And let us consider on another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, as ye see the day approaching.
I have recently started to watch Lost, the TV Show, again. I had watched bits and pieces of it while it was on TV, but never actually dedicated myself to watching all of it. In one of the beginning episodes, one of the main characters makes the statement that they must live together or they will die alone. The TV show tells the story of survivors of an airline crash. They have crashed into what appears to be a deserted island. So, naturally, they need to stick together and help one another in order to survive.
Thinking about that reminds me of the countless people I have met who say that they don’t need church to be a christian. Their reasons are almost always the same. One popular one sounds like this, “I can worship God just as well at home as I can at church.”
This statement has a misunderstanding of church. Church isn’t the only time of the week when we get together to worship God. The Bible clearly teaches that we should be worshiping God with everything we say and do. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul encourages the church to everything, whether it’s eating, drinking, or whatever, to the glory of God. We don’t go to church once a week for our weekly time of worship and spending time with God.
So what is church? What is the purpose of Sunday Morning Church? It is a time to worship God. But it’s more than that. The writer of Hebrews calls christians to “consider one another” and to “provoke unto love and to good works.” Church is a time for Christians to come together and consider one another. We look out for one another. We are intentionally interested in what’s going on in the lives of our fellow believers. When you hear the word provoke, you might not think of something positive. What does it mean to provoke? It means to bring out a certain reaction in a person. Usually we think of provoke as bringing out anger in a person, but the text here calls for us to bring out love and good works.
So back to that statement from Lost. Does it apply to the church the same way? We must learn to live together or we will die alone? Without the healthy influence of church relationships, we can begin to think we are alone. We need church. We need accountability in our churches. You don’t see this in many churches. They are living in the misunderstanding. Everybody shows up, we sing a few songs, listen to the preacher go on about how we should live, sing an invitational song, and we go home. That’s all church is to some, which is why it doesn’t seem like a big deal to miss. But Church is not just a weekly club meeting for all Christians, it’s a time for the family of God to come together and encourage one another. In someways, maybe we should spend more time in our churches working on the fellowship aspect of our ministries. How much time do we spend talking with one another at church?
I’m not saying we need to take away from what we are doing in the church service. We need to worship together. We need to hear God’s Word preached. But we also need to spend time in fellowship with one another.
Have you ever taken off from church before? Did it make a difference in your life? What are some ways we can fellowship more in our church? Comment below with your answers!