A fellow passing through a cemetery paused before a tombstone and read these words: “I am not dead. . .1 sleep.” As he hurried off, he said, “You can think that if you want to, but you ain't foolin' nobody but yourself!” Some church members are fooling themselves in thinking that they can willfully forsake the worship of God and yet be pleasing to Him.
Those who willfully forsake the worship of God need to wake up and consider their actions in view of Hebrews 10:24-31. Friends, worship is an expression of our love to God. When we count other things more important than worship, what can we say of our love for the Lord?
How determined some folks are to deceive themselves! If the doctor's diagnosis is not what they want to hear, they change doctors. Let the preacher step on their toes and they change churches. Should a friend point out some fault, they find a new friend. For some, it is easier to fool self than to face the truth. What can be said of the chronic absentee?
There are some things that the absentee cannot do.
1. He can't pray for the success of the church without being a hypocrite.
2. He can't say that Christ is first in his life.
3. He can't say that he was made stronger by his absence.
4. He can't say his absence encouraged others.
5. He can't have any assurance that God was pleased by his actions.
There are some things that the absentee does.
1. He disobeys the command to assemble (Hebrews 10:24-25).
2. He disobeys the command to observe the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:19, Acts 20:7).
3. He disobeys the command to give as prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
The path that leads to unfaithfulness begins with self-deception. The shores of time are strewn with the wreckage of souls who started out to live the Christian life and failed because they thought it couldn't happen to them. Writing to Timothy, he spoke of some who “concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,” (1 Timothy 1:19). Paul warned, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Any Christian who says, “It can't happen to me,” is just fooling himself. Therefore, we urge every Christian to faithfully attend every service of the church and to remember the words of Paul: “Let no man deceive himself” (1 Corinthians 3: 18).