Saturday, August 13, 2016
God Commands us to Attend Church
“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.” Hebrews 10:25
The Bible commands us to attend church, which is defined as a local, called out assembly of believers. In Psalm 22:22, God uses the word congregation, and he quotes that same passage in Hebrews 2:12, substituting the word “church” for “congregation.” This proves that the word church means congregation. When you are listening to preaching on your computer or other device, you may be learning, but you are not congregated together with other believers.
Church is Powerful
There is something different about hearing the Bible read in church versus reading it at home, and we obviously need both. Not only is Bible reading different in church, but preaching is too. Listening to sermons remotely is never as powerful as experiencing the service in person.
The Spirit Moves
God’s spirit speaks to us in church in a special way through the preaching. I will often choose a sermon topic seemingly at random, and people will come up to me afterward and tell me that I preached on the very thing that they have recently been struggling with. The Holy Spirit often leads a pastor to preach exactly what you need to hear. You might be more distracted while listening to a recording and miss something that would have made more of an impact in person. Not all sermons in all churches are recorded. Not only that, but sometimes the recording equipment fails. Don’t miss out on a sermon that God might be leading the pastor to preach just for you.
Fellowship and Work
God knew that we needed the positive influence of other believers to succeed in the Christian life. We live in the world and have to interact with unbelievers all week. We need the fellowship of other Christians to keep us encouraged and motivate us to do more for God. We call the kitchen area at our church “the break room” because church is a place that sends us out to do the Lord’s work.
Psalms and Hymns
Even the singing is an important part of the church service. We don’t just schedule a few hymns at the beginning because we are expecting you to arrive late. The reason that it is so important that the songs we sing are doctrinally correct is that songs will often stick with us long after we forget the sermon.
“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
Online sermons can be a very beneficial supplement—I listen to sermons, too, but they are no substitute for regular church attendance. Realize the importance of being a part of the institution that God said he would build. The Bible says that Christ purchased the church with his own blood. Not going to church is a serious sin that will lead you into more sin, because you need fellowship, and you need to sit under the preaching.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.