By Chris WittsSunday 7 Dec 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Have you heard people say “I’ve got better things to do with my weekends than going to church”? Then they say “I can be just as good a Christian as the next person without going to church”. And this is a very interesting topic. Do I need to go to church in order to be a Christian? There’s no denying that some people who never step inside a church lead very good lives. That’s very obvious. I know people who are lead good and moral lives,but do not attend church. And it’s true that you can be a Christian and not attend church. So why bother? Some say they can worship God just as well by digging in their garden or riding their surfboard. Surely that’s better than sitting in a stuffy old building? One of the reasons for going to church is to increase our chances of experiencing good,helpful fellowship. People of all ages attend church,and usually find it an uplifting experience,although I did receive a letter from a listener to this program who said she was lonely when she attended her local church. And that’s a pity,because you should find accepting friendship inside the 4 walls of a church. Many solid friendships are established in church groups,and indeed a number of people meet their future wife or husband inside there as well.
That is not to say that equally good friendships do not exist outside the church. Of course they do,but friendships among Christians enables questions of faith to be aired and explored,and create networks of people who will pray for each other. And that’s a wonderful thing. We can read the Bible on our own,but there is also a lot to recommend learning about it in Church. What about the minister,pastor or priest who has been to college or Bible school. He or she has studied the Bible in detail,and is able to speak with enthusiasm and give you insights you may not have yourself. That’s one reason for attending church. As you get to know the Minister,you can ask questions about the Bible,particularly parts of it you can’t follow. It’s always helpful to have this kind of information,because when answers come,our faith is encouraged and we gain a deeper understanding of Scripture.
Someone once compared the church to a coal fire. If a single lump of coal falls out of a blazing fire,it will burn for a short while by itself,but will cool down and die out quite soon. But when in the fire,the lump of coal stays hot. Going to church each week does not make you a Christian,anymore than going to a burger restaurant regularly makes you a hamburger. But going to church on a regular basis is very helpful. Churchgoing is not an exact science,and churchgoers are not perfect.
The Bible tells me “Let us not give up meeting together,as some are in the habit of doing. But let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).
No-one can make themselves acceptable to God by doing certain things. A Christian is not defined by what he/she does for God,but by what God has done for them in Jesus Christ. Going to church,praying,reading the Bible,donating money to charities – these are all good things to do,but they do not make us Christians. We need to rely on what Jesus has done for us,by dying on the Cross for our sins. We are each under the judgement of God,but Jesus willingly took that judgement upon Himself.
As a committed Christian,it is natural to want to go to church. After all we’re part of God’s family and want to meet fellow believers. The Bible describes the church as a meeting of believers who gather to encourage one another,to pray,hear the Bible taught,and use their gifts in serving one another and the community. When this happens church becomes a positive experience because being a Christian means first and foremost having a personal relationship with Jesus.