Do you ever feel like a dented car that was almost totaled in a crash but not quite?
You’re driving down the road one day and then boom! Someone didn’t wait before zooming out of that gas station to your right and smacked right into the side of your car.
Your car isn’t totaled, but now it squeaks. It’s dented. It looks like it’s going to fall apart into metal scraps on the freeway.
Luckily, this has never happened to me while driving, but sometimes it happens to me on a personal level.
I’m living my life and trying my best when boom! Someone accuses me of being a terrible legalistic person for my beliefs or crash! My insecurities resurface with a vengeance.
I’m not broken, but I’m bruised. I’m battered and discouraged. I’m on the verge of a full-blown breakdown.
Sometimes I roll up to Sunday or Wednesday services that way, but I always leave repaired and ready to fight the battles of living in this world once again.
Sometimes I think that Wednesday’s nights are what helps me get through the week.
The fellowship, the praising of our Lord, and the sermons all edify and lift each member of the congregation up, including me.
A word often misused and abused by others.
What does the bible say about the church?
- We know that the church is us, the body of believers. (Romans 12:5)
- We know that Jesus Christ is the head of the body (the church). (Colossians 1:17-18)
- We know that those who were baptized into Christ are in the church. (Galatians 3:17, Romans 6:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
- We know that we meet on the first day of the week because that is when we remember Christ’s death and resurrection. (Mark 16:2, John 20:19) And it is also shown to us in explicit example in the New Testament. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
I could easily fill a whole blog with posts solely on what the church is for, however, I hope you get the point:
In the Bible, there is a clear command/indication of why Christians need to worship together.
Hebrews 10:25 says:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t understand the need for church services and that misunderstanding often starts to confuse the members of Christ.
When I was denominational, my friends and I would jokingly call them Chreastians, because they only come to services on Christmas eve and easter.
The real word is unfaithful, and that is the sad reality.
But why is attending services so important? How is one being unfaithful by not going?
When we go to worship we are following the example in the Bible
“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” -Acts 20:7
We constantly read about the believers meeting together on the first day of the week as well as other days (which is often why Wednesday night service exists).
2. We are supposed to encourage one another
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”-Colossians 3:16
How can you encourage someone if you never see them?
I find singing hymns with my brothers and sisters in Christ one of the most encouraging and comforting things ever. When I went to Panama on a mission trip and sang hymns in English during services while my brothers and sisters from Panama sang in Spanish, it was a surreal experience, but it was amazing to hear not only others praising God but also to realize how many Christians there are around the world.
3. We remember Christ’s death and resurrection by taking communion together every Sunday as seen in the Bible
See Acts 20:7 again.
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”-1 Corinthians 15:1-4
4. We must hear the Word to have faith
“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”-Romans 10:17
Verse 14 in that context talks about the need for preachers.
Hearing is the first step towards being saved. I actually met the girl I’m currently studying with when she came to worship one Sunday, we went out for coffee the next day to get to know each other and she brought up the sermon the other day and said that she believed in God but wanted to know how to follow Him.
She was baptized for the remission of her sins and became a Christian last Friday, and this all started with her hearing the Word of God and then studying more of it.
5. We need to be in unity
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” -Ephesians 4:11-13
It is hard to have unity with a group of people that you don’t gather with.
6. If gathering together wasn’t important, why was so much time spent on determining the roles of the elders?
Read Titus and you’ll learn that the leadership roles for the elders and deacons is a very serious matter, but why would it matter if God was okay with us staying home and looking at our bible apps and podcasts instead of attending?
7. We often see letters and mentions of congregations in the New Testament
“The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 16:19
1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is Paul rebuking a congregation for how they are handling themselves.
My main point of this post is this:
We see way too many examples, indications, and outright verses telling us about the importance of the assembly to forsake it.
James 1:22 tells to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. If we know that God wants us to grow together, worship together, learn about the Bible together, and remember His death and resurrection together, why would we stay home?
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 is a very good passage for this, but it is too long to put here, so I’d encourage you to read it in full, but here is verses 12-14:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many.”