Some people are failing to attend Church
Services regularly, each Sabbath, with the
brethren. Jesus Christ, the Head of this
Church, gives us a stern warning not to
forsake the assembling of ourselves together
on the Sabbath. The question is - do you believe
The Sabbath was ordained to be a day of rest from
secular work. But it is more than a day of rest.
God calls it a Holy Convocation. The weekly
Sabbath is so designated in Leviticus 23:3,
“Six days shall work be done: but the
seventh day is the Sabbath or rest, an HOLY
These words in which you have just read are from
the Lord, and this Lord later became Jesus Christ,
who is the Head of this Church. Are you living
by those words from your Saviour?
Some may ask, what is a “holy convocation?
” It means a divinely commanded assembly, a
summoned assembly where your presence is commanded
That is why Christ made it his custom to assemble
on every Sabbath. It was Paul’s custom,
long after the rituals of Moses passed away, and
it should be the custom of God’s Church
One thing that the people needs to understand is
that God does not leave you free to decide whether
you want to attend local church services or not.
God COMMANDS your regular presence, each
Sabbath! And the same holds true of every annual
How many in God’s Church like to make
excuses, and expect Jesus Christ to understand
their problems? Maybe some of you reason that
Christ or the local congregation doesn’t
need your regular attendance. But that is not the
question. YOU need the presence of Christ
and the other brethren.
You and I are creatures of habit. What we must be
sure of is that we establish the right habits,
and change our habits when God commands.
How many of the brethren have been making excuses
to justify their habits. Some may claim, "I am just
too tired to drive to church on a regular basis".
Or, they just had to visit their relatives over
the weekend. It may be hard to believe, but some
people will use the excuse, "I can’t find
anyone to take care of my animals". And some will
insist they just simply don’t get anything
out of services.
These are excuses! Let’s take a look at
them for a moment. Let’s see what these
excuses indicate about our spiritual condition.
Is it possible that our spiritual attitude is
plainly indicated by the excuses we make for not
regularly attending Sabbath services?
If one of your excuses is that you don’t
feel at home with brethren, or that others don’t show you the type of love that members
of God’s Church should show. If that is the
only reason for which you go to services, just to
absorb others interest, personality and
love, what about showing others a bit of your
Is it possible that those who complained of lack
of love on the part of the brethren were
themselves the most lacking in love. These
individuals, whether or not they realize it, are
self-centered. They are carnal, thinking only of
what they can get, not of what they can give, to
When anyone complains of not receiving enough
love, that person is on the getting side. Have you
ever thought that a little giving on your part
will prompt more love and interest on the part of
others? Learn to help them first. Enrich them by
your experiences, your warmth of personality.
Again, there are people who become careless about
Sabbath services because they think they already
know all that is said from the pulpit. They
assume they have no more need of preaching, no
more need of hearing God’s word expounded.
Does this sound like you?
Twenty years after the death of Mr. Herbert W.
Armstrong, I still listen to his old sermon tapes
and read his articles. I am still learning from
him. If people don’t come to services because
they have heard everything, the trouble with such
an individual is that they are there to know what
is being said. Not being imbued with the Spirit of
God that person does not grasp what is being
preached. That person needs to be renewed in the
spirit of repentance.
Of such Jesus Christ roars: “because thou
sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and
have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou
are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind
and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
In some rare instances a few brethren have missed
annual Holy Days because they could not find
someone to take care of their pets. This may be
hard to believe, but this excuse rings of
idolatry. Ask yourself this question: Are you
going to let an animal decide what you are to do,
instead of letting Jesus Christ, your God and
High Priest, lead you?
Sometimes, brethren think it is more important to
visit relatives in distant states than attend
services on the Sabbath. Granted, there may be
genuine emergencies when you have to be with
relatives in case of sickness or death. What I am
referring to is not an emergency, but a needless
social occasion. Visit your relatives during the
week, or on Sunday. The Sabbath is not a time to
visit UNCONVERTED and worldly relatives.
If this pertains to you, why do you put your
fleshly relatives before your spiritual family? Is
it because you are lacking the Spirit of God and
no longer feel comfortable with the brethren?
Jesus Christ FORBIDS you to put family
before Him. It is idolatry, serving another master
in place of the true God.
