Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not 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.
I’ve heard many people who call themselves Christians say they don’t need to go to church. I’ve heard reasons like “My relationship with God is personal“, or “I don’t need church to worship God“, and the ever-so popular “I don’t need those people judging me“. Is this someone you know or perhaps you yourself? If it is someone you know, how do you respond to them when they say they don’t need church? If this is you, how do you find out what truth the Bible says about attending church?
Let’s focus on some Biblical truth. The author of Hebrews, who is unknown, says in the above verse that we are instructed to not neglect to meet together. Matthew 18:20 reminds us that where two or more are gathered in His name, he is there with us. These are the words of Jesus directly. He tried to impress upon his people just how important fellowship is. And that is what the author of Hebrews is focusing on here. So, why is it so important to be in a church?
- We are called to hold each other accountable. My favorite piece of scripture instructing us in this begins in Galatians Chapter 6. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Bear one another’s burdens. The church isn’t just about our own needs. The church is a commitment to one another that we are in this together. Walking this world as a Christian is such a difficult task and anyone who thinks they can do it by themselves is setting him/herself up for a very big risk. If a fellow church goer is clearly headed down the wrong path, it is up to us to gently remind them of what they should be doing. We all need those reminders, and there is no shame in that.
- We are also called to commit to fellow believers. I refer to Ephesians 4:25 to support this thought. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Paul was passionate about us serving each other in the church; the body of Christ. You may think you don’t need the church, but the church certainly needs you. We all need each other and we lean on each other when we face life’s challenges.
- We are called to put others before ourselves. Philippians 2:3-5: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Could you imagine what would happen if the world adapted this mindset? Always putting others ahead of ourselves? As part of Christ’s church, we should be doing this. How great would it be for a non-believer to see this behavior and be pulled to Christianity?
There are so many more verses I could quote that show us how important it is to commit to the body of Christ; the church. If you don’t have a church that stands for these principals, I would urge you to visit other local churches and let prayer guide you to one which preaches Biblical truth. Be in prayer about becoming committed to a church family and find a friend to hold you accountable. Jesus’ church needs you. He needs all of us showing non-believers and lukewarm believers just how it looks to walk like Christ.