To be a successful Christian, you must be actively involved in a local church. You need to find a good, Bible-teaching church and become an active part of it. Don’t try to be a solo-Christian. You need to develop close relationships with other believers who share your faith.
When you miss church, you miss out on a lot, because something wonderful and even supernatural happens when God’s people gather in His name. Certainly you can and will benefit from personal Bible study. You can also have a great time worshiping the Lord by yourself. But when you get together with other believers to study His Word and to worship and pray; the Lord manifests His presence in a special way.
We miss out on so much when we ignore fellowship with other believers at church! Some people claim that the Bible doesn’t command them to go to church, and that others invented the idea. But the bible does indeed command us to be an active part of His church. For example, Hebrews 10:24-25 says plainly, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as in the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The fact is that neglect of fellowship with other believers is a sure sign of backsliding. Backsliding takes place when we start falling back in the direction of our old life, before we committed ourselves to follow Jesus Christ. Studies have shown that if you don’t go to church for one month, the odds are almost two to one that you won’t go for more than a year.
Being in fellowship with other believers is a proof that you are indeed a child of God. We are told in 1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” And we read in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
A person’s failure to get involved with a local church is proof there is something wrong with them spiritually. As 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”
I hope that you have discovered the joy and the blessing of being an active part of a body of believers! We receive many spiritual benefits from gathering to hear God’s Word, worship, and serve together. Jesus himself established the church and said, “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). It is a place where we refocus, learn, and grow, a place where we can come to God and help others to do the same. It is a place to both receive from God and give back to others. And it is something we all need to be a part of if we want to succeed spiritually.
When we isolate ourselves from other believers, we quickly lose perspective. We can get fearful, confused, angry, and even bitter. This was true of the skeptical Thomas, who was not present with the other disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared among them. When they told him about it, he said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). But the next time they met, Thomas had joined them. And his faithfulness was rewarded as he saw the risen Lord for himself.
An Old Testament man named Asaph grappled with the age-old question of why the ungodly prosper. And then it dawned on him: “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end” (Psalm 73:16-17). In other words, “I didn’t understand why things were the way they were until I came into God’s presence to study His Word with His people. Then my questions came into their proper perspective.”
Worship affects every aspect of our lives, and when we neglect it, it affects everything about us.
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Wanda L. Ball~