened to a dog who goes back and eats his own vomit.
8) (Matthew 6:33) In order to go to Heaven we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
9) (Romans 8:17) If we remain faithful
We will be joint heirs with Christ.
We will not inherit anything.
We will not inherit much.
10) (1 Peter 1:4) Heaven is an inheritance reserved for the faithful Christian.
11) (1 John 1:7) What must the Christian do to continue to receive forgiveness of sins?
Try to not be too unfaithful.
Walk in the light of God's word and have fellowship with other Christians.
12) (Romans 6:23) The wages of unforgiven sin is spiritual death.
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