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Going to “Church”

November 6, 2008

Why do we gather each Sunday? Have you ever met anyone who believes and yet never gathers with others?

In Hebrews 10:19-25 you find the classic verse used to tell people they have to go to church. “Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

First, it seems gathering as believers has always been an issue. The writer of Hebrews informs us that some were in the habit of not meeting together. But why does he tell them to gather in the first place?

He tells them to gather not to get something but to give something. They are supposed to be considering how to spur one another to love and good works. He tells them to gather so that they can encourage each other.

You see the gathering of the church is supposed to be about what you give to others not what you can get. Unfortunately I hear it all of the time today. People want to know what they are going to get from the gathering of believers. IF they don’t think they can get enough or what they want they go looking for another one. How sad for the church.

In 1 Corinthians 14:26 we find that when they gather each brings a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. They key being that each brings something. For the gathering to be of encouragement all are involved. Maybe it is just a system problem. The current set up doesn’t lend itself to this type of thinking.

Notice what happens in Corinth when people gather only thinking of themselves. Paul rebukes them for their Lord’s Supper practices. In 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 you see his concern with those who eat without waiting for others or who don’t even share so others go hungry.

No, I just think at some point gathering as a church became what can I get from it. What is in it for me? Do I get spiritually filled, does it inspire me. That is not why the church gathers. I pray that we rediscover that church gathers for others, not self, that we stop asking what is in it for me, that we gather for the sake of others.

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