Why Should I Go to Church?

Why church

July 23

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

Last week, we talked about the vital importance of Christian unity – how it is so important to God… and so essential to a true expression of Christianity.

This week, I wanted to touch on this topic that flows out of the proper understanding of Christian unity…

It seems to me that it is increasingly popular to downplay the importance of going to church. I hear more and more voices talking about the thought that church is no longer that relevant to our Christian walk. “It’s okay if you make church a regular part of your Christian life – but it’s also okay if you don’t.”

take-it-or-leave-it1

Somewhere along the way, we’ve missed something. But really, as our verse for the day tells us, it has always been a common struggle. Apparently, even “back in the day,” people struggled to make church a regular practice. But, also apparently, the author of the Hebrew letter, thought that making a regular practice of NOT making church a regular practice was a bad idea!

But why would he feel that way? More importantly (since his instruction found it’s way into authoritative Scripture) God must feel that way, as well.

So why should every Christ-follower make church attendance a regular part of our Christian lives? We will look at those reasons all this week…

church-attendance-board

We must begin with some essential understandings…

First, The Church is God’s idea. It is what HE had in Mind. It’s what Jesus came to redeem, begin, empower, and authorize… as the Means for doing God’s continuing work in every generation, until He returns.

Second, God may use individuals… but, Scripture declares that, He works with a corporate people. His covenants (except for Abraham) were always with a whole Body of people.

covenant ratified

Even the individual covenant with Abraham was to bring about a whole Body of covenant people! Nearly all the promises that God gives to His people are given to the whole group. This tells us that the individual parts are important – but have their utmost significance in the whole.

Third, “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for Her.” (Ephesians 5:25) The object of Jesus’ love was the whole Church. The reason He “gave Himself up” was for the whole Church. His death was to ransom ALL of The Church. As individual believers, we are part of the whole Church – and Jesus loves us each… as part of the Whole. One of the real problems we face is when we make individuality more important than the Whole Body (as we shall see in the days ahead).

Lastly, when the last day comes, and Christ returns, His focus will be upon a whole and united people. The Book of Revelation speaks in terms of all of us Christians together as The Bride of Christ (19:7; 21:2, 9). Jesus is yearning for that day – and on that day there will be a celebration in Heaven that has never seen its equal!

bride-of-christ

Did you notice that this last thought was on the mind of the writer in admonishing believers to continue with being active in church? When we disconnect from the Body of believers… we tend to disconnect with Jesus – and lose touch with the things that matter most to Him.

And there are just too many warnings, in Scripture, about not being ready for Christ’s eminent appearing. We need to be ready for that day – waiting for that day – and encouraging each other about that day.

To do that we need a heart-felt commitment to be actively involved in what Jesus “gave Himself for.”

About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
This entry was posted in Attending Church, Belonging to God, Commitment to Jesus, Daily devotional, True Christianity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why Should I Go to Church?

  1. Thank you for this message. I agree that this is important and that there are too many of us that don’t connect with the body in general as a part of any particular church group.

    I am not commenting here as an arguement, but in order to bring my thoughts to the conversation, as I believe you, my good friend, would welcome a conversation.

    I have been on both sides now, and see the strengths and benefits in connecting, as well do I see why some may find it too difficult to be a part of a church body. (I almost used the word “challenging,” but heck, anything that’s “good” SHOULD be and usually is “challenging” in some way). I’ll stick with the phrase “too difficult” for now.

    Be certain, I do believe there are many reasons some don’t attend the church body regularly, and I do you believe that there may be many good and acceptable reasons for that.

    But, in my best Richard Nixon impersonation,”Let me say this about that!”

    I also believe that one of the reasons that people don’t attend a church body regularly is unfortunately the same reason that many people don’t want to hear the gospel, or don’t even want to acknowledge that there is a God… And that is the fact that this recognition for a need brings a recognition for accountability and relationship. Obligations.

    I may be preaching to myself here, but it’s very easy to skate on the accountability when you skate on the relationship.

