Have you ever been tempted to think that perhaps you would have a richer spiritual life if you stayed home and worshipped alone rather than to attend church where there are distractions and hypocrites? God's Word does speak to this point. Let's take a look.
When Jesus returned to heaven, it was a small number of followers who made up the infant Christian church, but that changed within days. In response to the disciples Pentecost preaching, "they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship" Acts 2:41, 42. Did you note that they continued in the "fellowship"? In verse 47 we read "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." When we become Christians, the Lord does not leave us in isolation but rather places us in the fellowship of the church.
The church is a God-ordained support group. "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it"
1 Corinthians 12:26. There were many times that Paul received support and protection from various church groups. Act 17 mentions a couple such incidences.
The term "body of Christ" is so fitting in reference to the church. "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us" Romans 12:4-6. The potential impact of the blending of the different gifts is so much greater than one alone. Everyone has an important role to play as part of the body of Christ, and those different roles are "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" Ephesians 4:12, 13.
According to Hebrews 10:24, 25, to be part of the "body" holds even more importance for us who are living in the last days of earth's history. "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." We need one another. Go to church!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.