Years ago a famous evangelist visited the home of a church member who never came to church. It was a cold day and the two men sat in front of an open fireplace in which burning coals were red hot. The evangelist just sat and listened as the delinquent member bad-mouthed the church, talking about hypocrites in church, poor sermons, too much emphasis on money. In the middle of the man’s diatribe, the evangelist took the tongs from beside the fireplace and lifted just one hot coal out onto the hearth. The longer the man talked, the blacker and colder the coal became. Finally the evangelist said, “Do you see that coal? As long as it was with those other coals in the fireplace it was hot and productive. Now it’s cold and useless. I believe the same thing has happened to you since you left the church.”
“We will not neglect the house of our God” (Nehemiah 10:39).