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.
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.