Weekly Church Attendance is Essential!
A. Christians met every Sunday:
1. The Bible warns against forsaking the assembly: Heb 10:25
a. Acts 20:7 tells us they came together for the purpose of breaking bread
b. The book of 1 Corinthians gives us strong evidence Christians met weekly:
- Christians assembled regularly: 1 Cor 11:17-18,20,33; 14:23,26
- 1 Cor 16:1,2 giving "EVERY first day" infers habitual weekly assembly
2. Let us show proper commitment and respect for our assemblies
B. Look at what the Bible says about attending the assembly of God:
"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" Psalm 122:1
"For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God" Psalm 42:4
"We who had sweet fellowship together, walked in the house of God in the throng." Psalm 55:14
"I will give Thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise Thee among a mighty throng." Psalm 35:18
"I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest. I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation; I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation." Psalm 40:9-10
"Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones." Psalm 149:1
"And you say, "How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! "And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to my instructors! "I was almost in utter ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation." Proverbs 5:12-14
"I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise Thee." Psalm 22:22
"Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly." Psalm 111:1
C. Now lets notice what uninspired Christians wrote in between 90 - 400 AD about the need to attend church every Sunday:
1. The Didascalia (The Teaching of the Apostles) was written in 225AD and it is interesting to note that this document in article #2 & #3, it first talks about the Sunday worship with communion, then the midweek worship without communion:
- 225 AD The Didascalia (The Teaching of the Apostles) 2 "The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week [Sunday] let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation [Lord's Supper], because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Didascalia 2).
- 225 AD The Didascalia (The Teaching of the Apostles) 3. The apostles further appointed: On the fourth day of the week [Wednesday] let there be service: because on that day our Lord made the disclosure to them about His trial, and His suffering, and His crucifixion, and His death, and His resurrection; and the disciples were on account of this in sorrow. (Didascalia 3).
2. The Apostolic Constitutions were a collection of writings in about 400AD:
- 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: For if the Gentiles every day, when they arise from sleep, run to their idols to worship them, and before all their work and all their labors do first of all pray to them, and in their feasts and in their solemnities do not keep away, but attend upon them; and not only those upon the place, but those living far distant do the same; and in their public shows all come together, as into a synagogue: in the same manner those which are vainly called Jews, when they have worked six days, on the seventh day rest, and come together in their synagogue, never leaving or neglecting either rest from labor or assembling together... If, therefore, those who are not saved frequently assemble together for such purposes as do not profit them, what apology wilt thou make to the Lord God who forsakes his Church, not imitating so much as the heathen, but by such, thy absence grows slothful, or turns apostate. or acts wickedness? To whom the Lord says to Jeremiah, "Ye have not kept My ordinances; nay, you have not walked according to the ordinance of the heathen and you have in a manner exceeded them... How, therefore, will any one make his apology who has despised or absented himself from the church of God? (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 2)
- 350 AD APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord's house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day. And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food? (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, book 2)
Yes, church attendance is necessary if a person is to grow in the "Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". There are many very valid reasons as to why we should attend the worship services of the church. We might begin by asking ourselves some questions:
First: Has God left man to his choice about the matter? The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching". After the Lord's church was established on Pentecost, it's members met weekly and often daily. Acts 20:7 says, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.
Second: Is it God's will that we attend church services regularly? Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them". Remember, Jesus has never forsaken an assembly and every Christian should want to meet with Him.
Thirdly: Is Jesus just as pleased when we do not attend?
Listen to his words recorded in Matthew 6:33, "Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness". Here He is saying, that the church must be first to the Christian, even before seeking food, clothing, and shelter. The zeal of the early Christians was seen in the regularity of their meetings - weekly and often daily. Whenever and wherever Christians assemble today, faithful members endeavor to be present. It is most appropriate that this day has become the one memorial day of the gospel both by precept and by example., the day of gladness and rejoicing. It is the Lord's Day and we should use it in a manner befitting its significance.
Dangerous risks are taken in forsaking any assembly of the church: Christ may return in that hour, death may come, a life of neglect may begin, and others may be lost by a bad example.
One is made stronger spiritually be faithful attendance and is fortified against falling away. In I Corinthians 10:11-12, the Apostle Paul stated: "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall". In Hebrews 6:1, the writer says: "Let us go on unto perfection". Consider this: Take a leafy branch off a tree, lay it carefully aside and watch. Slowly the color fades, the leaves grow limp, curl up, and it is dead. Take a fish out of the water, lay it carefully on the sand and watch. Frantically, at first, it twists and struggles, then weakens, moving its gills slower, finally quivers and dies. Take a Christian who allows himself to be separated from God in worship, fellowship, prayer, and active service and watch. Gradually, his conscience quivers and he misses the assembly. He then begins to fret at himself for missing, as questionable activities begin to take up his time. Soon, he begins to complain that the church is not being run right and finds many other excuses in an effort to justify his own neglect - generally he takes a stand against Christian living and he is dead.
We are to render "unto God the things which be God's" Luke 20:25; the first day of the week is the "Lord's Day", Revelation Chapter 1, verse 10. God has a right to say how His day shall be used. We abuse the Lord's Day when we do nothing; when we merely rest or seek entertainment.
Such is not in keeping with the proper observance of the Lord's Day. We should use it to assemble together and to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, John 4:24.
The early church gave the formula for church attendance in Acts 2:42. It reads simply: "They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread and prayer."
Back to START