By Charles J. Fowler
Jesus gave a note of warning that demands our attention. He said: "Take heed what ye hear," and "Take heed therefore how ye hear."
Our experiences of salvation are secured and maintained by the truth. The normal method for our coming to a knowledge of the truth and our keeping in this knowledge, is the public ministry of the word. Paul asserts that Christ gave a diversified ministry in order that Christian Perfection might be obtained and maintained (Eph. 4:11-16). While hearing the word is not the only means of experiencing salvation, yet it is the leading one and for which there should be no substitute. We need help to get and to keep salvation. Though the eunuch had the written word to read, he groped in the dark till a human helper was sent to him (Acts 5:27-31).
God has appointed the public ministry of His word -- "preach the word." This places a responsibility upon the preacher; men must publish it, but there must be the hearer.
This means attendance upon the ministry of the word and attention to it.
It may be that the services we attend are not all we desire as to their spirituality, but it is a poor service that does not give prominence to something of value; even the place itself where God's name is revered is made a means of grace to any devout spirit that frequents it.
This leads us to note that the pulpit and public ministry of the word are not the only divine method by which salvation may be secured and sustained. Were this so then our souls might be imperiled by the unfaithfulness of some ministers and by our inability to get to these places of worship, and it would relieve us of our responsibility relative to our personal salvation were such public means not at hand, or were not of a nature to aid one. God has put the word of truth within our reach and the blessed Spirit of God is ready to aid all who would find its essential teachings.
The Church of Christ represents the kingdom of God in the earth and its services cannot be neglected with safety to one's soul, or without retarding the interests of the community in which the Church is placed as divine leaven. Sanctified people should be noted for their faithfulness to the house of the Lord.