Why Does Church Matter?

Let me start with saying this topic deals with wise decision making. Often times I am asked what does the Bible say about going to church? There are a lot of things the Bible doesn't talk about and these things require us to make wise decisions when it comes to our own lives. I have heard it argued that the reason the Bible doesn't say much about the believers need for church is due to the fact it was assumed in their lives that they would be going. Not to mention the work of the apostles was to spread the gospel and they did so by going into an area and establishing a church or body of believers. I think that should add to the importance and emphasis even if Jesus didn't say to follow me you must go to church. That being said, Paul or Barnabas when writing to the Hebrews states, "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." (Heb. 10:25).

Now let me offer to you the top three reasons why I hope you are attending church somewhere.

First, reading your Bible takes discipline and although I know you understand the culture of the Greek and Hebrew worlds and their mindset at the estimated time period each book of the Old and New Testaments were written, and I am sure you knew the canon or rule of scripture is that there are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New, and even though I am sure you know all the ins and outs of propitiation of sin and the hermeneutical gap, it never hurts to have someone else offer you some insight and help you apply it to your life (Heb. 4:12). Now where could a person go to have someone do that for them? Church!

Second, there is something I learned from the gang mentality in Baltimore as I was growing up. The bigger the gang the more "friends" you have to watch your back and when attacked, the more guns you have to shoot. Well I don't want you to do that but it is important to have friends that believe in the same things you do and to spend time with those friends and it just so happens there is a place you can do that each week (Eph. 6:12). I know most of you may want to get in check church off the list and go home to have a steak dinner or whatever you have in the old crock pot, but I encourage you to hang around and talk to people before or after the service times. If you find this difficult, find a church that has small groups and join one.

Finally, What is the best way to learn lessons about real life Christians and share in their hurts and successes? We need other people to be a part of our lives and cry with us and rejoice with us. My favorite poet of all time is John Donne. I have a book of his poems on my shelf but the one that most of us know speaks to this post directly and I would not, could not, do it any credit to summarize it, so enjoy:
upright=1."All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Thanks Dr. Brown for introducing me to this great poet and others while playing Simon and Garfunkel on your guitar.

To everyone else, find a church and go to it! Stop making excuses for why you can always get to your job or sports event on time but can't manage to wake up on a Sunday morning. Heck, my church has a second service that doesn't even start until 11AM and others have services on Saturday nights, not to mention those that have small groups going on throughout the week or Wednesday night services. Oh, I hear you whiners crying about someone at church hurt you and blah blah blah.. it happens to all of us and that is good if you were hurt because that means you were close enough to them for it to matter. Work it out! Do you think the same thing won't happen in your relationship with Christ or your spouse? You can't just run away, sometimes you have to face the problems. OK. I am done my rant.

Basic 12: Adam and Eve were real people - Gen. 3:20; 5:1; 1 Tim. 2:13

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