Members are mistaken when they say, “It doesn’t hurt for me to stay away from the assemblies of the church.” But it does hurt — more than you realize.
It hurts you — it deprives you spiritually of the food you need to be in good “health.” It hurts you because you have disobeyed one of God’s commands and disobedience is a sin. Hebrews 10:25 says, “… 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.” James 2:10 adds, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” If one sins and it is not repented of, they cannot go to heaven.
It hurts God — God is grieved when man sins. Genesis 6:6 says, “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” So it was in the days of Noah and so it is now. God does not want any to be lost. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God wants you to demonstrate your love toward Him by fulfilling the commands given to you.
It hurts the church — your absence discourages those who are present, and you are unable to participate in the singing, praying, giving, or discussion of God’s word. The first members of the church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Do you constantly devote yourself to God? If not, then how can it be said that you have the appropriate devotion toward God?
It hurts outsiders — when you stay away from the meetings of the church, you set a bad example and nullify everything you say about how important the church is. Outsiders will know that Christ means very little to you, and your bad example will further influence younger and weaker members to stay home and neglect spiritual matters.
Does it hurt? Oh, how it hurts when even one child of God does not care enough to worship God faithfully! Elijah asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him …” (1 Kings 18:21). Will you follow the Lord and attend as you should?