Jesus told His disciples that in the end times “the love of many will grow cold,” (Matthew 24:12). I am not sure that prophecy has anything to do with it, but church attendance across all denominations has dropped significantly since the pandemic. Or maybe the drop is the result of laziness, of going online and observing sermons and worship music without getting all dressed up and going out. Maybe it's time to ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of going to church?” As Christians, we have God's word as a guideline for our actions, and the Bible gives us very explicit reasons for church attendance.

God calls His Sabbath “a holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:3). When we meet together for church, it is holy, commanded by God. Jesus says when “two or three are gathered in My name, I am there” (Matthew 18:20). There are certain things we should expect when we gather at church. In Acts 2, we find an outline of what the early church did. Verse 42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine.” 'Doctrine' here refers to the teaching of God's word based on the confirmed prophetic word (the Old Testament) and on the eyewitness accounts of the apostles (2 Peter 1:12-21).

Wesley Higgins is pastor of Celebration Church of God, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.

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