Solution I just won’t Go to Church

Solution I just won’t Go to Church I treat this position some people take towards church with some principles from the Word of God.

The Situation

Recently I talked with a lady in our church, and she has problems with the church, with specific people in the church, and with some things her husband has said and done in the church. Her solution to all of these problems is “I will just stay home.” Okay. That would seem to be the easy way out for the moment.

But this is short sighted. I have fought with 1) people not coming to church but claiming to be saved, and 2) people coming very sporadically like once every month or two. So this post will deal with some elements in all of these situations.

Note that I make a lot of distinct in the choice of words here. God doesn’t put forth that we show up at church. I have been a pastor since the 1980s, and so many times I have seen good people come to church just to sleep through most of it. So just being in the building is not acceptable. Our duty goes way beyond “attendance”. We must congregate, participate, and be part and parcel of what the church is, its activities, its burdens, etc. This means giving money, this means constant prayer, this means activity in its ministries and needs (like preparing and cleaning up after things).

Are you part of the Redeemed?

It is a simple question and there should be a simple answer. Yes I am. But think very carefully about this. You are not going to heaven alone (if you are going at all). God does not just save people individually but as a single group. The Redeemed by Jesus Christ. What are you saying when you don’t earnestly love and strive to be among that group of people? Some churches have most of their members as unsaved people deceived into thinking that they are going to heaven. (Muslims, Catholics, and even some Baptist churches). I have visited some of these churches and they are completely dead of spirituality.

But if you are in this situation then you absolutely need to leave that church and find a good church. If there are none where you live, move. Jobs provide stability for the present, but churches are very influential in where you will spend eternity.

Does God require you as a Christian to Congregate in a Church? Yes

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

So the commandment to assemble with other Christians is essential in your spiritual life. If you give that up because something made you mad, you are falling into Satan’s trap. You can be assured that Satan never wants you to go to a good church. He wants you to go to a church with bad doctrine, bad practices, and hypocrites, and if possible, not go at all. All the while you are not attending a good church, Satan is whispering in your ear that you are saved and a spiritual Christian.

But our God is a God of order. He wants his people (the saved) to identify before the world in a group. We can talk about all the Christians in the whole world, but where are they? They are in local churches. In the New Testament, the entire set of books of the New Testament after the start of the church age are always presented as being active in a local church.

So does the being member of a good local church save you? No. Can you be saved without being a member of a local church? Yes. Should you “go it alone”? Absolutely no. While the thief on the cross ended up in heaven with Jesus, that is more an exception that the norm. One example so that we understand that salvation is not obtained by church membership. The Catholic church teaches exactly that, the saved are always members of their church and nobody else outside of them. The cults regularly teach this also.

But at the end of the day, we have to understand that 1) salvation is not granted on the basis of local church membership, and 2) God wants every believer to be a member of a good local church.

What if there are no good churches around me?

That is a problem. First of all, there might be, but because of your particular crazy ideas, you are crossing off a good church because of things that you imagine are wrong in them. Note that this is very difficult to discern. When a pastor preaches against sin, many times if you involved in that sin, it is hard for you to accept what he is saying and you paint him as a bad pastor and the church as bad. Go to Kentucky and see the churches there in tobacco country. They live by growing and selling tobacco and making products from it. Many Christians in these churches smoke or chew tobacco. If the pastor preaches against it, they will basically all leave that church and find one that doesn’t preach against tobacco.

So if you think a particular church is bad, make sure that their “badness” isn’t simply that they offended you because they spoke ill of a particular heartfelt sin that you have. That issue is not solved by finding another church but rather by repenting of that sin and turning it over to Christ.

Your not going to church doesn’t solve your problems

If a person was to say, “I went to a doctor for a sickness I have, and he prescribed some medicine for me, and it made me even sicker. So I am not going to ever go to another doctor or hospital.” Is that person sane? Just because one instance of one doctor made a bad call, are you going to write off all doctors and the entire medical profession? No. Sanity is to just go find another doctor.

