Hand Me Another Brick Leadership Series #32. Read It Today!
Dear Visionary Leader:
What does it mean to forsake the house of God? In Hebrews 2:1-4, the writer asks the question: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” The key word is “neglect.” It’s the world that rejects Christ, but it’s the Church that can neglect Him. Neglect is a serious indictment.
Forsaking the house of God is usually the result of a gradual walking away from the house of God. When we get to Hebrews 10:39, we read, “Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” I realize in this context the pressure was on, and persecution was rampant. Christians were forsaking the assemblies due to the threat on their lives. Yet, even in the midst of this terrible circumstance, the Hebrew writer says, “Do not forsake the assembling.” This is strong language, but the communication and conclusions are clear.
In my generation, I have seen us move away from finding out first what is on the church’s calendar before planning our family calendar. Today, we plan our family calendar first and then work in the church’s calendar, if it is convenient or profitable to us. Along with this paradigm shift, Christ, the head of the Church, has also moved down the totem pole of priority. There is no way to neglect or reject “the bride” without at the same time neglecting or rejecting “the groom.”
In our last ezine, we focused on a personal examination of our relationship with Christ and His Church. We are approaching the conclusion of the Hand Me Another Brick Leadership Series. Be sure to check out the Visionary Coaching section below.
Let me begin by saying, it is not they; it is we. As fellow leaders, all of us have a duty to our church, to the house of our God. It begins with our personal examination. Here is the question that all leaders must ask themselves: If every member of my church were just like me, what kind of church would it be? On the heels of dedication to Christ comes our duty to our Church.
A. Attend Church
It is your duty to attend your church. Radio and television were never meant to be a substitute for church attendance. We use radio and television as an outreach to those who are not saved, and as a help to those who are sick, shut-in, or unable to come for providential reasons–but never as a substitute for attendance in the house of God.
The Bible says clearly and plainly, without a shadow of any doubt, that we are to attend the house of God. In Hebrews 10:25, the Bible says we are not to forsake “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.” The closer we get to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we ought to be in the house of God.
You know, some folks only come to the church three times: when they’re hatched, when they’re matched, and when they’re dispatched. And yet, they talk about belonging to the church– they don’t belong to the church. They talk about the church belonging to them–the church doesn’t belong to them. It’s the Lord’s church.
We are to be faithful in attendance. We are to attend church. Some say, “Well, I can get the message by CD or podcast; I can get the message by reading; I can get the message by radio or television.” You don’t come to church just to get a message! You come to church to meet with the brothers and sisters in Jesus.
There is a sense in which the Lord is present when His people gather that we cannot experience in any other way. The Bible says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). There is no substitute for church attendance. It ought to be faithful; it ought to be regular.
There is no one too bad to come to church and no one too good that he need not come. We all need to be in the house of God.
B. Defend the Church
As we continue, we need to realize that it is not only our job to attend our church; it is our job to defend our church. As the time comes and the days get shorter, the churches of God in America are going to be under bombardment as they have never been before. I can see the noose as it is beginning to tighten. I can see humanistic value systems of our world as they are plodding to destroy Bible-believing, non-compromising churches. We’re going to find ourselves a generation of twice-born people in a world of once-born people, and we’re going to be going against the tide. The church is going to come under attack. It is not only our job to attend our church; it’s our job to defend our church!
C. Extend the Church
It’s also our job to extend our church–to go out and to bring others in. Jesus said, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). Have you ever won a soul to the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, why not? Do you invite people to church on Sunday? Or do you just come in, sit down, and think you’ve done God Almighty a favor?
This is a day of good tidings! We sin against the Lord, if we fail to invite people to the banquet, to the feast, to the fellowship that we have every Sunday. How can we say that it means more than anything else to us on the face of this earth, and yet, we don’t invite others to come?
D. Commend the Church
We must attend our church; we must defend our church; we must extend our church; and, we ought to commend our church. You ought to love the Church. Let the criticism come from the devil’s crowd. Let it come from those outside the Church. Don’t criticize the Church. Love the Church. The Church is not perfect. As a matter of fact, it’s a society of sinners who finally realized it. Did you know that? It’s the only organization I know of where you have to profess to be bad before you can join–unless it’s the Hell’s Angels. You just say, “I am a sinner.” That’s the qualification for coming. It is a society of sinners who have realized that they’re sinners and have banded themselves together to do something about it. Selah! Think on these things!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking