I am in the process of preparing to preach through 1 Peter. This book is especially poignant for Christians in this age, I think, because our cultural crosswinds are increasingly hostile to the message of Christ. Peter refers to the letter’s recipients as “elect exiles.” That is, they are beloved of God and rejected by the world simultaneously. Peter calls God’s people “sojourners and exiles” because he recognized the hostility the world has to the message of Christ.
What hope, peace, and solace, then, is found for strangers and aliens on the Lord’s Day among the Lord’s People. What refuge there is to be found when aliens, strangers, and exiles find time to spend together. What encouragement there is when, after a weary week in the world, we come together with those who share our hope. I regularly remind my people of the supreme importance of church attendance. Gathering weekly to worship with God’s people makes a bold statement: Jesus is Lord here. Not Caesar, not culture, not individuals, not the rich, not the poor, not our preferences. No, Jesus Christ is Lord.
Is the lifestyle you are leading you pushing you toward the people of God? Do you find your interest in time among God’s people waning or increasing? Take your spiritual temperature. I would argue that there is a strong chance that, if you are not seeking respite among the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day, it may be because you are too comfortable in the world. God has said you are a stranger and exile out there, and that you’re at home with God’s people. Do you feel that way? Worldliness kills church attendance. Commit now to assemble together with God’s people on a regular basis.