Presentation on theme: "Assembling Introduction How do you view the assemblies of the church? We announce the times of the assemblies: Sunday 10:00 am for Bible study Sunday."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction How do you view the assemblies of the church? We announce the times of the assemblies: Sunday 10:00 am for Bible study Sunday 10:50 am for worship service Sunday 6:00 pm for worship service Wednesday 6:00 pm for Bible study 4 assemblies each week And a few less frequent assemblies Once per quarter, the church assembles at the Oaks for a brief worship service Once or twice a year, the church has a gospel meeting October 5-10 will be our next one The church will assemble Sunday through Friday, every day
Back to the question How do you view the assemblies of the church? Something you eagerly await? Something you grudgingly attend? Something to be avoided as much as possible? Something with a minimal requirement, and the rest as 'optional'? Something to be sat through while your thoughts are elsewhere? Something you 'observe'? Something you are actively and passionately engaged in?
Let me ask it differently How does God view the assemblies of the church? Eccl 5:1 God warned Israel to “walk prudently” It means to carefully observe their steps They were to draw near to hear Assemblies have always been about learning God's will, not just a ritual to be attended Otherwise, they will “offer the sacrifice of fools” Performing the acts of worship without proper thought and attitude is being a fool It doesn't please God (as we will see), and it makes you feel righteous, when you are in sin (as we will see)
Proper attitude Begins early Do you plan your Saturday evening activities with Sunday's assemblies in mind? Or do you stagger in Sunday morning, late and bleary-eyed, because you just woke up? Ps 63:1 Do we start our day seeking God and eager to be filled with His word? Jn 4:24 We often concentrate on worship in truth But God also requires worship in “spirit” That is your spirit, attitude, thoughts, emotions
Improper attitudes Worship without honor and reverence Mal 1:6-8 Israel claimed not to understand how they had despised (dishonored) God They offered defiled sacrifice, but asked 'In what way have we defiled You?' (v7) They thought, just because they gave less than the best, didn't mean they didn't honor God They offered what cost little or nothing An offering they wouldn’t give to their governor God viewed their offering as showing despite for Him Not as honor or reverence or even as acceptable [Question: Do we try to offer God second best or even less?]
Improper attitudes Worship as boring, tiring, wearying Mal 1:12-14 God deserves better worship than half-hearted worship, cheap offerings, or unfulfilled vows God deserves better than half-attention and drooping eye- lids God is the Great King (the king above any and all other kings) Question: Would you be sleepy if you were in the presence of your boss? The CEO of your company? A multi- billionaire? A Hollywood star? The governor? The president? Then why would you be sleepy while in the presence of God? (Mt 18:20)
Improper attitudes Worship while your mind is elsewhere Ezk 8:13-15 The women were at the place of worship, but their minds were on something else God calls it a great abomination
Improper attitudes Worship while unrepentant Mal 2:17 They either thought worshipping while in sin was acceptable to God or at least not objectionable If God objected, He would act, wouldn't He? God says He is the one who is tired Wearied by their hypcritical worship 1 Cor 5:1-2 Puffed up that a sinner was among them 1 Tim 2:8 God desires “holy” worship
Improper attitudes Not worshiping, but seeking your own pleasure Isa 58:13 - 59:2 They stopped dedicating the time God required They'd rather be 'enjoying themselves' God said He wasn't going to be listening or saving them while they were continuing in sin
God's view of improper worship Isa 1:11-15 Wishes it would stop If it doesn't stop, He wishes people would stop the pretense Tells them to stop assembling if they can't do it with proper attitude He hates worship that is not done properly (in practice or attitude) Mal 1:10 God asks for someone to close the doors
Our Assemblies Do we have the right attitude about assembling and during our assemblies? Where is your body when it is time to assemble? Where is your heart when it is time to assemble? Mt 6:21 God has commanded that we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:25) Some were making it a “habit” How does God view such habits? Heb 10:26-27 A willful sin Putting one's salvation in jeopardy
Conclusion Dee Bowman wrote: Preachers should never have to preach on attendance. It should be obvious that when a Christian does not care to attend all the services, his interest is elsewhere. It is foolish to assert that we have a passage which pronounces anathema on those who don't come on Sunday and Wednesday nights. We don't need one. All we need show is that interest and attendance are connected and that a person who is truly interested will attend. Now you can try to explain that away all you want and when you are finished it will still say the same thing: a person who is able, yet does not attend the services, is not interested in what is going on at the services. Bring your excuses, pronounce your justifications, and rationalize all you want. And when you are done, the parable of the sower will still affirm the same thing: prepared soil is the only kind which results in good fruit.