I hear it a lot. “I can be a good Christian without going to church.” Or, “I’m a very spiritual person, I just don’t go to church.” Or, “The church is full of judgmental phonies, and I’m a much better person that most of those who go to church.”
But let’s look at the other side. What are some authentic reasons to be involved in church?
- Jesus was. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” (Luke 4:16 NIV)
- Jesus gave his life to birth the church, the ‘assembly’. “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.'” (Matthew 16:16-18 NIV)
- Jesus was intimately involved with serving his disciples – the ‘church’. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… The evening meal was in progress…he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.“ (John 13:1-5 NIV)
- Jesus commanded that his disciples love the church as much as he does. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
- Jesus said the world will believe on him if his disciples are a team, involved in each others lives. “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23 NIV)
So, do you think Jesus requires his disciples to be involved in church?