Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church (Pastor Joey Rountree)
(Reasons to Go ~ continuing with points 5 – 12 from last lesson)
5. To worship and fellowship with God’s people is important enough to make it a matter of priority. Jesus found it important enough to include it in His busy schedule.
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day…” Luke 4:16
6. To support God’s work in the world.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12:30
There is no room in this verse for a neutral life. Everyone is either a gatherer or a scatterer. When I’m not gathering, I’m scattering. Where God’s people are, Jesus is present. Jesus commissioned His Church to go and gather. It is the work of the Church. Church attendance and participation supports the gathering.
To neglect the church is a negative influence on someone’s life. “It will not affect only me.” To a degree we are accountable for those who are affected. To neglect the church makes us scatterers.
7. To hear, in person, the preaching of God.
Paul told Timothy, “Preach the Word!…” 2 Timothy 4:2
It stands to reason, if God intends for His Word to be preached, He intends for it to be heard. Church is a great place for it to be heard.
“disclaimer ~ some cannot go (health, etc…). This is where the Church has opportunity to extend its ministries outside the walls. But, for the able…
Negative impact of substituting television for attendance: The ability to turn off the TV when I don’t like what I hear. Miss the dynamic of live participation and being among the people. Fosters individualism; a my way or the highway attitude.
8. Partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:26) Ordained by Jesus and given to the Church.
9. To experience Spiritual Blessings.
“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14:26, 31
Whatever these difficult verses mean, they could not happen in private. Some things can only be gained through corporate worship. Some special blessings are reserved for public worship.
10. To preserve a balanced life. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
God builds His Church. God fits it all together. Without the stability of the Church in the believer’s life, there is an unrealized unbalance (tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine). Outside of the Church, the believer is susceptible to false doctrine. The established leadership of the Church provides protection for the believer.
Without the Church, our human nature has a tendency to pick and choose what suits us, then find others who agree.
11. Testifies to our conversion. Coming to church doesn’t save, it testifies that we have been saved. 1 John 3:14
Can we really say, “I love the brethren; I just don’t want to be around them?”
12. Not going to church is an indication that a person has not been saved. 1 John 2:19
Does this mean everyone who is not faithfully attending is not saved? No, but it may be better to assume them lost and share the Gospel than to consider them saved and neglect them.
If private worship alone was sufficient, God would not have commanded public worship. He would not have established the Church. Despite its flaws, Jesus loves His Church; He died for her.