Do I Need to Go to Church? – Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Do I Need to Go to Church? – Morning Devotions

You don't need to go to Church to be a Christian, just like you don't need to be a Christian to go to Church. However, Church is a part of God's plan.

By Chris WittsMonday 26 Dec 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Have you heard people say, “look, I’ve got better things to do with my weekends than go to church”? – and then they might say, “Well, look, I can be just as good a Christian as the next person, but I really don’t have to go to church. This is a very interesting topic I want to look at this morning. Do I need to go to church in order to be a Christian?

Have you ever thought about that yourself? There’s no denying that some people who never step inside a church lead very good lives. We can’t dispute that. It’s quite obvious, and I know people who are very good people. They lead very good and moral lives. They’re nice people, but they don’t attend church. And it’s true that you can be a Christian and not attend church, so why bother with it at all? Now some people say, Look, I can worship God and go and dig in my garden, and I can feel close to God by being out in nature. I can ride my surfboard. Surely that’s better than sitting in a stuffy old building?

Now one of the reasons for going to church is to increase our chances of experiencing good and helpful fellowship. Now you know as well as I do that people of all ages attend church and usually, although not always, but usually it’s an uplifting and a helpful experience. Although I did receive a letter from a listener to this programme who told me that she was very lonely when she attended her local church, and when she was away from the church, she was happy.

Now that’s a sad letter, I found, because she should be able to find friendship within the four walls of a church.

Many solid friendships are established in churches of all kinds, and indeed a number of people meet their future wife or husband inside that church. Now, this is not to say that equally good friendships don’t exist outside the church. Of course they do.

But I’m talking about friendships among Christians, and this enables questions of faith to be aired together to be explored. And networks, of course, are established amongst the people so they can pray for one another. And now that’s a wonderful thing.

Of course, you can read the Bible on your own. And but there’s a lot to recommend about learning about the Bible by going to church and think about the person who stands out the front, the minister, the priest or the pastor. Now that person has probably been to some college or Bible school. He or she has studied the Bible and is able to speak with authority and enthusiasm to give you the help that you might want. So if you get to know that minister, you can ask more questions about the Bible.

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Someone once compared the church to a coal fire, and I like this. If a single lump of coal falls out of a blazing fire, it will burn up for a while. By itself, it will cool down and then die out. But when that lump is in the fire, it stays hot. So there’s a comparison. Going to church each week doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a burger restaurant makes you a hamburger, but going to church on a regular basis is very helpful. Church going. It’s not an exact science, and church goers are not perfect. You hear people say I wouldn’t go there. They’re full of hypocrites.

The Bible has a wonderful verse in Hebrews 10:25. This is what it says. “Let’s not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. But let us encourage one another.”

So a Christian is not defined by what church he or she goes to or what they do, but by what God has done for them.

So going to church, saying prayers, donating money to charities. These are all good things, but they do not make us Christians, and we need to rely on what Jesus has done for us.

When Jesus died on the cross, we’re under the judgement of God. But Jesus took that judgement upon himself. So as a committed Christian, I think it’s natural to want to go to church, after all, we’re apart of God’s family. We want to meet other people who also need help along the way. So the church is a place where people can gather, encourage one another and then use their gifts in helping other people in the church as well as outside in the community.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the church. We know Lord it has its problems. No one’s perfect. We thank you, Lord, that the church has been around for so long. May you help us, Lord, to love the church and to be part of it. I pray in the name of Jesus, amen.