Several years ago, Paul Harvey reported on his noon news of a 73-year-old man who was pinned beneath his farm tractor for four days and nights in driving rain and a terrible storm. Concerned friends went to see about him just in time. He survived his ordeal, but did lose a leg below the knee.
Several newspapers picked up on this little story and centered upon the amazing fact that a 73-year-old man could live after being pinned beneath a tractor for four days. Yes, all of that is amazing, but a more amazing fact is what caused his friends to go to see about him. One friend gave as the reason for this visit that “He missed prayer meeting Wednesday night.” That’s all? He just missed one service and his friends went to check on him.
As one preacher remarked, “I believe there are two possible suppositions we can make about this incident.
“On the one hand we could suppose that this man was so faithful and regular in his church attendance that everyone knew if he was not there, something had to be seriously wrong.
A question. What if you had been the one pinned under the tractor? Would your absence have been noticed? Or, are you so irregular in attendance that everyone would assume you decided to sleep in, or go to the lake? How many services have you missed in the last three months? Could you honestly classify yourself as a faithful, regular worshiper?
“On the other hand, we could assume that the people in this man’s congregation had such a concern for the souls of men that when anyone, no matter how regular or irregular, missed a service they went to see about them.”
I don’t know which of the preacher’s assumptions might be the more plausible, but I would like to see more men and more congregations like what he was describing.
Christians need to read Hebrews 10.22-25. No Christian can draw near unto God, hold fast the confession of his hope, or consider his brethren to provoke them unto love and good works who forsakes the assembling of the brethren together.
I have observed some church members that pick and choose which services to attend according to their mood or by what TV program is showing. These folks are here-again-goneagain and hit-and-miss at the services.
Weak brethren seem to think, “Well, so what if I’m just at services just every now and then? If that’s the worst sin I ever commit, I’ll make it to heaven.” But are you sure of that? My Bible says that all sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59.1,2; Romans 6.23). We can lose our souls over just one sin not repented of (Acts 8.13-24).
How many times does a person have to miss to be wrong? The first time is a sin as much as the fourth time or the fortieth time if it is willful absence.
Jesus said, “I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3.15,16).
Are you cold? Just exactly how faithful are you? Would you be missed if you missed just one service?
~orig. author unknown, edited by jeremy paschall