“Now the LORD is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
God’s Church: Is It Necessary?
Churches have always been pillars of light through the ages, cornerstones of society – for truth, for the gospel of Jesus Christ and homes to those seeking refuge from the world. However, there is much confusion today as to what ‘Church’ is, what it should be like and the need for us to attend Church; and thus the focus for today.
What is it?
The first church began in Acts 2, as Peter preached and 3000 got saved – “Then they gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Paying particular attention to these words, note they were not added to a building, or a body representing multiple churches, but rather to an existing group of ‘believers’. A Church is not a building, it’s the gathering or meeting of believers in Jesus Christ – who make up the body of Christ.
There are two types of ‘Church’ in the Bible; the Universal Church, which is the collection of all believers (saved christians) across all Churches, across the world (1 Corinthians 12:13). The second type of Church, is that of the Local Church, or a church found in a specific place (Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:2). That is, the church you attend will be your local church. The Universal Church – is a spiritual body (non-physical), whereas a local church is a physical gathering of people, who may or may not be saved.
What Church should I attend?
Simple answer – attend a Church that holds fast to the Bible, as without it, there is no Christianity (Psalm 138:2, John 1:1, 2 Tim 2:15). Secondly, the Church should believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by that it should preach and teach how Jesus Christ (who is God’s Son and who is God), left heaven to come and die to pay the price for all our ‘sin’ – and that this is the only way one can enter into heaven. There are no merits, only the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Those two things should be enough to aid you in making a decision.Don’t make your decision however based on how ‘comfortable’ you are in the Church, or how warm and welcomed you felt, or the size of the church or it’s appearance – the two aforementioned points should be the sole basis for making that decision.
Why is it important?
Because God has given you spiritual gifts and talents that are to be used for the building and the strengthening of the ‘Local Church’ (1 Corinthians 12). To not be part of a body of believers is selfish; and speaks to an abuse of what God desires and has given you by way of gift. Some may say, “but Churches have failed me and hurt me, I don’t see the point of attending one” – I believe the LORD could have said that about us, or even the disciples whom Him loved, and despite Him knowing they would betray Him, He still spent the majority of His time with them, teaching them and enabling them for the work He called them to do. Never let that be your excuse – it’s a poor one. We are too love others, despite what they may say about us, how they treat us, or how they may wrong us. That’s Christ’s example!
Secondly, if you are a newborn Christian, you going to need some basic discipleship and encouragement to help you grow – and it is here that you will get that. You need wiser men and women, to teach you, encourage you and direct you. Faithful men and women are like ‘road-signs’ on a long journey – you don’t need them all the time, but at certain points they can faithfully give ‘necessary direction’.Thirdly, because you need the ‘preaching’ for growing in faith (Romans 10:17), for without “faith” it is impossible to please (Hebrews 11:6). A short overview, but some key points which emphasize the necessity for church attendance. Bless you!