Empty Pews

It was a Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago and we were about to start worship services. I looked around and there were so many rows of empty pews. It made me very sad. It’s so very discouraging and I found myself wondering where everyone was and why nobody comes back on Sunday nights. This is an issue that happens everywhere and has been since I can remember. I know people get caught up in the routine of life, working, raising families, and so on, but I have to ask, where are our priorities?

I know we all never seem to find the time to do all we like to do.  Sadly, most people try to solve this time problem by cutting back or eliminating spiritual things altogether. We neglect our prayer life, fellowship gatherings, and most importantly forsaking the assembly. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This is one of the most challenging, and yet neglected, commands of Christ, even by many who profess to be His followers. We tend to make primary things secondary and secondary things primary. I have never known a person who chose to attend only one service a week to be a strong, faithful Christian.

If you are like me, it is highly likely that you have reprioritized your life on numerous occasions. Our intentions are always good. It is just that our intentions do not last long. We decide to do better and make all services, until we plan something that keeps us from going or someone sidetracks us. I remember early in my Christian walk that I started first missing Sunday nights, then later on I started missing Wednesday nights then I started missing Sunday morning. I was drifting. Our relationship with God must be at the center of all we do. If God is not the center of our lives, we are way off track.

There are Christians who will stay home on Sunday because they are too tired or they have aches and pains, but these same people will go to work or go shopping with these same symptoms. How many people would be able to keep their jobs if they missed 2 days of work every week? Why are we so dedicated to our jobs but not dedicated enough to God to make it to all the services? Hebrews 10:25-27 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation.”

When we forsake the assembly of the church, except for sickness or circumstances beyond our control, we are not only disobeying God, but we are robbing ourselves of all the benefits of worship which can help us to grow spiritually. I don’t think many of us realize that when we miss services when we could make it, that it is a sin. We need to realize that it is important for us to assemble on Sunday and Wednesday. Some people may ask, do I have to attend Sunday night and Wednesday night services? If we really love God we will never ask such question.

I have heard the argument that Wednesday and Sunday nights are man made. True, those are the times set aside to meet, but if you read in the New Testament, they met daily. Acts 2:46, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” They met daily to worship and share a meal.

When I start thinking about how Jesus gave up his heavenly home to come to this earth just to go to the cross where he was beaten, spit upon, had thorns shoved into his head and where he was crucified, just so you and I could have forgiveness of sins, I can’t understand why we as Christians would ever want to neglect the body of Christ, no matter what day it is.

I truly believe that if you make your relationship with God first in your life, everything else will naturally fall into place in the right order, creating the fulfilling life you hope to enjoy. The church services are designed for spiritual growth. When you listen to the sermons and attend the bible classes it helps you to grow and develop into a more mature Christian. It is important for us to grow spiritually. I would ask each of you to examine your priorities.

Can we truthfully say that we are ready, watching, and waiting for the Lord, when we willfully miss many of the opportunities to be with His people? Just something to think about.

One thought on “Empty Pews

  1. So true, I know that when I physically go to church instead of watching via live feed I feel so much more in tune with where I need to be and desire to be back every time the doors are open and just as easy as it is to go that route , it is definitely way easier to stop attending and make excuses.

    Like

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