IS ATTENDING WORSHIP NECESSARY?

    It is early Sunday morning. You haven’t slept all that well and you are still very tired from a long, hard week at work. It is also raining and cold outside. To be quite honest, you just don’t really feel like going to worship this morning. Maybe you think to yourself, “I believe in God. I pray every day. I don’t do anything bad or sinful. Do I really have to be at worship services all the time? Can’t I just go every now and then?” …. Have you ever felt this way? It’s not that uncommon. So, is our attendance absolutely necessary? In order to arrive at the answer, there are few other questions one should ask themselves first.
    Is pleasing God important to me? Jesus taught His disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15). He also said that only those who fulfill the will of God will enter into heaven (Matthew 7:21). With that in mind, listen to what He told the woman at the well, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him [emphasis added],” (John 4:23). It is God’s desire – it is His will – that you and I worship Him. Therefore, if we truly want to please God, then we must worship Him and we must do it in the way that He has prescribed to us in His word.
    Am I thankful for what God has done for me? Understanding the “Scheme of Redemption” – the sacrifice that God and Jesus made on our behalf (John 3:16) – should be more than enough to motivate us to worship God. When the disciples came face to face with the reality of Jesus’ power and deity in calming a storm and saving their lives, they worshiped Him! (Matthew 14:30-33) Are you thankful for God’s gift of salvation? Then, show that to Him by singing praises and worshiping Him in His church (1 Peter 2:9).
    Do I want the best for my family and myself? Edification, knowledge, and brotherly love are only really possible to develop in a corporate setting. They can’t be increased alone. Just being around fellow Christians can also have a major, positive impact on one’s life. With so many negative influences in the world, we certainly need positive reinforcement. The church provides that! (John 13:35; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thess. 5:11) It is an “organism” (more so than an organization); a body, a family, that cries and rejoices together – you won’t typically find that kind of support in a worldly setting (1 Corinthians 12:23-26). Worship is yet another way we build up each other (Colossians 3:16).
    Is the salvation of my soul important to me?  According to 2 Timothy 2:10, salvation is “in” Christ Jesus – that is, one must be in His body. This implies that one cannot be saved outside of the church. Just being a member is not all that is required of a disciple. There is no such thing as “isolation salvation” presented in the Scriptures. So, active involvement in the church, Christ’s body, is necessary. This is exactly what is seen in the many examples of the first Christians (Acts 2:44, 11:26, 14:27, 20:7; Romans 16:5, 16:16; 1 Cor. 14:23). Worship is connected to salvation.
    If you answered “No” to these questions then, stay at home in bed. God wants those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. In the meantime, ponder this: if you don’t like assembling with the saints to worship God, if you don’t look forward to lifting up His name in praise with the church at every opportunity available because of the thankfulness in your heart, … then what do you think you will be doing in heaven? Revelation 4-5 gives us a glimpse into heaven. The only thing revealed in that scene is a view of worship! Everyone there was worshiping God. So, if we truly want to be prepared for heaven, then let’s worship our God and “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,” (Hebrews 10:25).