“If I Only Come to Sunday Morning Worship, Will I Still Go to Heaven?”
I don’t know, but the question does tell me that you have an attitude problem. Doing only what you have to do is legalism. This attitude will ultimately lead you to fall from grace because you’re trying to get there with minimum religious works. This question reveals a lack of knowledge regarding the faith. This person needs to come to worship services to learn more about God’s grace and be free from the curse of legalism. If one keeps this attitude, no amount of attendance will save them. I’m not saying, “If you don’t come to Wednesday evening services, you’re going to hell.” I’m saying that if you think in terms of attendance as some kind of “brownie points”, you’re a legalist and being a legalist endangers your soul.
There are tests in the spiritual world that determine our spiritual health. For example: how often we take time to pray and read God’s word determines how healthy our relationship is with God. The talents that God gave us and whether we use them determines our spiritual health. The amount of money we give to the Lord compared to what we keep for ourselves reveals the extent of love we have for God.
The one test that determines our spiritual health, maturity, and strength is church attendance. Ask these questions and you will realize your spiritual health.
Do I Have to Be There Every Time?
There is a problem if one even has to ask this question. It is like the student who asks how many minimum pages for the report or like ordering somebody to tell you they love you. The whole question speaks to attitude! The gathering of the Saints for worship is a new lifestyle that we enter into and develop as we grow in Christ. We read in Acts 2:41-47
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 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, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2: 41-47 is not just a comment on how things were but it is an example for us to follow. We should manage our lifestyle; our activities, and our work in order to move as close as possible to this goal. Our homes, our jobs, our feelings, and our recreation cannot bring us closer to God than gathering with the saints.
Being at every service pleases God.
God desires that His people gather to worship Him and that they do it often. In Isaiah 56:6-7, God was very specific about keeping the people true to the day of worship and He was pleased with those who kept it.
…Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant- 7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.
In Ephesians 5:17:19—
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 …. be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
We always have a choice of activities to do on Sunday and Wednesday evenings but worship will always be the choice that pleases God. Hebrews 13:15-16—
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
It pleases God to see us offering praise. Pleasing God is what our lives as Christians are about. To know and glorify God is essential if we are to find true meaning for our lives. Not coming to a worship service requires an excuse (some are valid). However, being here never requires an excuse. Most people want to please the ones they love. Attending every worship service our love for God.
Being Here Every Time Strengthens Our Faith.
When people have problems, often before they mention food or finances they ask for greater faith. The 9-11 victims in New York had all kinds of financial assistance but they asked for help with their faith. Our President commands the most powerful military but asks the nation to pray that his faith will not falter. The Apostles witnessed God’s miracles and performed mighty deeds themselves but they asked Jesus to increase their faith – Luke 17:5—
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
Faith is not only necessary for salvation but it is also necessary to be able to manage the many issues of life. Faith is so important, but how do we acquire it? Paul says:
“… Faith comes by hearing… the words of Christ.” Romans 10:17
The strength of our faith is proportional to our exposure to God’s word and God’s people. Weak attendance = weak faith = a weak Christian. Strong faith is usually a result of much teaching, and for most that only comes through faithful attendance.
Being Here Every Time Builds the Church.
In Hebrews 10:23-25—
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 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.
The Jewish Christians were weak in their faith and were being tempted to return to Judaism. Their absence from the assembly contributed to their weak faith. Our presence at all services is critical in the building up of the Church because through regular attendance we proclaim Christ to each other. We provide a Godly example to others. Have you ever asked what your absence from services on a regular basis says to children, to younger Christians or visitors? They need to see mature Christians take seriously their attendance at worship for them to emulate. When we’re here regularly we contribute a solid example, an action of encouragement, a witness of love for the Church. We also demonstrate our support of the elders who are charged with leading and feeding this flock – Hebrews. 13:17—
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
The elders have set these times for us to gather for worship, fellowship, service and prayer. Submission to those who are over us in the Lord, as Hebrews says, also includes the cooperation of members attending at the times that the leaders have set!