AWOL Absent With Out Leave Away from military duties without permission, but without the intention of deserting. A soldier or other military person who is absent from duty without leave. But, not the meaning for this lesson!
AWOL Absent With Out LOVE!
Comments by a Gospel Preacher! “Usually, a person’s problem is not attendance. It is a symptom of a larger, deeper problem. Most often, folks simply lack true faith and real conviction about the Lord, the judgment to come, and eternity. They become so hardened in the ways of the world and have such worldly mind-sets, though they may not lead immoral lives, that the word is choked out of their heart, ‘And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful’(Mk. 4:19).
Only a symptom of a deeper problem! “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart”(Ps. 119:2). “I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments”(Ps. 119:7). “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Ps. 119:34). “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed” (Ps. 119:80). “I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end” (Ps. 119:112). Forsaking the Assembling is… A HEART PROBLEM!
Those Who Forsake The Assembling DO NOT… (Hebrews 10:21-39) Have boldness to enter in the holiest – vs. 19 Draw near to God with a true heart - vs. 22 Hold fast the confession of faith - vs. 23 Consider & provoke others to love & good works - vs. 24 Exhort to consider the day drawing near - vs. 25 Heed the warning of willful sin – vs. 26 Respect the Spirit of grace & blood of Christ - vs. 29 Fear the vengeance & judgment of the Lord - vs. 30 Remember their former state - vs. 32-33 Have compassion for the sufferings of others - vs. 34 Have confidence in the eternal reward - vs. 34-35 Have a saving faith - vs. 38 Please the Lord through steadfastness - vs. 38-39 Actions of Love
Divine Priority of Love: 1st - 2nd - 3rd - Matt. 22:35-40 The Heart of the Matter… Man’s God Neighbor Self The Command To Love
Jesus on “If ye love me…” “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (Jn. 14:21). “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me” (Jn.14:23-24).
1 John 2:3-5 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
AWOL Scriptural Reasons for Attending All Possible Assemblies of The Saints!
Reason # 1 I am commanded to assemble with the saints! “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” (Heb. 10:25). Assembling is the coming together of the Saints and used in reference to worship. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17, 18, 20, 33; 14:23, 26 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 2 I am commanded to break bread on the first day of the week! This means EVERY first day of EVERY week! Acts 20:7; 2:42 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 3 I am commanded to give as I have been prospered on the first day of the week! This means REGULARLY! EVERY first day of EVERY week! Who is to do this? “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Cor. 16:1-2). “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Eph. 4:28; 2 Cor. 9:7; 2 Cor. 8:1-5 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 4 I am commanded to sing with God’s people! “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). 1 Cor. 14:26; Jas. 5:13; Acts 16:25; Matt. 26:26-30 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 5 I am commanded to pray with God’s people! “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”(Acts 2:42). Act 1:14; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess.2:13; 5:17; 2 Tim.1:3 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 6 “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). 1 Cor. 15:1-4, 11; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:1-5 1 Tim. 1:1-4; Col. 1:21-28; Gal. 1:8-11 I must give attendance to the preaching of God’s Word! Act 16:14 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 7 I am commanded to be an example to others! “…but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12) Tit. 2:7; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Thess. 1:6 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 8 I am commanded to let my light shine before men that they me see my good works and glorify God! Matt. 5:16; Jn. 15:8; 1 Pet. 2:12 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 9 I am commanded to bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! Eph. 6:4; 1 Tim. 4:12; Duet. 6:6-7 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 10 I am commanded to be ready unto every good work! (Tit. 3:1) Col. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:19-21 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 11 I am commanded to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! 1 Cor. 15:58 1 Cor. 3:8; 2 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 6:7-9 Heb. 10:22-23 If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 12 I am commanded to edify my brethren! Edify: oikodome - architecture, i.e. (concretely) a structure; figuratively, confirmation:-- building, edify(-ication,-ing). Rom. 14:19 Eph. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:11 “And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto love and to good work” (Heb. 10:23) If I do not attend, this commandment is broken!
Reason # 13 I am warned against neglect! “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him”(Heb. 2:1-3) Heb. 3:8-14 If I do not attend, I have neglected this warning!
Final Question! Brethren, how can we afford to stay away from any service of the church, or neglect a special meeting and other services of the church? Let us begin now, if we have not already, to be sure we attend every service possible and thereby encourage others to do the same! “...but be thou an example of the believers…” 1 Tim. 4:12