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
Why is attending a local church so important? Can’t a Christian just worship God in the comfort of his own home, out in the woods, or on the lake? Why is it important for a Christian to assemble with other believers for regular times of worship?
- Because church is like a family reunion. The Bible says that we are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of the family of God (Ephesians 2:19; 3:14-15). As such, we gather to fellowship with one another, encourage one another, and help each other. We need each other’s support.
- Because church is like a classroom. It’s a place where we learn the Word of God and become equipped to fulfill our mission (Ephesians 4:12; II Timothy 3:16-17). Until the Lord takes us home, we are enrolled in a course of Christian discipleship and the Bible is our text book.
- Because church is like a victory celebration. We gather on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, to commemorate our Lord’s glorious resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:1-3; Acts 20:7). This is the day of the week set aside to remember Jesus’ victory over death and the devil.
- Because church is like a refuge. The assembly of believers is a place to come apart from the world and focus our thoughts on the things of God (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-4). It’s a spiritual uplift, a place to retreat from the busyness of the world.
- Because church is like a testimony. It tells my friends and neighbors, as well as my church family, what is important in my life. The Bible says our lives are living letters, known and read of all men (II Corinthians 3:2-3). When we gather with the church we make a statement to others about what’s important to us.
When we realize the love that the Founder of the church, Jesus Christ, had for us, how can we not be a faithful member? Every Christian needs a church home. A place to grow. A place to fellowship. A place to worship. A place to serve. We are privileged to work for Him Who created the worlds, to encourage and pray with and for each other; to sing, to give, and to praise the name of the Lord. The psalmist said it well, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3).
Yes, the church is indeed a gift from God — but assembly is required!