Do I Have To Go To Church To Make It To Heaven?

Five Reasons Why We Need To Go To Church Regularly

We talk a lot about our gifts today and how important it is to do what you’re good at.

I’ve got a few unusual gifts. For instance I can really pester people. My wife thinks it’s one of the things I’m best at. She used to accuse me of getting the kids stirred up when they were little. “They can be quietly watching television and you walk in the room and two minutes later, they’re agitated.”

Well, maybe. I did like to tease them.

And I have to confess, that at times I think of something really witty to say to my wife but I think to myself, “If I say it, she’ll pop me on the shoulder. Is it worth it?” (Sure, it’s worth it! Did you have to ask?)

So, today I’m going to get you stirred up.

Actually, I’ve already accidently done it a couple of times, because it seems that often when I write something like, “If you want to grow in the Lord you need to go to church regularly,” whammo! Reaction. It’s great.

So, do we have to go to Church to make it to heaven? My answer is … I’m not God. Ask Him. But here’s what I think. If you’re talking about church attendance saving us, of course the answer is NO! Only faith in Jesus Christ can save you from your sin and give you eternal life.

But—and get ready to get irritated—I don’t think you’ll ever be all that God created you to be unless you’re committed to the Lord and regularly get together with a group of other believers to whom you’ve committed yourself. Are you mad yet? Come on.

Here’s five reasons why you NEED to go to church.

1. I want someone there to listen to me preach. No, no, scratch that.

1. (Real this time). The Church is part of Christ. It’s ridiculous to say, “I love the Lord. I just can’t stand the Church.” Can you love the Head without loving the Body? “But, there are hypocrites in the Church! People have hurt me. There are things that are wrong in a lot of churches. It’s boring. My pastor can’t preach like T.D. Jakes.”

It’s still His Body and He loves His Church more than anything in all creation. To fully love Christ, I have to love His Body.

“At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” (Eph. 1:22, 23, The Message)

2. Spiritual synergy. “In the context of organizational behavior, following the view that a cohesive group is more than the sum of its parts, synergy is the ability of a group to outperform even its best individual member.” (Wikipedia) I need my brother and my sister to be all that God created me to be. Together our efforts are not simply added together. They’re multiplied.

3. We need the ministry of God’s gifts to the Church.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:11-16, NIV)

4. Your brothers and sisters can’t be all they need to be without the gift that God gave you to give them.

It’s so easy to run around looking for a church that, “meets my needs,” and instead of deeply committing ourselves to our brothers and sisters in a group of believers we stay as long as we get our needs met. But, when something more attractive happens down the road, we’re out of there. That reminds me of what I heard that a woman said about her husband, “I just don’t love him anymore. I’m going to try to find happiness with someone else.”

If your church is pitiful, they desperately need an example like you to show them how to seek God, how to love, how to have a heart for the lost. They need to see you loving God with all your heart. You be for them what you wish they were for you and the Lord. Revival starts with you and the Lord. (Don’t be super-spiritual. Just love the Lord and your brothers. People will notice).

5. I love this next one because it’s the Lord irritating us and not me. He just basically says, “I said so!” Didn’t you get mad when mama said, “Because I said so, that’s why.” This probably should have been first because if I’m a servant, it’s enough that my Lord said it. He shouldn’t have to explain it. He does explain it though. Read Ephesians. And listen,

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb. 10:23-25

What’s your take on it? Why do Christians need to go regularly to the believer’s meetings? Or do they need to? Does it have to be a church? Can it be a group which meets regularly?

Leave your answer as the bottom of this article.

image: ANGRY KIWI by Artzzz Dreamstime

Hummm …

“I’m not working hard and practicing day in and day out so that I can please other people. My audience is God. … The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God. I still don’t fully understand what that means; I struggle with these things every game, every day. I’m still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give up my game to Him.”  Jeremy Lin, basketball player with the New York Knicks in an interview with the website Patheos



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