The following article is by Carroll Ellis and appeared in the Gospel Advocate January 1960. It’s still relevant today, and I commend it to your consideration. BP
A man has just received a kind invitation. It was not an all-expense paid, deep sea fishing trip, neither was it free tickets to a basketball game. Rather, it was an urgent, pressing invitation to attend public worship. He was not annoyed, embarrassed, teased, but pleased, for he said: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the house of the Lord.” (Psalms 122:1)
Unfortunately, this man is unique. Many would say, “Mind your own business,” or “I’m tired after working all week. I need relaxation rather than a dull sermon.” That is regrettable, if somewhat understandable, when it comes from a man of the world. It is inconsistent, unthinkable and illogical that such statements should come from a child of God. There are too many Christians who consider church attendance a matter of mood or whim rather than one of principle and conviction; yet the voice of God and of reason demands regular attendance at services.
Command of Christ
Christ speaks clearly on the virtue of public worship. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Private worship is essential, but unless we are with others we will become like a leaf without a tree. The early Christians “continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The specific time of their assembly is given for “upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight (Acts 20:7). It was the practice of the New Testament church to assemble on the first day of the week and at other times to worship God. Worship is commanded by Christ.
Concern for Others
Consistent, regular church attendance is a logical expression of our concern for other people. When we find something we like we do not hesitate to recommend it; a book we’ve read, a new fishing lure, a new cake recipe. In fact, our pleasure is heightened because we tell others about it. Such expressions are indications of the interest we have in those around us.
You cannot recommend something which you do not consistently do. A failure to attend worship says to the people who know us, the church is unimportant and insignificant. False action, just as false doctrine, will “overthrow the faith of some” (2 Timothy 2:18).
Regular attendance at all church services is enlightened self-interest or plain common sense. Families who have their stable, happier and richer life. Several years ago, the FBI reported only five percent of the crimes committed can be traced to church people. A nation-wide personality test revealed church-going people have better personalities. Any compilation of statistics will show non-church homes break up three times as often as church homes. These figures are based upon religion in a general sense and if figures could be secured for the Lord’s church they would be most revealing indeed.
Man is a spiritual being with an instinct of faith and a capacity for God. Worship helps us to catch the glory and the grandeur of God. God is not an abstraction, but a divine person who thinks, feels and sees and has commanded worship as a means of our spiritual enrichment. Expressing devotion to him is not a matter of option but of obligation. We still need to heed the admonition, “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” (Hebrews 10:25).