Category Archives: Reality

Why Go To Church?

 Biblical and Practical Reasons to Go to Church

From Warren Mueller

Introduction:

Warren Mueller examines many of the excuses why people don’t go to church, and answers each with biblical and practical reasons in favor of going to church.

Why Go To Church?

Every Sunday many people go to church while others are sleeping or engaged in other weekend activities. Since our weekends are limited, should we spend part of it in church? Let’s look at some of the popular reasons for not going first.

Excuse: Church is boring.

“It is repetitious, predictable and a meaningless ritual. I would rather sleep in. I work hard all week and I deserve it!”

Answer: Church is repetitious but so is life. The days of our lives are structured around cycles of work, eating, family and recreation times. Any of these activities can become boring if we don’t strive to find something interesting or enjoyable about them. Sunday mornings at church are a time to make new friends and renew old ones; to learn about the Bible and share problems as well as to thank God for another week of life.

The objective in going to church is to seek to build our relationship with God and others. Many people go to church to fulfill an obligation through some ritual and so are reduced to actions without meaning. Church worship is all about an encounter with God and others that changes who we are. Not going to church on a Sunday morning because you deserve a sleep-in does not explain why you miss church on Saturday or Sunday night. The problem is much deeper than the time of the day – it is a matter of selfishness.

Excuse: Why bother going to church when all they want is money!?

Answer: If you choose to get involved in any kind of group, be it the PTA, Boy Scouts or whatever, it will cost you in time and money. It is true that, if you don’t get involved in anything, you will have maximum control of your time and money. However, you will miss friendships and opportunities to be a good influence in the lives of others. Each of us decides where to spend our time and money. Each of us will either invest it in some purpose or waste it on the pleasures of the moment. Jesus said that there is an eternal investment that will not fade, rust or decay when we do good works that show our love for God and others (Matthew 6:19-20).

Ponder this! You do not control your life. You cannot guarantee that you will be alive the next week, day, hour or moment. Human life is a gift from God and He controls the measure of it (Psalm 139:16). Our intelligence, talents and appearance are largely determined by genetics (which is to say by God who made us individually unique). Therefore, who we are, when and where we are born, how long we live, etc., are all gifts from God. Is it unreasonable for God to ask for a portion of it to acknowledge Him and His sovereignty?

Excuse: People who go to church are a bunch of hypocrites!

Answer: Churchgoers pretend to be good for a few hours on Sunday morning but they are like everyone else the rest of the week. A common misunderstanding about church is that it should somehow make us better people. As discussed above, it is not the action of going to church, but the encounter with God and others that changes our lives for the better. Most people who go to church do not understand this and thus do not seek to have life changing experiences through worship and church activities.

Christians are humans who believe that Jesus is God and that He has made us acceptable to Himself by paying the penalty for our sins on the cross (Romans 6:23). Therefore, what makes Christians unique is not the outward appearance but what God has done on the inside by changing the soul and mind (2 Corinthians 5:17). Those who sincerely call upon Jesus to save them from their sins experience a spiritual birth that gradually transforms the mind and behavior conforming us to His will (John 1:12; Romans 12:1-2).

Christians can be seen to be hypocrites more easily than someone who does not profess any beliefs because Christian standards are defined in the Bible, whereas personal standards can be changed to fit circumstances or are unknown to others. The bottom line is that all humans are hypocrites because we all fail to consistently live up to any standards of behavior that are defined. The difference is that Jesus forgives the hypocrisy of believers and has sent His Holy Spirit to guide and transform those who know Him as Savior and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10).

Excuse: Church is unnecessary since private prayer and Bible study can be done without others.

Answer: The Bible says that believers must not keep apart from other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25). It is true that we are influenced and become like the people we associate with. Also, by getting together, common beliefs are affirmed and ways to overcome problems are shared. There are three spiritual pillars to have a strong Christian life: personal prayer, Bible study and fellow believers. To rely on less than all three is like trying to sit on a one or two-legged stool. Three legs are needed for a firm foundation and proper function.

Excuse: Churches impose a bunch of rules and then make you feel guilty if you don’t measure up.

Answer: One of the biggest reasons for the breakdown of families is the lack of moral standards. Most people who call themselves Christians cannot even say the Ten Commandments much less live by them. Without moral standards, it is easier to do your own thing and not feel guilty about it. Guilt is part of our conscience and is a gift from God to help us do good.

