Is it really that important to “go to church” in this post-modern age?
“So-and-so doesn’t go to church and they seem to be doing alright.”
“So-and-so does go to church and they have problems.”
“As long as we just believe in God, we’re okay right?”
Life is too busy. Our days are full. Our nights are full. It seems like some people do more to accomplish less. Many have a profession of faith but lack any visible expression of the same.
“It’s my personal relationship with Jesus. My personal devotions should be enough. I can pray at home. I can study my Bible at home.” (Sound familiar?)
To become self-centered and me-focused in today’s world … well, that’s easy to do. Have we forgotten the church is not about us, but it is about the Lord? Yes, but… “There are just too many other things to do. I travel. I have to work. The weekend is for my chores, my errands, my hobbies, the kids’ sports, shopping, groceries, etc. … Sunday is “my family time” or just “my time.” The very thing that ought to have first place on our weekly schedule (church) is nudged out of our plans and our thoughts, gradually and “rationally” of course. We don’t want to upset our conscience or appear too heathen-like.
We still need the church.
God destined the Church and designed the Church with each member in mind. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” As Christians we have no God-ordained destiny outside the Church. There is no ministry outside the Church. When we separate ourselves from the life of the church, we are, to put it plainly, outside the will of God.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”
We join ourselves to the church because it is the Lord’s design. “God hath tempered the body together.” His desire is not that we would “join a church.” No one can “join the church.” But rather, God desires that we be joined to the church, first by the New Birth, entering into covenant relationship, baptized into the Church; and secondly, by willingly, voluntary involving ourselves with the local church. God wants me in the church—that ought to be enough to prod my will to come, and come faithfully. Regardless of personality differences, regardless of personal likes and dislikes, regardless if our feelings get hurt, God’s sovereignty is greater than our personal “issues.” God’s eternal sovereignty trumps our temporary attitude problems or our hurt feelings.
“Religion is not my thing … I’m spiritual, not religious … I’m a shy person … etc. etc.” The Lord designed the Church with all people, all “types,” in mind. You have a place in the Body made specifically for you, but it is by His design, not ours. His prerogative concerning our church involvement supersedes our preferences and personal hang-ups. Jesus built the Church. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to … the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” We owe it to Jesus himself to go to church, to support the church, and love the church. He gave His blood for the church! When we make light of church attendance and church involvement, we undermine the purchasing power of the blood; we count the blood as an unworthy thing.
“Well, I think the church is for some people, but not everyone.”
That’s right. The church is for people who love God and love God’s people, who have been redeemed, who are seeking to know the Lord better, who know this world can never satisfy, for those who have tried life “their way” and know the vain and vexatious results. In the Church we have a destiny, we can understand what the will of the Lord is, and we do the will of God. “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” In the Church—we become what we were designed to be.
Jesus Christ gives eternal life—the life is in the blood—the blood purchased the Church—WE STILL NEED THE CHURCH!