Scripture: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:25 NIV

Observation: The Greek, “episunagoge,” is only found here and 2Th 2:1 (the gathering together of the elect to Christ at His coming, Mt 24:31). The assembling or gathering of ourselves for Christian communion in private and public, is an earnest of our being gathered together to Him at His appearing. Union is strength; continual assemblings together beget and foster love, and give good opportunities for “provoking to good works,” by “exhorting one another” (Heb 3:13). Ignatius says, “When ye frequently, and in numbers meet together, the powers of Satan are overthrown, and his mischief is neutralized by your likemindedness in the faith.” To neglect such assemblings together might end in apostasy at last. He avoids the Greek term “sunagoge,” as suggesting the Jewish synagogue meetings (compare Rev 2:9). [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application: How important is it for the family to attend church together on a regular basis?  Does it matter who goes to church with their children, their mom, their dad, neither, or both?  Research done in Switzerland has shown that it is critically important!  In fact, the religious practice of the father of the family determines the future attendance or absence from church by the children.  The results show a dramatic differential between the relative impact of a father’s church attendance and a mother’s church attendance.  This what research in Switzerland showed:
     * If both father and mother attended church regularly then 33 per cent of their children became regular churchgoers, a further 41 per cent irregular attenders and about a quarter not practicing at all.
     * If the mother was a regular church attender but the father irregular then only 3 per cent of their children became regular church attenders, 59 per cent irregular attenders and 38 per cent non-attenders.
     * If the father was non-practising and the mother regular only 2 per cent of children were regular and 37 per cent irregular church attenders. 61 per cent did not attend church at all.
     * Surprisingly, if the father is a regular church attender the children’s religious practice varied in an inverse relationship to their mothers’ practice. If the mother was regular 33 per cent of children were regular. If she was an irregular attender then 38 per cent of children were regular. If the mother was non-practising then 44 per cent of children became regular attenders.
     * Even when the father is an irregular attender and the mother non- practicing 25 per cent of the children were regular attenders and 23 per cent irregular attenders.
     In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how regular the mother is in her religious practice, only one child in 50 becomes a regular church attender. But if a father attends regularly then regardless of the practice of the mother at least one child in three will become a regular church attender. [http://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/2002/sep2002p8_1115.html
     Father, if you love your children and want them to grow up attending church regularly don’‘t neglect church attendance yourself  – make it part of your weekly family practice.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, bless us, as fathers, that we may serve as an example to our children by our regular exercises of our faith, including church attendance together as a family.  And bless us with the joy of seeing our children grow up loving you and serving you all their lives.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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