As a kid, my parents took me to a dentist. After I was already in college, I found out that that particular dentist committed suicide, and he has an alcoholic. He thought he could control his drinking, and it not affect his dentistry. Another dentist later on was drilling on one of my molars and made the comment to his assistant, “why did his previous dentist drill so much into the tooth? He should have pulled it.” Professional people sometimes have really seriously bad problems and just hide them as they can, but it comes out anyway. Pastors make mistakes. Pastors sin. Pastors can get involved in church politics and prefer the rich and powerful, and they ignore their mandates from God. That does happen. Get away from them.

But there is an element in church participation (it goes way beyond just being physically present in the building in a service, even with you sleeping during the service). That spiritual element is what you need to understand as a Christian.

As a Christian, you are required to corporately worship God

Churches are God’s house. Let’s exclude false religions and bad churches with “our denominational name on them”. Just talking about “good churches”. As in Genesis, God created Adam and Eve to commune with them spiritually. In the eve of the day, God wanted to walk with Adam, and he wasn’t to be found. There is the problem. Adam was supposed to communing with God and he wasn’t there.

Corporate worship is essential to the Christian’s spiritual life. You absolutely have to participate in worshiping God in group, with other brothers and sisters if you are to be what God wants us to be. If one church is bad, go find another one. But realize that many times the rot in a particular situation could be in your own heart.

  1. Your purpose in congregating is to focus your mind on God.

So when people are too engrossed in other people’s lives around them, they are not going to church with the right mindset, and they will not come away from the experience with what God wants of them.

Psalms 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

The attitude that you have towards church and what happens there, as well as who is there with you is very important. David lays out how the Christian’s mindset should be on entering a church service. When we come grumbling and complaining, murmuring, then we will take away more of the same. If we come rejoicing, God will bless us with many blessings. Your point of view makes all the difference in the world.

Let me temper this by saying that we should not ignore sin. When a church has bad doctrine, when the leaders of that group are living examples of bad sin, you should first pray about it and then possibly complain to the pastor during the week, and if things do not change over time, find someplace else to go. But some people come with a chip on their shoulder wanting a fight, wanting to criticize and destroy the experience for themselves and everybody else there. That is wrong.

The church service is to edify the brethren

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

When we talk about church services, everything should be directed towards edifying the brethren. The common Christian sitting in the pew should get good from the church service. Now equally like complaining some people have taken this to mean that we should entertain in our services. Entertainment, diversion, etc. is not what we mean here. Church, religion, your salvation are very serious topics, and they should be treated likewise. If you read through the sermons preached by the characters of the Bible, by the Old Testament prophets, and even by Jesus, you will never find where one of them told a joke in their words to the people (saved, unsaved, nor mixed groups). Everything was serious.

Everything had a purpose pointing towards both 1) salvation, faith in the Savior, and 2) living the example of Jesus in our own lives, sanctification. Everything “edified” or spiritual built up the person in that direction. Maybe a particular service wasn’t the best you ever experienced, but maybe it hit really hard on others in the service. That is still good.

God’s View of you being in Church

God created the “thing” of church. It is not of man’s creation. But in doing this, we need to look at church as a divine institution. God’s purposes need to be sought after in every service and activity and way we do things in “church”. But God giving us the example of Jesus how to live, and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, He also gave us “church”.

What is “church”? Church in God’s view of things are your Christian brothers and sisters exhorting and helping you spiritually.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We as Christians have input and participation in the spiritual lives of other Christians. That is how God has designed this creation of his called church. So a church is a workshop where both you receive spiritual influence from other Christians, and you are to give the same. We provoke one another to love and good works. That comes from fellowship and communion that should be done both in the services and before and after them.

Some many people have had a bad experience with somebody at church, and they are “turned off.” God is giving you that person so that YOU can grow spiritually and try to help that person. Don’t be offended.

A pastor of sheep sometimes has to treat a hurt sheep. Maybe he is tangled in barbed wire or has a serious injury. In treating him, the sheep can kick back at the one doing good to him, helping him. So you have to have a thick skin and let offenses pass without a “response in kind.” Just do right. Do good, even if it doesn’t seem to be logical, because that is our duty before God, and God will reward everything we do in obedience to him.

Solution I just won’t Go to Church

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