Yet another excuse is that some are “too
tired” to drive to church. After five or
six days of hard work, it is reasoned, it is just
too much for Jesus to expect me to attend
Jesus Christ could have reasoned the same way at
the time of his death. BUT HE DID NOT! Now notice
the example of Christ that some of you may be
overlooking. On the mount of Olives Christ told
the disciples, (are you a disciple of Christ?)
shortly before His capture: “Pray that
ye enter not into temptation.” Then
Jesus withdrew from the disciples about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed. And
when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his
disciples, he found them sleeping.” They
SO WAS JESUS CHRIST
Then Christ aroused them and warned: “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye
enter into temptation” (Luke
22:39-46). Here is Christ’s example, His
warning to those making excuses that they are just
Of course a person needs physical rest each
Sabbath to restore physical vigor and
determination. But a person also needs to have
spiritual vigor and zeal restored! That is why
church attendance is vital. It is not enough to
rest from your physical labors each Sabbath. You
need spiritual stimulation that comes with
personal contact with other brethren. You need
the presence of Christ and His words that come in
every Sabbath service.
Now think about this, if God thought all you
needed was physical rest, He would not have made
the Sabbath any more than just a rest day. But
brethren, He did make it more than a rest day. He
made it a HOLY CONVOCATION. He commands
your presence, wherever a local church is
Now we come to a vital chapter of the Bible
partly devoted to church attendance. Most of us
are familiar with Hebrews 10:25, “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.” But how many
remember what the other verses of this same
Notice the subject is our access to the Father in
Heaven. Under the Old Covenant, there was only a
constant reminder of sin enacted by the priests
in their daily rituals. But under the New
Covenant, we have access through Christ to the
Father. We are to draw near to Him “with
a true heart in full assurance of faith”
(verse 22), and to “hold fast the profession
of our faith without wavering”
(verse 23), and to “consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works
” (verse24). How are you going to
provoke others to increased love and good works
if you seldom see them in Sabbath services? Verse
25 has the answer! “We are not to
neglect assembling ourselves together, as the
custom of some is!”
We simply cannot exhort and encourage others when
we are not in Sabbath services on a regular basis.
And notice that we are to assemble “so
much the more, as we see the day approaching
But this is not all that Paul wrote. “
For if we sin willfully,” Paul
continues, “after that we have received
the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no
more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful
looking for of judgement and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries”
(Heb.10:26-27). Have you really considered what
Neglect of attending services each Sabbath, when
local services are available, can, and does, lead
to willful sin! Paul had just commanded the
brethren in verse 25 to assemble regularly
wherever possible. Then he warns of sinning
willfully. The connection is obvious! The neglect
of Sabbath attendance, carelessness about being
regular, separates us from God on the very day He
wants us to be in His presence the MOST.
This could be the road to sin and eternal death!
Now turn in your Bible to verse 29. What happens
to those who become careless, who fail to observe
the Passover with the brethren when they can do
so, who do not value Christ’s blood which
opened the way to true spiritual worship every
Sabbath with the brethren?
Here is Paul’s answer: “Of how
much sorer punishment, than under Moses, shall he
be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot
the Son of God, who despise Christ’s express
command to meet in His presence each Sabbath,
“and hath counted the blood of the covenant,
wherewith he was sanctified, and unholy thing
,” by neglect of assembling for Passover
services when available. Paul concludes in verse
31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into
the hands of the living God!”
Don’t say it doesn’t matter, that you
can worship God alone at home! That is the same
excuse the world uses for pretending to worship
God on Sunday instead of the Sabbath. God not
only tells you which day to devote especially to
worship, but He also orders you to appear before
Him on that day wherever a local church exists!
After reading what your Creator says about the
Sabbath, what are you going to do now?
Heed Paul’s words! “Cast not away
therefore your confidence, which hath great
recompense of reward. For ye have need of
patience, that, after ye have done the will of
God, ye might receive the promise”
(Heb. 10:35-36). Some are doing the will of God!
Some lack the faith and patience it takes to be
consistent in their regular Sabbath attendance.
Now let us consider the importance of regular
It is good for you, and good for the other
brethren. They have as much need of your presence
as you have of theirs, and we all need the
presence of Jesus Christ and His messages through
You simply cannot get this privately at home,
while you dwell on your own problems. You need to
get your mind on other peoples’s problems--
get away from your personal surroundings each
Sabbath. Go to a local church!
Ask the brethren who want to attend services, but
can’t, how much they miss each week, how
they long for fellowship with other brethren of
like faith. God does not hold them responsible
because they have no way of getting to services.
“We are not of them who draw back unto
perdition,” who begin to neglect the
words of Christ, become self-centered, preferring
fellowship only with their family and
acquaintances. We are “of them that
believe to the saving of the soul
” (verse 39). Do you believe Christ’s
words? Do you act on them? He commands you and me
to worship in His presence every Sabbath
wherever a local congregation makes a HOLY