Some professing Christians never darken the door of a church building to assemble with God’s people. Others like to come in from time to time, especially at holidays. Many will be there on Sunday if nothing else gets in the way and many will come every time the doors are open. In whatever category you find yourself please ask, “Why am I here? And, what am I doing here? Am I here to fulfill the will of God in this matter?”
God wants Christians to assemble for worship. The worship of the church was designed by God to not only glorify Him but also to bless our lives as Christians. The Hebrew writer stressed the importance of our coming together this way: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). We come to church because of our brothers and sisters. We all need each other’s encouragement. Our lives are blessed as we bless one another in worship.
The apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of our worshiping together: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:18-21; cf. also Colossians 3:16-17). We come to church to be filled with the Spirit. This is not a miraculous or mystical experience but giving the Holy Spirit influence in our hearts and lives. That happens when we are speaking to one another with songs of worship, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks and submitting to one another out of reverence for God. A spiritual church is a church that worships together in this way.
Jesus gave His supper as a memorial to be shared by His disciples on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Paul calls it a communion (sharing, fellowship, joint participation) of the blood and body of Christ in which we all partake (share, commune, fellowship, participate). He rebuked the church in Corinth because they were not properly remembering the Lord in their coming together (1 Corinthians 11:17-22). He reminded them of the gravity of their failure saying, “Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (v. 27). He instructed them saying, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” (vv. 28-29). We come to church to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us. God wants us to share our grief, our mourning, our gratitude, our love, our joy and our hope together as a family every Lord’s Day.
Paul orders Christians to deposit into the church treasury as we have prospered upon the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). It is to be a freewill offering made with jubilant hearts for the benefit of all men to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 8-9). He refers to it as a fellowship, a ministry and a sharing (8:4; 9:1, 14). We come to church to share what we have. This is God’s plan of providing for the work of the Lord.
The Bible speaks often of the proclaiming of God’s word as a part of our coming together (Acts 2:43; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26). God “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). James admonishes us to be submissive and obedient hearers of the word (James 1:21-25). We come to church to receive the word of God which can save our souls. Though we are all responsible to do our own Bible study (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15), it is essential for us all to learn together to help strengthen our faith (Romans 10:17) and grow up in the Lord (1 Peter 2:1-3).
No Christian can afford not to come to church, but it is not enough just to come to church if we do not truly worship in God's appointed way so that we can all benefit spiritually, and God can be glorified. Why do YOU come to church?
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135