Is Church Attendance Necessary?

Many people are of the opinion that church attendance is expendable, something you can take or leave.  And they have chosen to leave it. They may even quote a Bible verse that they believe backs them up, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). A simple reading of the context reveals that Jesus is not pronouncing his blessing and presence on those who leave the church but his endorsement of disciplining rebellious believers. So, is church attendance necessary?

It is because God commands us to not to forsake the assembly. Hebrews 10:24,25 says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” The habit of not attending church often starts with occasionally missing for whatever excuse. Before long any reason seems a justifiable one. As time goes by one might claim to be a member of a certain church, but he wouldn’t be able to prove it by his attendance and involvement.

It is because God tells us that we have a “one another” responsibility. Too often folks look at church as a full service gas station. They pull up, demand to be filled up and speed off. Each Christian has a responsibility to be devoted to one another and give preference to one another (Romans 12:10); to build up one another (Romans 14:19); to accept one another (Romans 15:7); to admonish one another (Romans 15:14); to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19); to comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18), etc. How are we to give and receive these things if we don’t assemble with one another?

People have long comforted their consciences with statements like, “I can be a Christian without going to church.” Yeah, and a fish is still a fish without staying in the water. But just as the water is the essential environment for the fish’s health and survival, so the regular fellowship of the church is to the Christian. And we know what happens to a fish out of water.

Brad Fry

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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