Did you ever play the game “tug-of-war?” It is a game to test strength. One team tries to pull the other across a line. Daily, there is a “tug-of-war” going on between good and evil. Satan is on the sideline cheering, because he knows that the weak church member is going to lose. He also knows that this is a game that some members of the church play rather half-heartedly. There are some church members whose mate is not a Christian who put on a pretty good show for a while, trying to get the non-member to attend, but so often, they do not put their whole heart into it; sometimes, perhaps even unconsciously, looking for an excuse not to attend. “My husband pitches such a fit when I go to church” might look rather feeble on the Day of Judgment if the early Christians are called up as witnesses. They risked their very lives each time they went to the services. However, if they had not been faithful, you and I would not have the opportunity to know the truth today. Some faithful Christians have resisted the urgings of a non-Christian mate, going to the worship services despite the opposition, and finally won the mate over to Christ. However, that will never happen if the Christian is not especially faithful. It quickly becomes obvious whether or not the church means anything to the husband of a Christian. If it does, then the Christian will attend services under all circumstances, but if one gives in after a feeble struggle, then the non-Christian will know that the church did not mean very much to begin with.
Sometimes, the battle is not between a member and a non-member. Sometimes, even members of the church play this little game. They let Satan creep into their lives and entice them away. When this happens, they begin to look for excuses. They begin to find fault. The preacher doesn’t seem to be preaching sermons that are interesting any more; or the elders are not really interested in the members, they just want to make sure that we meet the budget; or they are not as friendly as they used to be. (I have often wondered who “they” are.); or nobody cares whether we are there or not, nobody will miss us if we are not there. These are rationalizations encouraged by Satan. You are always missed if you are not present. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” ( Matt.18:20). And how it must grieve Him to know how little his sacrifice meant to so many people. And whether they say so or not, the regular members miss you. Therefore, if you play the “tug-of-war” game, play to win! Be here and bring someone with you. Heaven is a wonderful home.