Summary: Do we really need the church to be a Christian?
Who Needs the Church?
I run into many people who say they are believers, but when you ask them where they go to church they say I don’t need the church. A Friend told me this week when I asked where she was attending church, said at home. Recently the leaders of my former church said they were not attending church anywhere, but just worshipping at home. Disillusioned with church as a whole. The often used phrase today is: “I can be a Christian without attending or belonging to a church.”You can’t separate Christ from his church. Yet many have been wounded in church, or misunderstood events and left. (Pastor voted out etc.) You can’t have Christ, but hate his family. It’s like a marriage. You don’t say to your bride - I love you but I want nothing to do with your family. They are strange, do strange things, etc. She would leave. But many say that to Christ. I love you but I want nothing to do with your family. They are strange, outcasts, etc. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says Your physical body is the temple 1 Cor 3:16(naos) it also says YOU (the whole local church body) is the temple of God. 3:16
“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple. (NLT)
I Why bother belonging ? (1-8)
1. Humans are made with a need to belong and Christians are part of a community of believers. Membership is a response to these realities.
Remember as kids we would create a club that would include us and our friends and keep others out. It was an exclusive club. We had rules you had to go by to get in and stay in. Boy haters club, Baseball card club, Why did we do it? We wanted to belong to something that made us feel valued and important. Through high school. The more they say “The were a member of the spanish club, member of FCAS, etc. the more liked and important they are. God placed within us a desire to belong to some group the greater than our selves the church. We have prostituted it with everything but, such as: Motorcyles clubs, AA membership, Eagles, Masons, Easter Star, sororities, and even gangs.
2. Becoming a member is a form of witness to your values and priorities.
Willie Nelson has purchased the Methodist church of his youth in Abbott, Texas. Nelson, 73, had a celebration with guests that included longtime parishioners, friends and family for prayers and gospel singing. "Sister Bobbie and I have been going to this church since we were born," Nelson said. "Now, you’re all members of the Abbott Methodist Church, and you will be, forever and ever." The church, which dates from 1899, closed in May after its last service. The dwindling congregation merged with a larger one in Hillsboro. Services on the first Sunday of every month will now be coordinated by a boyhood friend, Donald Reed.
3. Public commitment is also a type of Accountability. Everyone needs to be held accountable for the important things in life. Membership attempts to help.
4. Membership gives expanded opportunities for your growth and service for Christ.
5. We all tend to need mutual encouragement.
6. Membership involves responsibility.
7. It is an affirmation of your personal commitment to Christ to be a serious part of His Church on earth.
8. Your committed involvement becomes one added blessing to the congregation, your gifts and abilities contribute to the strength of the total effort. Everybody wins!
Religion: A Good Thing
The good news is that science now agrees: Religion really is a good thing. Consider the following, reported in Time magazine’s cover story for June 24:
1. Heart-surgery patients who draw comfort from their religious faith have a significantly higher survival rate than those who do not.
2. The blood pressure of people who attend church is 5 mm lower than that of those who do not.
3. People with religious faith who attend church regularly experience less depression than nonreligious people, while suicide is four times higher among nonchurchgoers.
“Perspectives on the News,” Signs of the Times, September 1996, p. 4.
42 They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved. Act 2:42-47