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  • Eugene Adkins 10:13 am on 2016-07-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, , , , ,   

    Wake up, get up and show up at Bible-study tomorrow 

    When you hold a Bible in your hands, do you know how much it cost?

    I’m not looking for a fiscal answer. The Bible cost more than any financial total that can be tallied.

    Long before any red-letter edition was published, pages of the Bible were colored red . That’s because the book we can hold in our hands cost men and women their lives. Some died at the hands of false-Christians and others at the hands of violent unbelievers. Regardless of who took their life, men and women of the past gave their life because they had faith, a desire for the common man to read the word of God, and a love for God’s message.

    Consider that, and then consider how the church has a hard time getting Christians to show up and study the Bible today. Some congregations don’t even have Bible-study classes. Brothers and sisters – that’s a problem!

    The Bible is the best-seller that most Christians aren’t sold on studying. Do you see the irony?

    Wake up, get up and show up at Bible-study tomorrow.

    I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:15-18)

     
  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2014-09-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, , , ,   

    "Going to Church" 

    “Going to church” is not a matter of going to the building as some sort of check off list. It is not a matter of “works religion.” Gathering together with the saints is much more than that. The saints in the 1st century did so (Acts 20:7), and Paul exhorted the saints in Corinth to do the same (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 4:17). Those who love the Lord won’t be any place but where the Lord desires, and for the reasons the Lord desires.

    Here are some points for your consideration:

    1. Matthew 16:13-19. Jesus “built” (established) His church.
    2. Ephesians 1:22-23. Jesus is the head of His church, His body.
    3. Ephesians 4:4. There is one body (church).
    4. Ephesians 5:23-32. The church is the saved. Paul wrote to the local body (in Ephesus); he did not delineate between the local, visible, invisible, and/or universal church.
    5. Hebrews 10:19-31. After a lengthy discussion on the differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit gives a number of exhortations in this section: a) the saints are to draw near with a true heart (10:22), b) the saints are to hold fast their confession (10:23; cf. Romans 10:9-10), c) the saints are to consider one another (10:24), d) the saints are not to forsake (abandon) the assembling together (10:25); this is your “go to church” if you will. With this in mind: e) to sin willfully is to crucify the Son of God afresh (10:26), f) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (10:31).

    With these things in mind – what’s hard to understand? For one who doesn’t want to understand, maybe it’s the heart that is hard.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:18 am on 2013-05-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, , , ,   

    It’s hard to find something when you’re not looking for it 

    English: Gentaur schedule

    I just can’t find the time to attend the worship services of the church some say. That’s funny, somehow the time is still found to go to work everyday, to go to the movies, to go out to eat, to go and visit with friends and family, to go to the grocery store, to go to the bank, to go and pay the utility bills, to go on vacation, to go outside to cut the grass or work in the garden, to go to the doctor, or to go to the barber or beautician. On and on we could go. So yeah, I guess it’s hard to find something when you’re not looking for it.

    Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable. Let’s also think about how to motivate each other to show love and to do good works. Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 – CEB)

    #attendance, #excuses, #priorities, #time, #worship

     
    • Weylan Deaver 1:13 pm on 2013-05-28 Permalink | Reply

      If God is not my priority on earth, then why should I think I would enjoy heaven, where all those other activities/distractions are removed from the picture?

  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2013-02-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, forsaking, ,   

    The Lord Sheds a Tear 

         When you are on the road traveling and it happens to include a Sunday, do you stop and worship with the Lord’s church in the particular community you are in? Some do not because it is not convenient; some do not because they are not close by; some do not because they did not plan very well; and some do not because their love for the Lord is not all that strong. In fact, it is likely the case in all the reasons offered that one’s love for the Lord is not that strong.

