Acts 20.7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
I am certain that some will read this blog this morning and conclude that I am sounding legalistic. From the bottom of my heart, this is not the case. I am concerned. Deeply concerned. I realize that in Christ, we can esteem every day alike. Jesus cannot be put into a “one day of the week” box for worship. Jesus is to be worshipped and served every moment of every day of the week. But something is happening to the body of Christ right before our very eyes, and few seem to be seeing it.
Sunday for the church today is not even the same as it was when I was a little boy. Is it me, or do people find it easy to dismiss the importance of weekly, congregational worship and instruction from God’s Word? It is not uncommon for folks to not attend church services on Sunday because of a “conflict” with sports activities or other pressing matters. Because some spend so many hours at the office or at school they need Sunday to sleep in and chill out. After all, Jesus is our Sabbath, thus, Sunday is no different than any other day.
So what is happening? More and more people are finding it easier and easier to explain away “going to church” for any number of reasons. This is not good, beloved. Do you think that a devout Muslim or Orthodox Jew would dare compromise their holy days or times of worship for reasons that a nominal Christian would? Of course not. Granted, they may indeed be motivated by fear or a false concept of “getting right with God via attendance”. But there is something to be said for their having the conviction that nothing is going to stand between them and their call to worship.
Again, I am not in the least suggesting that you read this blog, and “bite the bullet” and decide to go to church this Sunday because you feel guilty. That would be sad if that were your attitude or motive for going to church at any time. Like it or not, the American church culture has given rise to a generation of Christians who are the greatest abusers and misusers of the grace of God.
Grace for many people means that I am not responsible to do anything in order to be a Christian other than confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. Grace means “self rule”; I am free to come and go as I please, doing anything I want, with anybody that I want, anywhere that I want. For these reasons, many evangelical churches, on any given Sunday, have a number of members who are “no shows.” Some are at home sick. Some must work. Some are on vacation or visiting another part of the body of Christ with a family member or friend. All of these are legitimate reasons. Sadly, for many, Sunday church is not even on their radar. Many choose to stay home and catch a service on the Internet, instead of going through all the hassle of getting ready and driving all the way to church. How many miles do you drive to work? A sporting event? The gym?
Sad to say, Sunday has now become the prime day of the week to catch up on hobbies or do those things that we did not have time to get to during the week because of work or other important meetings or hobbies. According to Luke 4, it was Jesus’ custom to go to the synagogue or temple on the sabbath. Now what in the world can The Son of God learn by attending a service? If anyone could afford to spend the day at the beach or take a walk in the woods on the sabbath, it would have been Jesus, but He didn’t. Why? Because He always sought to do those things that pleased His Father.
Dear reader, What are your plans for this Sunday?