Written by Cynthia Thomas
Edited by Amy Young
So I am a believer in God and His son, Jesus Christ. I have acknowledged my sin before God and asked for forgiveness. Isn’t that enough? Why should I go to church?
Many people ask this question and simply don’t go. They may say, “I am too busy.” Or, “My time outside in nature is my church.” Or, “My time watching sermons on the television is my church.” Or, “Churches are filled with hypocrites.” Or, “My relationship with God is good. I don’t need to go to church.”
We make time for our priorities. If exercise is our priority, we set aside time to exercise. If a clean house is important, we carve out time in our day to clean the house. If we are truly a new creation in Christ, then God should be number one. This doesn’t just happen by accident- it is an intentional decision to set aside time every week for God.
The Bible tells us:
Matthew 10:37 (NIV)
37 ”Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Jesus requires ALL of us. While we are certainly to love those around us, we are to love Him the MOST. There will be great competition for our hearts, but God must win every time.
For the first few years after I became a Christian, Sam and I struggled to make it to church on Sundays. We struggled to connect with a local church and were lazy about attending every week. We were new to Arizona, and would often use Sunday mornings to sleep in, explore the area, go out to breakfast, etc. But I knew in my heart that we were disobeying God and always felt guilty for skipping church. I would be hoping these other things would fill the void I had, but of course they couldn’t. Only God and His Word could fill that void.
Here are 5 biblical reasons for why God wants YOU at a gospel-centered church on a regular basis! As we said before, beware of false religions and cults! There are many, so always research the church and its ”Statement of Faith.” And, as always, pray and ask God for direction!
If you have physical limitations and are unable to attend, consider reaching out to a local church that would be willing to come to you. In this situation, watching televised or online sermons can be a wonderful resource. Consider listening to online sermons by your local church so you can grow and learn with them!
James 5:14 (NIV)
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.“
James 1:27 (NIV)
”Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Biblical Reason #1
God says so.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) tell us:
24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.“
Whatever our objections, God tells us to not stop meeting with other believers. In the book of Ephesians, Paul calls the body of believers the bride of Christ. If we love Jesus, we will love what He loves. And Jesus loves the church like a husband loves his bride.
But what if I work on Sundays? We realize that retail, hospitality, medical, emergency personnel, etc. often work Sundays. Let God lead you on this important issue! Is it possible to rotate Sundays? Can you attend a Saturday service or Sunday evening service? Or a midweek service? Do your best to stay in fellowship with other believers and to get in your quiet times with God. Consider finding a Bible study to attend on your days off.
Biblical Reason #2
It is important to hear the preaching of the Word. Before Paul is killed, he instructs Timothy, his mentee, about the importance of preaching:
2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)
2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Biblically sound sermons help us in a variety of ways:
- Biblical Instruction
- Inspiration to Serve and Love
- Convicts Hearts of God, Jesus, Sin, and Repentance
And while listening or watching sermons online or on the television can be great, it cannot replace attending services with a community of believers.
Biblical Reason # 3
It is important to participate in corporate worship. The Bible tells us:
John 4:24 (NIV)
24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Singing music and praising God on your own is a wonderful thing. But regularly gathering with other believers in joint praise and worship is powerful. The Bible tells us:
Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
So we not only have the Holy Spirit within us, but He is in our “midst” when we gather in His name!
Biblical Reason #4
It is important to have community and connection. When we gather together with other believers, we are able to receive and give encouragement, prayer, and support.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Fellowship with other believers also strengthens and sharpens us. But beware! We are all sinners and different, so there WILL be friction! It is just a matter of when. But God-given perseverance and grace will help you forgive and move forward in your relationships!
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
17 “As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.”
If you have been hurt in the past by those in the church and as a result stopped attending, don’t let Satan win! Satan has you exactly where he wants you. Either find a new church to attend or reconcile with those who hurt you and return to your previous church. Pray and ask God to lead you – and then do it!
Here is an additional article on finding your way back to Christ: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/how-to-find-your-way-back-to-christ.html.
Biblical Reason #5
As a new believer, we are all given spiritual gifts – not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the church. We are to share those gifts with the body of the church! What are these gifts?
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV)
7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
If you are a believer, glorify God with your gifts! Do not allow insecurities, doubts, fear, past failures or naysayers keep you down and ineffective. God tells us to be bold and live without fear! We should all have a desire to serve and love others. Do not allow Satan to win in your life.
Proverbs 28:1 (NIV)
“The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
2 Corinthians 3:12 (NIV)
12 “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.”
There are many reasons to worship God with others. These are just a few of the reasons. You and your family will be renewed, strengthened, and encouraged. And above all, God will be glorified, honored, and praised.
Credit to Matt Brown and his article: https://outreachmagazine.com/features/21037-attending-church.html
Credit to Rhonda Stoppe and her article: https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/10-reasons-to-go-to-church-even-when-you-don-t-feel-like-it.html