This is part of a series of posts on the sin of Assimilation. Click here to see the entire series.
Blessings Seen in Dedication to Sunday Morning Service
The single most important time of the entire week is the time that God has called His people to assemble for the purpose of worshipping Him, being instructed from His Word, and communing with Him in the Lord’s Supper. For a variety of theological reasons God has decreed that His people are to assemble on Sunday morning. God issues a “Call to Worship” (that should really be called a “Command to Worship”) that is still a part of many liturgies. The decision to obey that call to worship is not optional.
Imagine for a moment that a person receives a summons to appear in civil court on such and such a date. Is it possible to conceive of any person who would take a legal summons to the court of the land as an option? When a summons is received the recipient does everything necessary to rearrange his schedule to appear before the judge at the appointed time. Why is it then, when the Judge in the Court of Heaven summons His people to appear, Christians seem totally at ease with their decisions to only appear if it is convenient for them? It is too hard to get there if the roads are wet or snowy. It is impossible to get there if an important sporting event is scheduled for the same time. It is expected that I will not be there if it is skiing season. When my employer says that I have to work on Sunday, there is no way I will be there. If I wake up with a sore throat, I will not be there. Every and any reason is accepted as reasonable cause for my being absent from the Sunday morning service.
In a church that is under the blessing of God it would be the case that the members of the church would take the summons to appear on Sunday morning as more important than a summons to appear before an earthly judge. Every effort would be made to arrange schedules and priorities such that Sunday morning would always be available to answer the call. In a church under the judgment of God, 50% attendance would be considered acceptable to be a member in good standing. It is abundantly obvious that the church is under the judgment of God.
Blessings Seen in an Understanding of the Importance of the Church
This category is difficult for an evangelical to understand. Of course, he would say, it is important for me to be in a church so it can meet my spiritual needs. After all, says the evangelical, I recognize that I have spiritual needs and the church is the place those needs are met. This mindset completely misunderstands the importance of the Church.
Throughout most of Church history it has been understood by professing Christians that there is a fierce battle being waged between the Church and the State for supremacy in the minds of men. The fact that modern believers do not even recognize that the battle is taking place is stark evidence of the overwhelming victory of the State in our time. It is almost inconceivable for the evangelical to consider that the Church can be, and should be, the dominant institution in our society.
The Church is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth. Both the State and the Family are to turn to the Church for guidance on the rules for their form and function. The Word of God is supreme over all of life and the Church is the storehouse of the Word of God. It is therefore necessarily the case that the Church is more important than both the State and the Family.
Unfortunately, in our time, the Church has come to be seen as a public service organization. The Church is little more than an adjunct to the State designed to deal with the spiritual or religious part of man. The role and goal of the Church is to make men good citizens of the State by exerting a moral suasion over its members. That reduces the Church to the role of the false prophet in the book of Revelation.
When the relative importance of the Church in our society is considered there can be no other conclusion but that God is currently judging the Church.