    The word “forsaking” in Hebrews 10:25 has to do with abandonment. Some think they can miss the services of the Lord’s church and not be anywhere close to abandonment of the Lord Himself. This is a mistaken notion. If one has chosen to miss (forsake) on that one particular occasion, then abandonment has occurred to that degree. Abandonment is not only an action, but a frame of mind. When we leave the presence of a child (for instance) it is merely the first step toward abandonment.

    In this context (Hebrews 10), the saints are to gather together for the express purpose of worshipping the Lord and in order to encourage one another. When one chooses to miss (forsake/abandon) for a vacation, a child’s ballgame, a family picnic, work piling up, or any other number of reasons, who is the one actually hurt in this case? It is not the Lord; the one who misses (abandon/forsakes) is the one who is hurt (more than they know), but it is the Lord who sheds a tear for the one who cares so little.  RT

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 8:52 am on 2013-02-27 Permalink | Reply

      Ron, this is a serious problem, not only in the US, but in Brazil as well. You have well placed it within the context of our relationship to the Lord and how little we consider his will and his desires.

  • Richard Mansel 9:09 pm on 2011-08-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, ,   

    Sunday Morning Attendees 

    Christians mock the Sunday morning attendees for not attending Sunday night or Wednesday night. Not me. I give them reasons why they should attend more often. But, I am glad the are attending on Sunday morning. They are being blessed by being there and serving God. And they, as Christians, are a part of the Lord’s body. Let’s show them some respect.

     
    • Sandra Moore 9:27 pm on 2011-08-17 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, I feel sorry for those who only attend on Sunday morning, when they can be there other times but just choose not to be. I don’t mock them though. I’m thinking about those I know of who only come for Sunday morning worship, not even getting there for Bible class. I have to question the part where you say they are “serving God.” These I’m thinking of are blessed by being there, and they may be worshiping God, but is that serving Him? They do not participate in any other activities of the church at all.

      • Richard Mansel 9:40 pm on 2011-08-17 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your reply, Sandra. I feel bad for them, too. They are missing the wealth of a fuller relationship. That is what I stress. I said that they are serving God in that they are coming to worship and many of them are trying to live faithfully. Yet, they have a different definition than God does in Scripture. We need to teach/model righteousness without mocking them. I feel the same way about those who only attend at Easter and Christmas. They will never be led to become more faithful or to become Christians by us laughing at them.

  • Richard Hill 10:53 am on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, , , , the Day   

    Background on Hebrews and Context of “the Day” in Hebrews 10:25 

    Little doubt, the writer of Hebrews, whoever he may be, God knows, is a second generation disciple. The basis for this view is found in Hebrews 2:3 where the writer speak in third person about those who heard him (Jesus). Perhaps it was Barnabas or Apollos, but certainly not Paul. This would push the date of the book later, at least to the mid-sixties.

    Much is made in this letter of the continuing sacrifices offered by the the priestly line of Aaron. These formal sacrifices ended in A.D. 70 with the destruction of the temple. It is hard to think the book would be written in this way if these sacrifices had ended, so sometime before the destruction makes sense.

    This gives us a date for the book in the fairly narrow range of mid to late sixties. What we see is the date is dependent on the authorship and one of the potential explanations of “the day” in Hebrews 10:25 is dependent on the date. If we could determine the date of the book was after A.D. 70, the siege of Jerusalem by Titus could no longer be considered one of the possibilities for “the day.”

    The date does not rule out the razing of Jerusalem by the Romans as a potential explanation for “the day.”  I do believe, however, the context goes a long way toward that end.

    The context of Hebrews 10:25 in the verses following suggests a wider audience than just the folks at Jerusalem.  He indicates a judgment, punishment, and vengeance broader and greater than that of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.   The writer condemns everyone who doesn’t act on the truth and profanes the blood of the covenant.   The sweeping indictments made from verses 26 to 31 are more fitting for an end time scenario than  A.D. 70.