It is true that sometimes people make us feel guilty. During these times it is important to seek God’s view through prayer and reading the Bible. This means it is necessary to be familiar with the Bible enough to discern whether others are making us feel guilty or if God is trying to get our attention. I am convinced that there are many Christians who are doing good works out of guilt rather than because they want to love and serve God.

Be Set Free

Your sin will tear you to shreds as a lamb in a lion’s mouth. Jesus can rescue you and heal your wounds. He can heal all your hurts. If you are in any bondage, you must demand freedom. The oppressor (Satan) won’t set you free. The oppressed must demand to be free. God will not come upon you uninvited. You must ask to be rescued. With the help of God, you can demand Satan to flee from you. He must flee in the name of Jesus.

What Do You Think?

Do you think people hesitate to ask God what He wants of them for fear of what He may ask them to do?

Do you think God will pour out His spirit on someone that is not really seeking Him?

If you have daily bible reading and seek God on a daily basis and know that you desire what He desires and you are honestly and eagerly seeking God’s will in your life, would you be short changing yourself to not go to the altar at church when an altar call is made even if you don’t feel a push from God to go?

Do you think everyone should be at the altar during an altar call because none of us have arrived at perfection and we will always need more of God to make our life better and draw closer to God?

Do people not go to the altar because they really feel they are as close to God as they can get or they think they are “good enough” or because they fear what other people will think?

Do you think God would hold blessings back from a person because someone else (say a family member, friend, spouse) is not being obedient?

Do you think bad things happen to good people to get someone else (say a family member, friend, spouse) to bend their knee and seek God?

Wouldn’t it be better to have all that God wants for you and be asked to do things you don’t like than to miss a blessing?

Wouldn’t you become a stronger person by doing things that may be a little uncomfortable because once you completed the task you would realize how God can give you the power to do things you thought were not possible?

Wouldn’t it be better to be obedient in all things so that others would not fall or suffer because of your disobedience?

Why Do You Go To Church?

Do you go to socialize?

We should enjoy the company of others when at church. We should enjoy friends that have the same goals and share common interests.

Do you go to get a pat on the back from the pastor or other people?

We should go to church to be encouraged and also to encourage others but that should not be our primary purpose.

Do you complain about how services are organized or what music is played?

If God is calling you to help with the job then you should be sure to step forward to see where you could be of help. If not, then you should enjoy the parts you like and ask God to help you with the parts that are meant for others to enjoy.

Do you complain about the message?

If the pastor is not preaching from God’s Word then you may want to seek another church. If he is preaching the Bible then you should probably tune in. You can read with him or go home and read the scripture reverence but be sure to ask God what He is telling you on a personal basis. The amazing part of God’s Word is that it is alive. It is the Living Word. It speaks to all of us individually. It can even tell us something difference at another time in our life when we reread something we have read before.

The main reasons for church should be to worship God and to draw closer to God. You should worship in whatever way you enjoy and being obedient to what God asks of you including using your talents that He has given you. We can draw closer to Him by discussion in a Sunday School class or small group studies. We also can draw closer through the message the pastor brings to the service. If He has taken time to pray and study so that He can give someone insight and make their life more meaningful, we should praise God even if it was for someone else’s betterment. If you gain a deeper understanding of God’s word from the message, then your life should be blessed and you could pass that on by sharing your thankfulness to the pastor for caring enough to bring the message to his congregation. If you are displeased with the message, you should probably take that up with God. You should probably ask if it was delivered for your growth. We don’t usually get offended when we think a message was meant for someone else. We have a tendency to be offended when we feel we have been corrected or asked to step out and do something.

What kind of message do you want to hear?

A message that tells us how good we are doing will keep us where we are. You will be encouraged to keep on doing what you are doing and you will never be any more than you already are.

A message of truth that comes from God should encourage you to step out in your faith to do whatever God is asking you to do. It may speak differently to each person but it should still help you to grow closer to God and help you to become a better person than you already are. It may be tough and it may hurt a little but those are the things that cause growth. God’s word was created to show us how to live and help us make our lives better. If the message brings us the Word, we should be willing to walk in it. We should also be reading on our own and praying to God to reveal the truth to us. When this all works together, the message will be able to be accepted and applied in the way it was intended and the whole body of Christ can move forward.

Do you want to move forward or remain stagnant?

Your approach and attitude will reflect your desire and commitment.

Why does God want you in church? What is God telling you? Are you talking to Him? Are you asking Him to show you what He wants to do in your life?