“Not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” — Hebrews 10:25
It is sad to ride down many country roads. As you look along the roadside, you see remnants of what used to be productive farms and old homesteads. You won’t have to look hard to see barns that are falling in and have been long abandoned. There are spots on most back roads that used to be fields that grew a family’s livelihood that are now full of pine trees and wild blackberry vines.
Areas that once teamed with cattle mooing, chickens running after June bugs and hogs getting fat have long been nothing but a distant memory. Farm equipment sits there, rusting. It completed its last task and then parked. Never to be used again. People have walked away. There was one day that the farmer got off the tractor seat and decided to never sit back in it again.
For many people that way of life has been forgotten, and they have moved on. In some areas you can’t even tell that there was once a farm there. Nature has reclaimed the landscape.
That is sad to me, but something very similar and even sadder is taking place in our churches. Abandonment: Each Sunday many people walk out of the doors of our churches, never to return.
Empty pews remind many churches of what used to be. Vacant Sunday school classes that used to team with life, now filled with spider webs. People are forgetting about the need to worship. They forget about the importance of being a part of a body of believers. They forget about the strength and support that can be found by being a part of God’s family. They walk away from corporate worship. Many go and chase after hobbies or careers instead. Sadly many have grown cold toward worshipping Jesus. It is no longer a priority.
The writer of Hebrews warns us about dropping out of church. He warns us about abandoning our faith. He reminds us of the importance of meeting together to worship.
With everything going on in our world today, watching worship on television or online has become popular, but we can never allow it to replace gathering together with other believers to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We need each other.
With everything that is going on in our world today, we have got to encourage and build each other up. It is the only way that we are going to be able to make it through it all. Worshipping together is a basic human need. Many people do not recognize it, but it is.
If you have stopped going to church, for whatever reason, reread this verse. I cannot state it any simpler. Get up. Go to church. Worship Jesus. Be encouraged.
Eddie Nutt is pastor of North Henderson Baptist Church.