    When we view “the day” in verse 25 as a reference to final judgment it makes a good segue into the broad condemnation that follows.  It serves to enhance the warning not to skip out on Sunday services.  Why should we attend?   Well it’s not about brownie points with God though too many Christians treat it that way.  In doing so they miss the main thrust of the warning.    Hear what the writer is emphasizing.  Without the regular, positive influence of fellow Christians we become increasingly vulnerable to sin and the possibility of falling away which will lead to condemnation in final judgment.

     
    • John Henson 12:10 pm on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply

      Good points, Richard. I believe the Bible teaches there is more to judgment than just the end of the world. God’s judgment of Israel was in the wilderness. God also pronounced judgment of the Israel of the divided kingdom in Assyrian captivity and of Judah in Babylonian captivity. If I die before the Lord returns, the record of my life will be closed and my judgment will be apparent, just as it was for the rich man and Lazarus.

      • Richard Hill 12:31 pm on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, John. I also agree there are other places in scripture that refer to a day of the Lord as different from final judgment. I just don’t see it here.

    • Stephen R. Bradd 12:48 pm on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply

      Good thoughts, Richard (except for your “certainly not Paul” statement!). LOL.

      I used to think the wording of 2:3 excluded Paul as a potential author, but Reese has recently convinced me otherwise (the best commentary on Hebrews I’ve seen, by the way). We know Paul was taught by the Lord (direct REVELATION), but that would not preclude him from saying that the other apostles CONFIRMED that message to him and others. Revelation and confirmation are 2 separate things. If 2:3 used the word “revealed” instead of “confirmed,” then I think you’d be absolutely correct in eliminating Paul a a potential author of Hebrews since the other apostles did NOT reveal the gospel to Paul.

      • Richard Hill 8:28 pm on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply

        Stephen, I have used Jesus Christ Today by Lightfoot as my primary commentary on Hebrews for many years, but I’m always in the market for another good commentary on Hebrews. Unfortunately, in my search today I’ve been unable to locate a copy of the one by Reese though I have set in motion a continual search for it on eBay.

        I would like to read his specific comments on Hebrews 2:3 regarding his discussion of confirmed and revealed. What I have been able to find online appears substandard. Perhaps you could bring his commentary to the fair in August.

        I would also like to see how he deals with the very unique stylistic and vocabulary differences between Hebrews and the Pauline writings and for that matter every other book in the New Testament. The distinct nature of the writing makes a very strong argument against the Pauline authorship. One can hardly believe an amanuensis of Paul or any other inspired writer would be given so much liberty to create distinctions to the extent found in Hebrews.

        Thanks for your comment.

        • Stephen R. Bradd 10:04 pm on 2011-07-12 Permalink | Reply

          Richard, you can buy any of Reese’s books here:
          http://www.truthbooks.net/category/78

          His book are pricey, but that’s because they are huge! Hardback with 8.5 x 11″ pages. I think you’ll like his work even if he doesn’t convince you on the subject we’ve been discussing. Ron Thomas introduced me to Reese’s works a few years ago and I’ve been pleased with the 2 volumes I’ve read in their entirety (Acts & Romans). Please follow up on this thread in the coming weeks/months, if you will. I’d like to know what you think of his argumentation.

          Perhaps Ron will have something to say about Reese or this thread.

        • Richard Hill 9:05 am on 2011-07-13 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks for the website. I ordered Acts and Hebrews last night. That’s a painful enough bite for now. I look forward to doing some research with them.

    • Ron 7:55 am on 2011-07-13 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Stephen, for flagging me on this. Gareth Reese, in my view, is a work that needs to be in the library of a preacher/elder. I have all his commentaries (Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, “Pastorials,” Hebrews, Peter, Jude, James and Epistles of John). In my view he has the best commentary on Acts, and I am currently using him in my study on 1 Peter – although he is not a primary source.

      On Hebrews, I think Lightfoot is very good; Reese will be more thorough. It is not my opinion that Paul wrote Hebrews (primarily because of 2 Thess 3.17), but I can’t rule it out because it sounds much like Paul.

