ATTENDING CHURCH- Introduction
Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian.” Well, how do you respond to something like that? Do you really have to go to church to be a true believer?
ATTENDING CHURCH- True Faith Alone Saves
Walking into a church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than walking into a garage makes you a car. No matter how you slice it, going to church just isn’t going to save you — it’s only true faith in Christ alone that saves. If indeed you are a true believer you are not going to lose your salvation by not going to church. However, it’s pretty hard to believe that a genuine believer would fail to go to church. The Christian life is to be lived within the context of the family of God (Eph. 3:14-15; Acts 2), and not in isolation. The fact of the matter is Hebrews 10 clearly tells us “…not to neglect the gathering of ourselves together as is the custom of some” (Heb. 10:25).
ATTENDING CHURCH- Vitally Connected to a Healthy, Well-Balanced Church
What we really ought to be discussing is the transcendent importance of being vitally connected to a healthy, well-balanced church. It’s through our attendance at church that we hear the preaching of the Word of God. Ephesians Chapter 4 clearly tells us that God has placed pastors and teachers in the church “to prepare His people of works of service, so that the body of Christ might be build up and strengthened.” You cannot avail yourself of this spiritual training if you are on the golf course on Sunday morning — trying to worship God in the Cathedral of the Pines…
ATTENDING CHURCH- Corporate Worship Demanded
It’s also important to note that you can’t participate in sacraments like the Lord’s Supper without attending church (1 Cor. 11:23-26). Receiving communion with the family of God is not only an incredible privilege, it’s also the responsibility of every true believer. And corporate worship is not only what our gracious sovereign God deserves, but also what He demands.
ATTENDING CHURCH- Conclusion
For these reasons and many other reasons, Christians should take church attendance seriously. The Christian life is to be lived within the context of the fellowship of the saints. The Bible knows nothing of a “lone ranger Christian.” Many logs burning together burn very brightly, but when a log falls off to the side, the embers quickly die out. When you face the difficulties of life as we all surely will, you’ll be thankful for the love, support, and prayers of your extended church family.On the importance of attending church, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.