“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
When I was in my early twenties, my then wife and I would routinely travel to Charlotte to spend the weekend with her sister. She was married to a doctor who saw no earthly reason why he should go to church on Sunday morning. He could get all the church he needed from his living room couch, which happened to be parked right in front of his television.
I guess what frustrated me the most about his point was how unequipped I was to counter his argument. I knew he was wrong. My own Baptist upbringing wouldn’t let me walk away from that opinion. Yet, I couldn’t even think of a Bible verse to support of my point of view.
I have since realized that my instincts were correct all along. My problem was that while I knew he was wrong in my head, I could not yet understand why with my heart. I couldn’t rely on the Holy Spirit and the light of God’s Word to help me because I wasn’t saved.
God has changed all of that now. I’m not only ready to argue the point; I can’t think of any other place that I’d rather be than in church on Sunday.
I read an article recently about the importance of going to church. “Sunday morning sofas,” the author observed, “are filled with people…who think they can exist without church. They believe in God, but spending a few hours in a pew doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Mobility, convenience and privacy are their gods. Consequently, they sacrifice enduring friendships and Christ-centered companionship.”
He’s right. In fact, the Apostle Paul not only told us to worship together, but also suggested that one of the purposes of worship is to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
It’s those friendships that have made the difference in my life. When I joined my first church twenty years ago, my pastor told me my new church family would be there for me. They did not let me down. In fact, I have learned a lot about my walk with the Lord over the last twenty years because of the relationships I have formed in my churches to which I have belonged.
The Bible says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16) Hal Donaldson, editor of Pentecostal Evangel, helped me to understand the relationship between that verse and going to church: “Interdependence-not independence- is a key strength and fulfillment. We can no more disconnect ourselves from other members and remain health than we can disconnect the ligaments from the bones to try to live without veins and arteries.”
God’s Word reminds us that it is the church that will ultimately and completely equip us to fight the evil that permeates our society. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then it’s the absence of the church in our lives that is bringing ruin with it. If you don’t agree, just imagine what our community would be like if we closed our stores, dropped our routines, and went to church on Sundays.Share on Facebook