Last month I published the post “Why Should I Go To Church?”. In it wrote that the Church was a place to belong, and a place to believe. "Those who isolate themselves from other believers do so at their own peril, because the Bible tells us that it is important to get together, encourage one another, and correct one another.". . A true Christian will want to be around other Christians. After all, why should God go to your house if you won't go to His? A lot of us want all of the fringe benefits of Christianity without applying ourselves. - Greg Laurie (from "What Makes an 'Authentic' Christian?")
Dr. Charles Stanley gives us another reason to not “not neglect our meeting together”, Life Principle 28 of the YouVerson Reading Plan, Dr. Charles Stanley Life Principles To Live By, 30 Day Reading Plan from InTouch Ministries..
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.25 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.
Together in the Christian Life
Life Principle 28: No Christian has ever been called to “go it alone” in his or her walk of faith.
In Hebrews 10:25, the author makes it clear that believers should not stop meeting together. God wants us to regularly meet with other believers—He wants His people in church! There are those, however, who don’t take this admonition seriously. I’ve often heard this refrain: “I can worship God at home. I don’t need to go to church.” Many believe the sole reason we meet together is to worship—and understandably so. After all, we call it a worship service.
If worship were the only reason we’re commanded to meet, then those who claim they can worship at home would have a strong argument. But worship isn't the sole reason. Nor is it so we can be taught God’s truth. We can turn on our radios, televisions, and visit websites to hear sound biblical teaching. On the surface, it seems that anything we can do at church we can do just as well at home.
So why are we commanded to meet? Why go to church?
The writer of Hebrews says it’s to safeguard against drifting. We’re the body of Christ, and when we’re with other believers, we’re doing what comes naturally and what we’ll do for eternity—being together in His presence. We make up the church, and together we provide strength for one another through prayer, fellowship, and encouragement.
Enemy forces are always at work around us, seeking to blow us off course. Sheer individual commitment is not enough to keep us in line. We need the presence and accountability of other believers—and they need us. When we surrender our lives to Christ, He uses us in countless ways we may never know.
The accountability and encouragement found in church anchor us against the tides that work to sweep us away. To neglect the regular assembly of fellow Christians is to miss out on this essential element in the development of our faith.
Regular church attendance should never be viewed as something you do to gain God’s merit. Instead, it should provide the catalyst for spiritual growth. Ask God to lead you to a church that teaches the Word of God without compromising His truth and demonstrates His love, grace, and forgiveness to all. When He does, you will find He's led you to a church you can truly call home.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.