    (Okay, I’m sorry that this is turning out to be such a long reply… But not really).

    Now here’s my situation, and as it’s been on my heart to talk to my pastor, I’m curious to hear what you all would say since you brought this up… I haven’t been in regular attendance in 2 years. That’s when I changed jobs, and during the transition it actually wasn’t possible to make either the morning or night service. But then when it came to be possible to attend on an occasional basis I opted to stay home. It did get to the point where I felt like I lost momentum in the teachings and in the understanding of the goings-on in the community. I also have to admit that I lost some desire to be accountable for my attendance.

    I do everyday feel the burning desire to reconnect with my church community, with the body of Christ, even though I struggle daily and do feel that I still have some connection with the Spirit. I understand the dynamic of the synergy involved.

    But here’s the big stumbling block that I have the desire to talk to my pastor about, but still haven’t… if you saw my posting from a while back called “Oxymoron-Lonesome Christian” or if you had read my page called “A Perspective on My Testimony,” you might recall that my wife and I aren’t on the same page spiritually. I came to Christ on my own, preferring a protestant environment, 15 years after we married and drifted from her Catholic church body. She, God bless her, would rather attend her own church IF and when she wanted. But she’s quite comfortable not going to church at all, and not even getting into God’s word at all, since that’s how it’s always been. I’ve even offered to go to the local Catholic service’s here, but she’s declined.

    Not to mention the fact that our kids never went to church, except to be baptized as infants.

    So here’s my hang up when I do attend the body, the more time I spend with the body, the less time I spend at home with my family, and the more it takes away from me being with them and my relationship with them. Secondly, many of the functions, events, and programs are meant to include families and nurture families, and this is awesome, but I go by myself while my family is elsewhere.

    About three years ago, when I was attending and serving regularly, my wife expressed her regrets and feelings that she would desire a divorce as soon as the children have all left the house based on the fact that we have very little in common other than the children themselves. So of course at that point I cut back and stayed home as much as I could. This has helped greatly to relieve her concern, but now I am concerned for the reasons stated above.

    It’s kind of funny that I remember years ago when I started going to church I told her that I was going to change and be a better man, be a better husband, and a better father, but all she saw was less of me. My intention and desire was that they would all come with me to church as well as to Christ.

    So, I am conflicted.

    Please excuse and forgive me for this lengthy comment, and for the self-indulgent plugs for my own blog.

    Sincerely, Michael.

  2. Michael, Thanks for sharing with me. I am honored that you would feel open enough to “bare your soul.” Your situation sounds difficult. And tenuous. I would definitely encourage you to share your heart with your Pastor… or another trusted brother. Sometimes we need to remember that Jesus defined “church” as simply as when “two or three are gathered in My Name.” Start small. Find a brother you can commit to… and one that can commit to you, as well. See where that goes…
    The “going to church” issue is never easy. Unfortunately, I am writing in broad strokes — seeking to hit the highlights of what God tells us in His Word. There are issues and reasons that can “fall between the cracks.” Being involved in church is important to God… but so is your marriage. I DO know that God knows what is best for you… and HOW best to get you where you need to go (and be!). That is the definition of wisdom — and something that God seeks to give to us… when we ask (James 1:5). I will pray for you (I mean it!). God has His Hand upon you… and He will lead you in every step of your journey! Keep me posted!
    May God richly bless you and guide you in His perfect grace, M. A.

  3. I miss it all, the fellowship, the worship, the teaching. But somehow, I don’t feel pressured to attend just for the sake of attending. Like you said, I really feel like my marriage and my family are my main focus. I can’t say it feels wrong. Actually, it felt more wrong going without my wife. I’m trying to live by God’s truth and by God’s spirit, I know that is my best worship possible.

    And I am still meeting every 2 or 3 weeks in study with two retired gentleman. I’m trying to keep God first and work through all of this by his guiding and his provision, and with that comes a sense of comfort that tells me that this is just a season of growing.

    Who knows what God has in store?

    Thanks again friend, apparently I’m incapable of short replies… Grace to you brother! Michael.

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