Some 8 out of 10 Americans describe themselves as Christians. Not surprising, only 1 out 4 Americans (23%) have gone at least a year without attending any type of church service. Of the 23%, â€œone-third of this segment had never attended a church at any time in their lifeâ€ (Source: Barna Research Group).
As Christians we rightly pray for revival to come to our land and restore the foundations of our nation. And yet we have over 75% of Americans not even attending a church. I could write a book on what is keeping America out of church, but let us focus on the importance of church attendance to those who are actual blood-bought, born-again Christians in dire need of revival.
When the Levites had cleansed the temple as instructed by King Hezekiah they reported back to him:
â€œThen they went in to King Hezekiah and said, â€˜We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings with all its articles, and the table of the showbread with all its articles. Moreover all the articles which King Ahaz in his reign had cast aside in his transgression we have prepared and sanctified; and there they are, before the altar of the Lord.â€™â€ (2 Chronicles 29:18-19)
Now King Hezekiah could have been satisfied with the temple being restored to its original state because he wanted the House of God to be a holy place, but if he had stopped at that it would have still been an empty place. No, the king wanted to have church:
â€œThen King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord…Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped. Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped…So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order…Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.â€ (2 Chronicles 29: 20, 27-30, 35a-36)
Be sure to read all of 2 Chronicles 29 to see all the work and preparation that was done to bring about the restoration of the temple to allow the king and his people to once again worship the Lord, but understand that had the people not gathered there would not have been revival.
This is for my Midway brothers and sisters but all others please eavesdrop. Let me be blunt. You have six days to clear your calendar from this coming Sunday through Wednesday…four nights. Unless you are going to be out of town or have to work evenings you need to be at church for our revival services. If you are not willing to do this, if it is within your control, you have a priority problem. That is the first step.
But just as important as attending revival services is to come prepared to worship the Lord. Beloved, your worship begins by making the commitment to come to every service we have. That is an act of sacrifice. But we must bring our praise and thanksgiving to God for what He has done in our lives. He saved us through His Son Jesus Christ. He blessed us by allowing us to be born in the greatest nation in human history. He is giving us an opportunity to repent of our sins, renew our commitment to holiness, and to be restored by Him to righteousness. If we do not do this, we will not have revival.
Our old friend Matthew Henry wrote this about worship when commenting on our passage:
It is not enough for us to be where God is worshipped, if we do not ourselves worship with the heart. And we should offer up our spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and devote ourselves and all we have, as sacrifices, acceptable to the Father only through the Redeemer.
Dear Lord, I do not just want to attend revival services, I want to be revived, renewed, and restored by your holy presence. Jesus, help me to prepare my heart for the Holy Spirit to have His way with me. I pray this in Your name, amen.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers