Of course, I am not suggestion the age of miracles continues today (1 Cor. 13:8ff). However, it does seem almost miraculous how some brethren so sick on Sunday make their Monday appointments and keep their Monday work schedules. Certainly, there are “twenty-four hour bugs” that catch people at the most inopportune time. Those genuinely sick are certainly excused from the Lord’s services. More often than not, it is the case that some brethren get up Monday morning and start their weekly work schedules and never “miss a beat.”
Is this a case of members becoming lax in their service to God? I cannot answer that question. Only each individual can do so. May we consider the following principles as admonitions to faithful service.
The Seeking God First Principle:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33).
Christianity is not a “have to,” but a “want to” religion. We understand by Scripture that God does not force us to do anything, but we are drawn to the Father by Jesus Christ (Jn. 6:44). This principle references the whole of our Christianity, not just Sundays and Wednesday nights. Why would we not want to come together for the purpose of worshipping the God of Heaven who has sent His only Son to die for us (Heb. 2:9)?
The first converts “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The idea was that they continued steadfastly. It is easily seen that they were seeking the kingdom of God first and His righteousness.
The Not Forsaking The Assembly Principle:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
Forsaking is defined as “leaving, abandoning, or deserting one.” There is the real possibility as there was in the 1st century to leave, abandon, or desert the Lord. This is in direct relation to our faith. From the next chapter, we know that it is “impossible to please Him” without faith (Heb. 11:6). We must ever “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). In other words, our faith is increased as we study God’s Word (Rom. 10:17).
In Hebrews 10:23, the inspired writer admonishes the readers to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering,” and verse 24 tells us we are to “provoke one another unto love and good works” as compared to “not forsaking ourselves together…” (v. 25).
The Glorifying God In My Body Principle:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
As a child of God, I realize by this verse that I am no longer my own. I was purchased; I was bought with a price. Therefore, I must now live to be pleasing unto my Lord. I must live in such a way that will bring glory unto God. Paul begged the Roman Christians to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). My life’s intended purpose should ever be to “prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
C.S. Lewis wrote: “[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice.” If we truly trust in God, we will want to be present and accounted and ready to serve at every opportunity. No more of those “laxed” Sundays spent without our Lord and His church. No more of those “wishy-washy” Sundays spent trying to figure out if I’m going to go to worship or not. No more of those “I can’t get out of bed” Sundays because whatever reason is convenient. But, rather, let us “go on unto perfection” (Heb. 6:1). Let us move forward in our faith and trust in God to protect, love and see to our every need. Even more, we will realize this as we come together to worship, prepared by our Bible classes (Sunday & Wednesday).
God certainly understands if we are too sick or infirmed to worship, but if it is something else, let us “repent and turn unto God” (Acts 26:20).