Recently my wife and I were staying at a missionary guest house. As we prepared to leave for church on Sunday morning, we were surprised and saddened to see several missionary families who were not going to church. There were several reasons given – tired from parties for their children, not having proper clothing for church in a big city, wanting to rest, wanted to be together as a family, and so forth. Illness and needing to miss church is one thing, but to rest from a party?
Later that morning, an excellent Bible expositor spoke about examining ourselves in the faith; do we love the church? He mentioned that fellowship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is as a mark of our walk with God.
The next day I happened to mention this to a missionary leader and Bible teacher. He said, “The Scriptures clearly teach that we should not forsake the assembling ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)
It is interesting how often those of us in ministry do not seem to love the church, to fellowship with the Lord’s people, to worship the Lord in prayer and studying the Word of God “together as God’s family.”
Some of God’s people in parts of the world suffer to attend church. This is quite a contrast to other believers, even missionaries, who do not attend church simply wanting to rest a little!
Last night I read a story of a little lady in England who walked to church aided by two canes because of her painful rheumatism. When asked why she did this, she responded, “Oh, I love to be in fellowship with God’s people on Sunday, worshiping, studying and praying. Even though it is very painful and I am slow, my heart arrives to the church long before I do.”