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Page 218

How was the man in this story breaking God's command in Hebrews 10:25?

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

Church Visible membership is a serious matter, for it includes great blessings and responsibilities. Therefore, presenting our children for infant baptism, adult baptism, and personal confession of faith are solemn matters. They may never be undertaken lightly, routinely, or without due consideration, prayer, and commitment. (These matters are discussed in detail in Chapter 27.)

After joining the church, members are called to be supportive of it. They are to support their church through faithful attendance, contribution, cooperation, testimony, and effort. Lack of interest, half-hearted participation, and the missing of one's own worship service to attend other local services all tend to weaken and break down rather than strengthen and build the local church. The following examples illustrate these truths.

    A minister visited a church member who had not been attending church services for several weeks. He found the absentee member sitting by his fireplace.

    The member offered the minister a chair and sat down waiting for an expected rebuke. The minister, however, studied the vigorous fire. Silently he took the tongs and lifted a glowing coal from the depth of the fire and laid it by itself on the hearthstone.

    Remaining silent, the minister watched the glowing coal die out. The member painfully looked from the dying coal to the minister and back to the coal. Finally, he responded, saying, "I understand, Reverend. I will be in church next Sunday."

    Which benefits of church attendance did this minister illustrate by this example?

218

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