These days there is a lot of divisiveness within the Christian church. A lot of fighting over the details that ultimately take away from the purpose God has for the church. And for many of us Christians, this drama can seem like the perfect excuse to skip church all together.
Does our regular attendance at (or absence from) church impact our salvation? No! The gospel message is quite clear. Jesus + nothing = salvation. So what’s the big deal, then, whether or not I go to church?
When Jesus left this earth to take his seat in heaven, he sent his Holy Spirit to empower those who believe in him. (Acts 1:8) The Christian church is the body of Christ. (Colossians 1:18) The physical presence on earth of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells in believers. And just as God created our physical bodies with many different parts, all designed to work together, so it is with the body of Christ. (Romans 12:4-6) So when you’re not there – when you’re not connected – there’s something missing. And no matter where your local body of Christ gathers in his name, when you do — you become a holy temple for the Lord. (Ephesians 2:21). The first church that was born after Jesus’ death and resurrection leaves us a great example of what the Christian church should look like.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. — Acts 2:42-47
*Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be an active part of the family of God.*
Experience the amazing privilege of worshiping God with other believers.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. — Psalms 100: 1 & 2
Take the opportunity to be fed and equipped by those that God has gifted with teaching so that you can go out into your sphere of influence and share the gospel.
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. — 1 Timothy 4:8
**It is vitally important that we pray for our teachers/pastors — that they have strong spiritual discernment and that they remain grounded in the Bible. It is also important to pray for your own discernment and to read and study the Bible for yourself so that you will not be deceived. (Matthew 24:11)**
Feed into the Kingdom of God by being an active giver and serving as part of the body! This is how we can work together to be “Jesus with skin on” to a hurting world.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. — 1 Peter 4:10.
Make every effort to connect socially, and to allow yourself opportunities to be in fellowship with other believers. These relationships will provide you opportunities for encouragement and accountability that you cannot find in secular circles.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. — Hebrews 10:25
Nowadays, we are all good at being plugged in to our “extra-curricular” activities and our high-tech devices — but for many of us, finding time to plug into the community of Christ has dropped in priority. Imagine how the world might look if all of us that love the Lord hooked up and served him together. And imagine how the church might look to the world!