Is going to church really that important? Many joke or often scoff at the idea of going to church and excuses abound for not doing so. Many have been hurt by the church and understandably do not want to have anything to do with it. Others don’t attend a church gathering simply because they know that they will come under conviction and they want to continue to live in their sin so they avoid it like the plague. Many claim that the church is full of hypocrites so why should we waste our time going? Do they have a point?
Here is a list of five reasons why I believe we should go to church! Also understand that I am fully aware that the church is the people and we should be the church and not just “attend” church. When I say “go to church” I am simply referring to the idea of gathering as a body of believers. It is just much easier to say “go to church” so that is how I am going to refer to it. Also keep in mind that these aren’t necessarily in order of importance and this is not an exhaustive list of reasons. Ready? Here are the reasons:
God Commands Us To
Hebrews 10:25 says not to forsake the assembling of ourselves with others believers. That’s the King Jimmy version but the point is that we should make it a priority to meet together regularly as believers. This is not just a suggestion but appears within the context to be a command from God’s word. This doesn’t mean that meeting together has to be at exactly 11:15 am on a Sunday morning in some legalistic way as though the time slot is sacred, but it does mean that worshiping together with other Christians on a regular basis should be something we take seriously.
Church Encourages US
The writer of Hebrews was encouraging the believers, not burdening them. Many treat church like it’s a chore when meeting with like-minded followers of Jesus should be something we look forward to. The recipients of Hebrews were enduring many persecutions at the time, so meeting together was to be a time of encouragement to continue pressing on and not giving up. Worshiping together was crucial for them and it is crucial for us. We need to be encouraged and reminded that we are not alone in this journey. Other believers who are going through some of the same things can lift us u, pray for us and with us.
Church Challenges Us
As I mentioned above, many avoid church simply because they know their sin will be confronted. Being in an environment that is distraction free and confronted with God’s word challenges us to repent and stay on the straight and narrow. This is also called accountability. As believers we are called to hold one another accountable as we follow Jesus together. Giving up would be easy to do at times, but we continue to press on together.
The New Testament Makes a Big Deal out of the Church
Anyone who says they are a Christian but that the church is not important has never read the New Testament. Jesus Himself established the church, and the whole point of Paul’s mission was to ultimately plant churches. He would go to towns like Ephesus, and start churches. Many of his letters were written specifically to churches. It’s impossible to read the New Testament and come away thinking that the church is not crucial. The point is we are better together and were never meant to follow Jesus on our own.
Jesus Died For the Church
Many have said that they love Jesus but not the church. However, it’s not possible to love Jesus and not love what He died for. Jesus loves His bride and we should too especially if we claim to be a part of it. Also if we claim to be saved then that means we a part of the body of Christ, and we should desire to want to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ. To not care for the church is really to say that Jesus sacrifice on the cross wasn’t really that important, however, He loved the church enough to die an excruciating death for her. The cross is a reminder of just how important the church is and when we neglect the body of Christ not only do we suffer, but we make light of what Christ did on Calvary.