Sunday, April 29, 2007

Can you be in God's will and not go to church?

Can you be in God's will and not go to church? I think the answer to this has to be "NO." I say this, because you cannot be partly in God's will. I believe God has not only created us to be in relationship with Him, but to worship Him, and to serve Him. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, He is also to be our Lord. And to be our Lord, we must worship Him. Of course, it is possible to worship God individually, but God has also designed worship to be done together. There is something special and profound when we worship with other believers and interact with other believers that cannot be reproduced when we are alone.
Secondly, going to church helps us to be plugged in. When we accept Jesus Christ, we are filled with the Spirit of God. Jesus promised us this in John 16:7, when He said, "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." And having been filled with the Holy Spirit, we are given gifts of the Spirit, as told to us in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. But these gifts are not to be used for ourselves, or for just a few chosen people. The apostle Paul makes it clear that these gifts are given "for the common good." It is impossible to use them for the common good if you are not plugged into a church.
A third important factor about being connected to a church also relates to giving. Not only are we called to give of our gifts to the work of the body of Christ, but we are called to give of our money. In the Old Testament, Malachi 3:8-10, 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." When we don't give back to God a tenth of what God gives to us, then we are in essence robbing God. We need to be giving our money to God's work through the church.
So my questions to you are: Are you regularly going to church? If not, why not? How can you give of yourself the way God desires if you are not connected to a church? Tell me what you think by clicking on the "comment" button below and sharing your thoughts.