Q: Why do I have to go to Church ?
Friday, January 16th, 2009 at 12:00 AM by Ruth Tynes / Online Editor / InTheTimes.com
Ruth: God places value on His Church. "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the Churches." (Revelation 22:16, NIV)
Instead of thinking about "the Church" as just being buildings and services, think about the Church as being people.
One of the many functions of Church services and ministries is to provide believers in Jesus Christ with an opportunity to meet and bond with other.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42, NIV)
Church is great place to find friends with a Christ-centered perspective in life and a great place to find encouragement from each others testimonies.
Read through the Gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament portion of the Bible) Jesus went to Church, even when things got crazy.
"All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me." (John 16:1-3, NIV)
Church is not perfect, some of the Church pastors and leaders of Jesus' day perpetrated many plots against Him, all within the Church facilities.
"Jesus said to His disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely"." (Luke 20:45-47, NIV)
So be careful, even in Church, "a house divided against itself cannot stand" (see Mark 3:20-30) so the Church is the number one place of attack by the forces of evil, and there are many operatives planted in key positions within. "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit." (Luke 4:33, NIV)
Just because you stand in a garage, that does not make you a car. Same thing goes for the Church, just because you attend or are heavily involved in Church leadership does not mean that you are a true believer in Christ.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
By their fruit you will recognize them. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!'
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." (Matthew 7:15-16, 18, 21-25, NIV)
Originally published in the March 28, 2008 issue of In the Times magazine. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted or posted without written permission from the author. Please contact for reprint permission.
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