      • Richard Hill 9:15 am on 2011-07-13 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the recommendation. I agree Lightfoot has few details, but it is a great overview offering excellent insight into how one should approach Hebrews.

        2 Thes 3:17 is a point that is often made in support of another writer for Hebrews and a good one.

  • Richard Mansel 10:31 am on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, , , ,   

    Only Attend on Easter & Christmas? 

    It is an undeniable fact that some people will only attend worship on Christmas and Easter. We wish they would be more active, realizing the true value of having Christ in their lives (Romans 12:1-2).

    They need their sins remitted by the blood of Christ in baptism (Acts 2:37-38; 1  John 1:7). They need to live a life of righteousness, so they can be with Christ for all eternity (Ephesians 4:1; Revelation 2:10). With Christ in their lives, they will have a rudder, to guide them through the dangerous waters of life (Hebrews 13:5).

    People cannot hope to be saved if they have no concern for God in their lives 363 days of the year. However, they do show interest in Him for two days a year. That means there is hope!

    We might be able to say something that will provoke their interest or prick their heart with the gospel on those two days. They are, in one respect, great days of evangelism. People will hear the gospel that may not be able to hear it any any other time.

    Do we look at Christmas and Easter services this way? Maybe not. Quite often, these folks show up two times a year and they are mocked and ridiculed from the pulpit and hear jeers and sneers, as Christian laugh at their presence. Where do we have the authority in Scripture for mocking people who come to worship??

    They attend with their minds on Christ and we show them Satan? Maybe we need to repent and reconsider our attitudes. We may not celebrate Christmas and Easter as religious holidays, but we better honor them as days called by the gospel.

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 10:40 am on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Good points, Richard. They are days to be taken advantage of for the gospel, for sure.

    • Deirdre Mansel 10:46 am on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent, and something that needed be be said. We must be reflecting SONlight! 🙂

    • Rick Kelley 11:29 am on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Well said, Richard.
      I can’t imagine our Lord having one opportunity (or two) with a person, and using it to ridicule them. He publicly exposed those who were willingly blind, arrogant and hypocritical – and even that, out of love, not superiority. Those who do otherwise are not His (Rom. 8:9).

    • Mike Riley 1:00 pm on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Good points, Richard! We must remember that we are in “sales” – not management. We are instructed to plant the seed and water it – God will give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7).

      Therefore, we need to take advantage of every opportunity to preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). Planting the seed (Luke 8:11) is of utmost importance!

    • Ken Thomas 1:49 pm on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      I heard a report of a sermon in one place where the preacher said in introduction: “You may have come to hear about the resurrection, but you are not going to hear about it today. ” And then he proceeded to preach a sermon about things men do wrong when leading prayer. Wise? NOT!

    • Trophy of Grace 3:58 pm on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this Richard. It is so sad that this happens. I have been blessed over the years where I have attended churches where they reached out to the Easter Sunday souls. I have seen God touch people’s lives at the services that I have attended. I can’t imagine the hurt that someone must feel when they come to church to hear a Word from God and they receive a harsh word from man and sneers from other imperfect people who think they have the right to judge the person next to them. So sad 🙁

    • Paula Harrington 4:26 pm on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Well said, Richard! Thank you.

    • wjcsydney 4:41 pm on 2011-04-22 Permalink | Reply

      Easter and Christmas are amazing missional opportunities for us to reach out to those who are not 24/7 Christians but whose mustard seed faith or a quest for God draws them to attend on those days.

  • Richard Hill 4:58 pm on 2010-02-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance, ,   

    On the Lord’s Day, I Was. . .at Home 

    Between lost internet connection for 5 days, tax prep for tax appointment for 3 days, then sick for 4 days and counting, I’ve not been able to post of late. I don’t remember missing church in years, but today I’m home. I think my temp is stabilizing, but coughing and sneezing linger so I was “encouraged” to stay home.

