Reasons for Missing Services

Text: I Kings 18:22-39


I.         People come up with some fairly bazar reasons for being anywhere else but at services.

            A.        They need to be at work, attend school events, sporting practices, sporting events.

            B.        Some are just plain tired or don’t feel well – nothing specific mind you – just a vague discomfort.

            C.        They’re on vacation, or attending parties.

            D.        It is apparent that just about anything is more important than being here.

II.        Four reasons for being absent

            A.        Being deep in thought

                        1.         Once I get started thinking along a particular line, it is irritating to have my train of thought derailed by an interruption.

                        2.         I’ll be working on a particularly difficult problem and the next thing I know it is time to drop everything to go to Bible study.

                        3.         Then it is so hard to pick up where I left off later.

                        4.         I’m sure younger people out there feel that Bible study and worship can get in the way of homework. You’re working on a paper, deep in thought, and it is so hard to stop what you are doing.

                        5.         Being deep in thought must be a good reason to miss

            B.        Being busy

                        1.         Like most of you, I have a lot of projects going on that require my attention and there just isn’t enough hours in the day.

                        2.         Many of them don’t require much thought, but they do consume time.

                        3.         There are repairs to do, housework, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, washing cars, why we could come up with an endless list.

                        4.         Sometimes you get a late start and before you know it, you haven’t gotten nearly enough done and it is time for services.

                        5.         Now you could interrupt what you are doing, go to church, and come back to it later, but think of the satisfaction you can have getting that tedious chore done without interruption!

                        6.         Being busy must be a good reason to miss.

            C.        Traveling

                        1.         My relatives live quite a distance away. Just the last month we had to carefully plot our trip and make some adjustments so that we would be someplace to worship on Sunday and attend a mid-week Bible study. It added an extra two days to our trip just to be where we could worship on Sunday.

                        2.         Vacations cause other problems. There are so many places that would be fun to visit, but there isn’t a church nearby. I once daydreamed of hiking the Appalachian trail, but it takes three months to walk and I couldn’t figure out how to be sure I was near a church way out there.

                        3.         Why if you are vacationing where a church isn’t close by, it must be a good reason to miss.

            D.        Overslept

                        1.         You know that alarm clock goes off awfully early on Sundays. I used to get up earlier during the weekdays to head off for work, but still on Sunday that alarm would sometimes go off earlier than I wanted. Now Sundays are the only day that I set the alarm and these long winter nights make it especially hard to get up.

                        2.         But I get up and get ready to be with the saints. But I notice that a lot of brothers and sisters are taking an extra hour in bed. They walk in just in time for worship and make no excuses for missing the Bible study.

                        3.         I guess that careless attitude could bother me, but sleeping in must be a good reason to miss.

III.       Did you know these reasons are in your Bible?

            A.        Elijah had a showdown with the prophets of Baal in I Kings 18:22-39

                        1.         Two bulls were chosen, one for Baal and one for the Lord God

                        2.         Preparations were made and everything is ready, except for the fire.

                        3.         That was the challenge - I Kings 18:24

            B.        Worship then began

                        1.         The priests called for Baal. They shouted, they danced, but he didn’t come!

                        2.         Elijah taunts them - I Kings 18:27

                        3.         There you have it – four reasons for a god to miss his own worship services!

            C.        But you see, the priests and Elijah knew that these where lousy reasons for not being there.

                        1.         It wasn’t that Baal had reasons for being elsewhere

                        2.         Everyone knew that Baal wasn’t there because he didn’t exist

IV.      But then what does it mean when Christians offer similar flimsy excuses to the one true God for why they can’t spend time in worship and study of His word?

V.      Psalm 100

Based on an article by Matt Henneke