By Jim Willis
Hebrews 10:24--27 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another --and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, :27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
With the above scripture in mind, I ask how often do you worship God? When? Where? I recently spoke at the congregation where I attend on Sundays and I asked this question: "What time does your worship begin?" Needless to say I got some puzzled looks. Services begin at 10:00 a.m. but I told them that my Worship begins at 4:30 a.m. as I listen to the Tabernacle Choir then I have some religious programs I watch until around 8 o'clock when I switch to YouTube and continue listening to religious music until time to leave for church and worship. Although, I enjoy all of those activities, they do not take away from the church assembly on Sunday.
What do you think of when you hear the word WORSHIP?....Do you think of what we have come to recognize of as the "FIVE ACTS OF WORSHIP": Prayer, singing, preaching/teaching, Holy Communion, giving of our money?....Is there one of these ACTS that is more "WORSHIP" than the others? Or is one more meaningful to you than others or put another way do you get more out of that part of the worship than the others?
Let me say this: I do not like the term ACTS OF WORSHIP...I associate that with acting or pretending. I like the term "Expressions of Our Worship or Faith." I found these 3 aspects of WORSHIP
Religious adoration: The adoration, devotion, and respect given to a deity
Religious Rites: The rites or services through which people show their adoration, devotion, and respect for a deity
Great Devotion: great or excessive love, admiration, and respect felt for somebody or something (GOD emphasis mine)
Since the Covid shutdown, many churches have lost a lot of attendees. When the restrictions were removed, some people just continued to stay home on Sunday or use it at a day off to do whatever they wish...fishing, hunting, doing yard work, catching up on sleep, watching or participating in sporting events, or doing other recreational activities, and even "Worshiping in front of the T.V." Some will say, "Well, I started watching religious programs on T.V. and just never got back into the going-to-church routine. Beside I can worship God just by enjoying nature in a boat fishing or watching church on TV." My first reaction is "Yes you can...but do you?
There is just something about being in a worship assembly with people of like precious faith that draws one closer to God. Church attendance is not a choice according to Hebrews 10:25. The writer is in essence saying, "Don't miss church...God won't be happy with you if you do (verse 26) In fact it might be rather dangerous (verse 27"). Hebrews 10:25, doesn't say, "Assemble in front of your TV to worship." There are too many passages in the Bible that talks about churches meeting together in worship assemblies. There are times we are ill or other "Providential Hindrances" that may make it impossible to assemble with the church, but to purposely miss is dangerous in my book.
My Mother was a very devout Christian. The church where she attended hired a preacher she didn't really care for. But that didn't keep here from going to church when the doors were opened. I knew she didn't care for this preacher and I asked her why she kept going. She replied, "I love the people who go there and the Bible class teachers, I can endure Brother So-in-So one hour on Sunday."
There is more to going to church on Sunday that than the sermon, like singing, praying, Holy Communion, and giving to the work of the church...all are commands. It's all about WORSHIP! God has always commanded mankind to worship him. In the Old Testament there required assemblies where there were group worship...and the requirement is still there.