The title of the message tonight is "Saved By Church Attendance". Now, before you have a cardiac arrest, or begin to accuse me of preaching heresy, let me clarify that title. We know that the Bible teaches clearly the only way of eternal salvation is by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as atonement for our sin. We cannot add to that nor take away from that. But, what I want us to consider tonight is that there is much benefit from being faithful in our church attendance. Not that a person obtains salvation by church attendance, but rather that a Christian can be saved from certain things by church attendance. Attending the house of the Lord is one of the greatest privileges that a child of God has. The reason so many Christians never become great Christians is that they don't make church attendance an absolute must in their life; consequently, many homes are putting out offspring who have adopted the same philosophy concerning attending God's house.
I. Saved From Doubt Of Salvation
A. When a Christian drops out of church it isn't long until they begin to doubt their salvation.
1. Salvation and church attendance are woven together.
a. God knows the importance of church attendance to the believer; that is why He established the local church.
(Mat 16:18) "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
b. It is where we find encouragement to face the trials of life.
c. It is where we are drawn closer to the Lord through the study of His Word.
d. It is where we are drawn closer to each other in prayer and fellowship.
e. It is abnormal to try to separate our salvation and our church attendance.
2. If we are not in church we will lose that closeness of fellowship with the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
(Mat 18:20) "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
3. When we lose our fellowship with God it seems that He is always far away.
4. Church attendance is imperative if we intend to grow as a believer in Christ.
5. I know of no one who is consistently growing in the Lord who has no regard for attending the house of the Lord.
6. If we stay out of church long enough, we will eventually begin doing what an unsaved person does.
B. Church attendance is one way of witnessing that we are saved.
1. Not many people would believe that we are Christians if we do not attend church regularly.
2. I have had people tell me, "I may not go to church, but I am a Christian!"
3. Why do you suppose they felt it necessary to tell me that?
4. Because they know a Christian should be in church on a regular basis.
5. There is no continuity in our testimony if we don't go to church.
6. Who will believe that Christ really means anything to us if we don't make His church a priority in our lives?
C. Coming to church should be a family matter.
Josh 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
1. Obviously, if a family member is lost they will most likely not want to attend church.
2. But too often it is the believer who pulls away from the local fellowship.
3. There is a place that the Lord has chosen for us to bring our family and meet with Him in worship.
4. That place is Grace Baptist Temple.
II. Saved From Defeat In Service
A. Defeat comes to the unfaithful Christian.
1. It is spiritually impossible to be faithful to God in any form of service and ignore the attendance to His house.
2. Paul Harvey was talking about a school-teacher who had taught for years and years and never missed a day.
3. Many companies give rewards or incentives for faithful attendance at the work place.
4. What does our attendance record for Sunday school, Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening look like?
5. We can't be faithful to the Lord and be unfaithful to His house.
B. We have an enemy who wants to defeat us.
1. He wants us to fail.
2. He will use whatever it takes to get us to go back on our commitment to God.
3. The first stage toward defeat is to get us to skip church.
C. Satan Is A Master Of Deceit.
1. He will try to convince us that our sin is acceptable.
2. After all, no one is perfect.
3. He will cause us to look at other people and say, "Everyone is doing it."
4. He will put barriers between the church and us.
a. I don't like the preacher's messages.
b. Or maybe, I don't like the preacher.
c. I don't get along with Mrs. Jones or Mr. Smith so I will just quit coming.
d. There is too much of this or too little of that…
e. Defeat will come to the Christian who is not faithful in church attendance.
III. Saved From Drought of the Spirit.
(Eph 4:30) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
(1 Th 5:19) "Quench not the Spirit."
A. Lack of faithful church attendance will affect us spiritually.
1. Every child of God is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God.
2. Jesus explained that He (the Comforter) would teach us and guide us into truth.
3. However, we as believers must yield to the Spirit of God within us in order to be filled with His power.
4. We cannot expect God's filling and power upon us, when we continue in sin.
5. Make no mistake about it, forsaking the assembly of believers is sin!
B. If we have quenched the Holy Spirit…we have effectively rendered His influence in our lives null.
1. This is a dangerous place for the believer to be.
2. We will make decisions without His direction and wisdom.
3. We are apt to do something outside of the will of God, and God may just let you go our way alone.
4. To intentionally quench the Spirit of God by intentionally missing church is to tell God, "I do not need Your leadership."
C. There are many examples of the tragic consequences of making decisions without God's leadership in our lives.
1. Many heartaches and destroyed lives witness to the folly of such behavior.
2. God takes no delight or pleasure in such matters
3. The Holy Spirit will never leave us in the matter of salvation, but He will let us stumble through life miserable, defeated, and desperate, if we choose to go that way.
Being faithful in attendance to our local church brings great benefits to us as believers. God established the local church for our benefit, not to cause us hurt. The Scripture tells us that Christ loved the church (assembly not the building) and gave Himself for it. It is of great value to our Lord, and it is of great value to us as His children. We are: