Why Go to Church?

Do you or do you know someone who believes a Christian does not need to go to church? Christians have many reasons why they don’t go to church. Over the next several blog posts, I want to explore what the Bible says about the church. In this post, I identify the benefits of being a part of a church. I understand that the church is made of imperfect people who hopefully strive to become more like Christ, so don’t expect to find a perfect church. The pastor won’t be perfect either, so why go to church? Just as people can be messy, so can a church.

Why We Need the Church

I have discovered that many people wrongly believe that they don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. That is true. If you are a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, you will still be a Christian and go to heaven. But God created us to be a community of believers. A community looks out for each other and helps those in need. Titus 3:14 states, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

For example, one of our homeschooling mothers with six children was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her youngest was five years old. Our church family supported her and helped the family by taking turns driving her for treatments, making her family meals, and watching the children during her treatments. The type of cancer could not be treated with chemotherapy, so she was allowed to try alternative therapies that were not paid for by her insurance. The church family helped pay for the treatments. The men of the church cut and split wood for the family to heat their home for the winter. At Christmas time, the church showered her children with gifts.

If you stayed home instead of supporting the local church and helping the members in need, then who would be there for you and help you in your time of need? How will you be encouraged to love and do good deeds if you don’t go to church? Hebrews 10:23-25 states, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” If we neglect attending church, we are disobeying God, and therefore, are in sin. I understand that the elderly and infirmed may not be able to get to church, so hopefully, the members of their church will be visiting them to encourage them in their faith and show love by helping them.

The Church is Necessary to Help Us Persevere in Our Faith

Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” I know you can do online church or listen to radio preachers, but being in the house of God and corporately worshiping with others encourages your faith in God. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God required them to build a meeting place where the whole congregation could hear from God through Moses. A congregation is an assembly of persons brought together for common religious worship.

Psalm 107:32 states, “Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” Also, Psalm 111:1 states, “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”  And Hebrews 2:12  states, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation, I will sing your praise.” The Bible is clear that we are to meet together to praise God. Psalm 86:9 states, “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” If you don’t want to worship with the believers on earth, then why would you want to worship with them in heaven?

The Corporate Worship Protects You from Deception

Deuteronomy 11:16 states, “Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” You risk losing your faith and being deceived when you don’t go to church because you become vulnerable to demonic attacks. We were created to worship God and to believe in Him, so if we stop worshiping God, then we will be drawn to worship idols. You are deceived if you don’t think this can happen to you because it happened to the Israelites time and again throughout the Old Testament, and they suffered greatly.

Have you ever sat around a campfire? If you move a burning log away from a fire, it quickly cools and stops burning. If you noticed that when someone stops going to church, their faith will cool? We will be easy prey for the enemy when we are isolated. 1Peter 5:8-9a states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith.” You can only be firm in your faith when you stay close to other believers with a strong faith. Have you watched an African Nature show? A herd of animals can protect themselves from predators, but if one of the animals gets separated, they are taken down and eaten. We need to stay watchful. The church is there to encourage us to stay under God’s protection.

Conclusion

My heart is very heavy as I write this post because I know many people who were strong in their faith but are no longer walking with God because they left the encouragement and protection of the church. If you don’t like the church you attend or attended, then find another Bible-teaching church. I have changed churches many times, depending on my stage of life. For example, my mother and father grew up Lutheran, so I began my life as a Lutheran. My mother and father came to know Jesus as their savior, so we attended a Brethren Church for a while. Then my mother and father got baptized by the Holy Spirit, and we went to a Pentecostal church for a while. My parents divorced, and we returned to the Lutheran church in my teen years. In college, my friend took me to her Pentecostal church. When I got married, we attended a Christian Missionary Alliance church. When I married my second husband, he wanted to attend the local Wesleyan Church. The point is, find a church that teaches the Bible and don’t expect it to be perfect or to meet your expectations.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Is the End Near? Part Two―What Will Happen?

Many times, people have predicted the rapture would happen on this date, but it never happened. Why did they get it wrong? They were so sure they had it figured out. How could they be wrong? The Bible says in Matthew 24:36, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” The next time you hear someone say, I know for sure that Jesus is returning on this date; ignore them, but be ready. Matthew 24:44 states, “Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 1Thessalonians 5:2 states, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

How should we be ready for Christ’s return? Over the next several blog posts, I will explore the meaning of each statement listed in 1Peter 4:7-10, which tells us what we must be doing when Christ returns.

1Peter 4:7-10 (NIV) states, The end of all things is near.

―Therefore, be alert (ESV says, be self-controlled; NAS says, be of sound judgment) and

―of sober mind so that you may pray.

―Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

―Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

―Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

What did Peter mean when He said the end of all things is near? First, let’s review the context of this chapter. Chapter four begins by explaining Christ’s suffering and how our purpose is to suffer in the flesh (also means tempted) until we cease from sin and live for the will of God. Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” God will help you to endure your suffering. The chapter ends by elaborating again on how suffering will test our faith.

These posts explain how to suffer well: Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well and 7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1).

This next Scripture passage explains how we are to live our lives and how to keep from being distracted from running our life’s race. For me running is suffering, so I think it is fitting that a race is a metaphor for suffering. Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Each of us is running the race of life in different lanes. My lane may require I suffer persecution and hardships; your lane may require suffering afflictions. We each need to keep our eyes on Jesus and encourage one another to love and do good deeds. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how to stir up (encourage) one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day (of Christ return) drawing near.

Jesus’s lane was not easy. He was born in a smelly, cold stable only to suffer persecution for speaking the truth that God was His Father. Then He paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross to save us from the wrath of God. 1Peter 2:21-23 states, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.   He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

The next Scripture passage encourages us to entrust our souls to God, who is faithful and to do good. 1Peter 4:16-19 states, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

“And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’”

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

Read the posts on what it means to do good. Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness? and Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

Jesus warned us that the world would hate us because it hated Him, so expect it and don’t be surprised. John 15:18 states, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Then John 17:14 says, “I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” And 1Peter 4:14 states, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” Finally, Romans 8:16-18 (ESV) states, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Nobody wants to suffer unless you volunteer to join the military. But when you do suffer, keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Heb. 12:2), and He will help you endure to glorify you with Him. Matthew 24:13 states, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Be encouraged by the truth that nothing can separate you from the love of God explained in the following passage. Romans 8:35, 37-39 stares, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  37) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope you will keep your eyes on Jesus and the truth of God’s Word and not be distracted by your suffering, the problems in the world, and the allurements of your sinful flesh. We do not know when Christ will return but we need to be ready and watching. I am praying for you, please pray for me. I would love to know what your thoughts are.

RELATED POSTS:

Is the End Close? Part One―What does the Bible Say?

Unseen Battle With The Secular World

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

How the Devil Causes Trouble

Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)