THE BLESSED PRIVILEGE OF PUBLIC WORSHIP
"As for me, I will come into
thy house in the
multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will
I worship toward thy holy temple." - Psa. 5:7
Multitudes today who profess to be christians, lovers of God, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and promoters of righteousness, willfully absent themselves from the house of God and despise the blessed privilege of public worship. They justify their actions and excuse their disobedience by pointing to personal responsibilities, inconveniences, or objectionable things connected with the local church. A person determined to walk in a course of disobedience never lacks for excuses to do so! But you will never find justification for neglecting the worship of God in Holy Scripture.
In Nehemiah's day, the children of Israel who had long been without the privileges of worship in the house of God, made a covenant and took an oath saying, "We will not forsake the house of our God" (Neh. 10:39). The Shunammite woman rode a donkey every sabbath day to hear God's prophet at Carmel, though her husband objected to it (II Kings 4:23). In David's time, the saints of God "passed through the valley of Baca" to worship God at Zion (Psa. 84:6). In Daniel's day, the children of God ran to and fro "to increase knowledge", to know more of the Lord God (Dan. 12:4). Zechariah tells us that in his days, the inhabitants of one city went to another, saying, "Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 8:21). Our Lord and his disciples went to considerable trouble and inconvenience to meet together and worship God (Mk. 1:21; Lk. 4:16). The Ethiopian Eunuch journeyed from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship God, seeking to know him of whom the prophets spoke (Acts 8:25).
Call it fanaticism if you choose, but I say without fear of contradiction that anyone who talks about being a christian, who talks about worshipping God, who talks about being a believer, and yet willfully neglects the worship of God, ought to blush with shame for his obvious hypocrisy! All who know God in the experience of his grace delight in worshipping him.