    Class should be starting now. They will be finishing up Acts 20 and starting Acts 21. I won’t hear the different viewpoints, discussions and questions nor will I chime in with my thoughts.

    One of our young men, a teen, will present the table talk this morning. His first time, I think, and I will miss it. I won’t enjoy the special fellowship of communion today. I will not be a part of the joint singing, prayers, and scripture reading of the assembly. I will miss what I’m sure will be another fine lesson from our preacher, Gary. I was handling this a lot better before I started writing!

    How is it some can miss habitually, perhaps only showing up once or twice a month? Why doesn’t it bother them? Maybe, they just don’t think about it. Perhaps they’re not hungry or thirsty enough. Right now I’m ravenous. I feel deprived of my normal spiritual diet. Why don’t they?

    What’s with those who operate on the periphery, who are never really involved? As I think of the folks at Eureka who are, at best, sporadic attenders, I’m trying to determine what they have in common besides the obvious factor of not attending regularly.

    Are they more easily distracted, is it a lack of commitment to the Lord, or perhaps a simple lack of discipline? As I think of them, to a person, they are pleasant people. Yet one thing they have in common is biblical illiteracy. One in particular often questions God, which is fine, but when given a solid biblical answer, it never seems to satisfy. Maybe this idea of satisfaction is a key. God, for whatever reason, does not satisfy. Therefore, they continue to look for satisfaction in other places. Therefore, they are not driven to assemble with the saints.

    I pray today you have found satisfaction in your God. I pray today you have studied, worshipped, and been challenged by a message from God’s Word. I pray today you have not taken for granted the great privilege of assembling with the saints.

    .

     
    • Richard Mansel 6:17 pm on 2010-02-14 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! It is very sad that people do not take advantage of the opportunity to worship. I wrote about those who don’t attend all of the time. I think they are playing mental games. http://www.forthright.net/living_the_faith/the_minimums.html

    • jimnewy 6:18 pm on 2010-02-14 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry to hear you have been so sick, and without internet service. I appreciate what you wrote about missing services today. I’ve got something to think back on if I have to miss again myself.

    • Mike Riley 9:05 pm on 2010-02-14 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, the sporadic attenders would fall under the category described by our Lord in Matthew 13:22 – these folks are unfruitful because of “the care of this world” (cf. 2 Timothy 4:10).

    • Richard Hill 5:46 am on 2010-02-15 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Richard. I enjoyed the article. You express out loud the often unspoken feedback as we attempt to motivate the Minimums.

      Jim, I appreciate the sympathy (or is that empathy??) but don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not terrible. It’s either a nasty cold or a light case of the flu.

      Mike, I agree with your analysis. Whether you want to say they’re choked out by the cares of this world, they’re trying to serve two masters or there’s a problem with loving the Lord we come to the same conclusion. The world is inferring with their Christian walk.

      Ask these people if they love the Lord they would give you a resounding, “YES!” Then ask them if they love the Lord more than their families or _______ (Just fill in the blank, wealth, fame, golf, fishing, maybe even a dog or cat!) If they answer honestly, they will have to admit the Lord is not first in their lives.

      This will not merely result in a downgrade in lodging in the heavenly realm. The consequences for not allowing the Lord His rightful places is eternal damnation. Matthew 10:37-39

      How sad it will be for those who have spent all their time here making a life for themselves only to “lose” life eternal.

  • Richard Mansel 12:32 am on 2010-01-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attendance,   

    Joy 

    We had more than a dozen visitors tonight. May God be praised! I spoke on Satan’s attacks on Leadership. Actually, we now have had seven people place membership. A total of eleven people when you include families!

     
    • Mike Riley 4:36 am on 2010-01-25 Permalink | Reply

      This is great news, Richard! We are always appreciative of visitors who come our way. Because of our visitors today, we had a total of 41 souls at Montana Street – we usually have 25 – so this is great!

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