Why Saints Assemble
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) is a clear statement of God’s will in the matter; and some babes in Christ may “go to church” compelled by fear of God’s wrath. This is a legitimate motive, albeit one that is less needed by the more mature Christian. The collective action of saints, with its attendant assemblings, is far more than a self-justifying end. It grows out of the basic character of saints, and their God-appointed purposes.
Early Christians were “together” “with one accord” (Acts 2:44-46). A closeness, and singleness of purpose such as theirs brought them together physically, just as it will bring true Christians together today. They gravitated toward one-another for prayer as fishermen gather to discuss lures; they had a common interest and object of worship.
They loved the truth, and their “delight” was in the law of the Lord (Matthew 5:6 Psalm 1:2). When people are hungry, they do not have to be urged to go where there is food; nor do they eat “because of a sense of duty.”
Faithful Christians had great respect and veneration for Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23f), hence welcomed opportunity to participate in the memorial supper. Their hearts were warmed and faith renewed as they worshipped “in remembrance of” Christ.
Each one’s concern for his own spiritual welfare, as well as that of fellow Christians, was reflected in the assembling. In Hebrews 10:23-25 note how “let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” is related to their gathering together. And because “every man according to his ability, determined,” the making of a common treasury brought them together (Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3). A pooled fund is the means of exchange by which a plurality of saints act as one to do God’s will. Some early churches were so anxious to do God’s work they begged Paul to take their offering (2 Corinthians 8:4). The next verse explains this eagerness: they had given themselves to the Lord.
Saints today assemble for these same reasons. I do not refer to those who occasionally “attend” worship; I mean those who worship with regularity, the faithful few or many.
The indifferent and the hypocrites make excuses; perhaps even try to make some “logical” argument, as, “I can worship God, being alone.” Of course what one could do, being alone, is hardly the question. The hypocrite is seldom alone (i.e., there are other saints within reach) and if one were alone there is little reason to believe he would worship God. Such people usually compound their wrong by lying — to others, to themselves, and to God.
If you are a “oncer” (once-a-week) or worse, allow yourself a moment of truly honest self-inspection. Can you believe that one who loves his brethren because they are brethren, who delights in Bible study, has deep respect for the Lord’s Supper, and is truly concerned for God’s work and his own soul, would “do as you do”??