Do we really need to go to church?

Pastor Doug Batchelor

Q. If a person accepts Jesus, do they need to attend church to be saved?

A. First, it’s important to note that there will be many people in heaven who were not affiliated with any particular church or denomination—or for some reason could not attend church regularly. But one of the foremost principles of Christianity is that we are saved into the body of Christ, which is another name for the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). In Acts 2, the Bible says, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” When you are baptized, you become part of Christ’s body and enter into the church (1 Corinthians 12:20).

Perhaps we should also ask this question in another way: Why would a person say he or she loves God but doesn’t wish to fellowship with His people? One of the reasons God wants us in church is because it has people with similar beliefs. It helps bolster our faith and makes us accountable to one another. Even in churches where there are some difficult people, it is the best environment to increase our capacity to learn to love one another.

A person saying, “I believe in God and want to be baptized, but I don’t want to go to church,” sounds to me like a man saying to his bride, “I love you; I want to marry you—but I don’t want to live with you.” It’s saying you want the benefits of marriage but not the relationship that goes with it. Part of the Christian experience is having a relationship with a fellowship of believers.

When someone lives as a hermit from society, he or she tends to become eccentric. Isolating oneself from others begins to affect the mind; the brain atrophies. You become socially inept. (Take it from a recovering hermit.) In the same way, it’s important for Christians to be social with fellow believers in corporate worship and gatherings to avoid becoming spiritually eccentric and inept. Church is part of God’s gift, so Christians should do their very best to find a biblical church in which they can grow into mature members of God’s family. See also 1 Corinthians 12:12–14.

In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” He knew that the love and unity of the church could be a powerful part of our witness to the world in the last days. Conversely, the devil surely realizes that the world would disbelieve by our division. He has been working toward that goal since the beginning.

Think of the devil as a wolf stalking a lamb. He knows that as long as the lamb is with the flock or close to the shepherd, the lamb is safe. But if the wolf can chase and scatter the flock from the shepherd and from one another, he can easily bring down a lamb that has strayed. The devil wants to separate from the flock the lambs (baby Christians who are more vulnerable) so he can destroy them.

As it says in Hebrews 10:25, we need to be firmly committed to corporate worship and assembly-especially “so much more, as ye see the day approaching.” Do you see the day of the Lord approaching?

Looking to come back to church?
View the 'Reclaim Your Faith' Program Archives here.


Tune in to Bible Answers Live, Amazing Facts’ live, nationwide call-in radio program on Sunday nights, and listen to Pastor Doug give biblical, straightforward answers to difficult Bible questions. To get times and stations in your area and to listen to archives, click here.

Comments

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions or our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.


Back To Top