- Kevin Hall
The importance of attendance
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.
Attendance can be one of those touchy subjects. People sometimes bristle at the thought of being held accountable for whether or not they assemble regularly with the brethren. Let’s take a look at the passage quoted above and see what the bible says about the subject.
‘let us consider one another’ – If you are forsaking the assembling of ourselves, are you considering your brethren? Are you putting their needs ahead of your own (Rom. 12: 3, 10)? Are you loving your neighbor as yourself?
‘in order to stir up love and good works’, ‘exhorting one another’ – If you are absent from the assembly, how can you stir up and exhort your brethren? How can you urge them towards good works in the spirit of love (Eph. 4:15)?
‘as is the manner of some’ – Clearly, some of these Jewish-Christians had developed the habit of skipping the times when the brethren were gathering. We know from scripture that we are to come together as a church on the first day of every week to engage in certain activities, among them is the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:18-26). Many churches of Christ also choose to come together at other times throughout the week to study, sing, pray, etc., in any effort to further exhort one another and spread the gospel. Some would argue that they are not bound to assemble during these other times, since the church has chosen those times on its own accord. Stipulating that point for argument’s sake, are we to be satisfied with doing the bare minimum? Are not our brother and sister’s souls worth our best efforts? Especially given the last part of the scripture:
‘and so much more as you see the day approaching’ – There is urgency in serving each other. There is a day approaching when we will no longer be able to stir up love and good works or exhort. That ‘day’ is the day of judgment, or the day of death for those involved. After that day, we will no longer have the opportunity to encourage each other. All that will be left is to stand in the presence of our Lord and give an account for the things we have done (Ecc. 12:14). Will the Lord be pleased with those who did the bare minimum?