The Lord's Supper
Biblical Teachings on The Lord's Supper
by Norman H. Wells
Former Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Cincinnati
Now With The Lord

<<==The Late Dr. Norman H. Wells

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Chapter 9

AS OFTEN!

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"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." (I Corinthians 11: 26.)

Nowhere in Scripture does it tell the church when or how often the Lord's Supper should be observed. I Corinthians 11:26 is as close as the Scriptures come to instruction on this matter. The words "as often" would certainly lead us to believe that it was to be regular and often!! There is a great need for Christians to be consistent in all their relationships with the church and the Lord's Supper teaches this great truth. Every Christian should regularly find himself a participant at the Lord's Table.

Church members no longer think it important to be regular in their church attendance. The highways, picnic grounds, amusement parks, ball parks, show houses, night clubs, etc., all do their biggest business on Sundays!! A great percentage of those in attendance will be church members!

EXCUSES

The least excuse is used by some church members to skip attending church. These folks skip church if it is raining or if it even looks like rain. They never come if it is snowing or if there is snow on the ground. If it is too hot they do not come! They stay home when it is cold. When friends or relatives visit them on Sunday they miss church. When they go visiting it is always on Sunday and so they miss church. These folks figure babies under three years are too small to bring to church. Children from four to five years are too much trouble in church to bring them. From seven years to twelve the child doesn't want to come and after 12 won't come!! Little Johnny sneezes on Friday so the whole family stays home on Sunday! If the children are sick they stay home and if they aren't sick they stay home for fear they will catch something at church.

In this area it is estimated that it will rain about ten Sundays out of the year and snow on at least three Sundays. It figures to be hot for 12 Sundays and cold for at least nine. This makes 34 Sundays these folks cannot come to church. They will have company for eight Sundays and will go visiting another eight. This makes 50 Sundays a year these folks cannot attend church. It leaves two Sundays a year they can attend-Easter and Christmas!!!

FIFTY-TWO SUNDAYS A YEAR

A true, born-again believer will attend church regularly --- 52 Sundays a year, unless sick or otherwise hindered. This church member will be present Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He is saved and loves the Lord.

A SEVEN-FOLD SIN

There is a need to emphasize again the importance of regular church attendance. We would like to discuss the Seven-fold Sin of Missing a Church Service. We have in mind, of course, those folks who miss a church service without any real reason for doing so.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25.

God's direct commandment is given here!! We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together! We are not to miss a church service. To do so is to disobey God! Church attendance is a matter of obedience unto God, not merely convenience to self!!

"He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." I John 2:4.

To assemble together in God's house is a commandment of God.

The next sin that is committed when a church service is missed is revealed in I Corinthians 16:2.

"Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."

Here we have one of the New Testament affirmations of tithing. Upon every Sunday each Christian is to bring his tithes and offerings to God's house. An individual church member who neglects attending the local church will also neglect supporting it!! He becomes guilty of robbing God! If it depended upon these church members the church would be closed, the missionaries called home, the voice of the gospel would be stilled and the world would go to hell!!!

This is love that we walk after His commandments." II John 6.

Let us look at the third great sin committed each time a church member deliberately misses a church service.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15.

The church member that neglects church attendance will invariably neglect God's Word. The true church is a place of Spirit-filled teaching! This is God's way! The church, in one sense, is the school we attend to study God's Word and to train to be a workman for Him. A careless church member is generally an ignoramus as far as God's Word is concerned! His ignorance is a shame to the cause of Christ.

In Ephesians 6:4 we see another of these sins.

"And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

What a black, hideous sin!! Parents, by their neglect of the service at God's house, implant in their children a disregard for God, the church and the Bible! The awful sin of being guilty of neglecting our children by neglecting the church. What a tragedy for a church member to realize, too late, that his children are grown and lost!!! Children on their way to hell because of the carelessness of the parents! May God help us to understand that the parents' attitude toward Christ and His church is reflected in their children. How can parents expect their children to be concerned about that which they treated so lightly.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6.

BREAKS FIRST COMMANDMENT

Let us consider the next great sin that is committed when a church member neglects the services of the church.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3.

Whatever keeps the church member from the worship of God is preferred before God. Whatever is preferred before God becomes the object of our affections and a god before the God. This can be pleasure, comfort, money, etc. For instance:

"The love of money is the root of all evil: . . ." I Timothy 6: 10.

"For they loved the praises of men . . ." John 12:43.

". . . loved this present world." II Timothy 4:10.

". . . lovers of their own selves." II Timothy 3:2.

". . . lovers of pleasure." II Timothy 3:4.

Whatever keeps a church member from God's house is preferred before God. How many prefer the luxury of lying in bed on a Sunday morning to worshiping God? How many seek recreation and amusement on Sunday instead of being in attendance at God's house.

"Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth." Colossians 3:2.

In Mark 12:31 we find the next great sin that is committed when a church member deliberately misses church.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Every Christian has a responsibility to all of lost mankind. To win others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is the God-given responsibility of every Christian. This is God's way. We are to love the lost and give ourselves to win them to Jesus.

To neglect the church service is to refuse to help win the lost. As far as the willfully absent are concerned every lost person in attendance at the church service can go to hell!!! Can this be an expression of love to our neighbor? God expects and requires every Christian to be present at every service. Can a saved person be so calloused as not to care if the lost are saved?

May we speak of one more sin that is committed each time a church member deliberately misses a church service?

"Saying, I will declare thy name unto thy brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." Hebrews 2:12.

Jesus speaks of singing praise unto God in the church. To miss church is to rob God of this kind of praise. The church gathers to praise God. To refuse to come for this purpose is to refuse to praise God!!

GLAD!

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Psalms 122:1.

A true, born-again Christian will echo these words of the Psalmist! The true Christian is thrilled to be able to assemble with God's people. He cheerfully brings his tithe and offering to God's house. His heart's desire is to read and study God's Word. He praises God for the opportunity the church provides him to bring his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He loves the Lord and wants the lost to know Him as he does.

The church-going Christian is a happy Christian.

The need is for a revival that will put the church member back in the church.

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