I met a friends of mine and I told him that I was a priest and he said with pride that he was a Christian too. When I asked him what church he attended, he replied: “I don’t attend the services of any church. I believe in my heart, but I don’t go to church because I have my own reasons…” Is this answer familiar to you? Do you think the same way? It is not good for a Christian to ignore the divine services of the church and here it is why:
All Christians are members in the body of Christ
Apostle Paul wrote in the I Epistle to Corinthians:
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)(NASB)
A member that is separated from his body doesn’t survive. A member lives and makes sense as long as it is in the body, when it serves to the body and it is served by the rest of the members.
Christians get spiritual power at the divine services
In the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended, Christians who formed the first church didn’t have a stable place to meet, but they lived in a very hostile context. But the Scripture says the following things about the way they were living their faith:
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:41–47)(NASB)
The first Christians came to the temple daily. Nowadays, Christians come to the divine services of their church only on Sunday, and only some come more times during the week. Even if this is a nation that is considered to be Christian, if you go to church on Sunday, you can see very few people who came to worship and to study the Word of God. Do you see how big is the difference between the first Christians and those who only have this name?
True Christians take priority of divine things
When I was a child, aunt Zinovia came to us, she was a special Christian, who lived in obedience to the Lord Jesus. Every Sunday she came from her village to the church from our village and then, after the divine service she was coming to visit us and the families of her other brothers. I heard how she advised my father to read the Word of God and to come to the divine services of the church. But he replying: “Zinovia, if I read my Bible and go to church, when will I work then and take care of my household?” He told that as if my aunt was lazy and didn’t take care of her household. It is true that her household was modeste, but they had peace and joy in their house, while we were missing them. Let no one think that true Christians don’t work. They know to work and to take care of their own and their family needs and also they help those who are in need. But true Christians first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and that is also seen through their systematical attendance to their church.
True Christians are not influenced by circumstances
People who really believe in Jesus Christ don’t do anything just because all other people do it. Their actions are led by the Word of God.
I have heard some that say that they don’t go to church because the priest does this or that “not good” thing or because they don’t receive teaching from the Word of God. I am sorry to admit that there are some cases when people are right in these situations, but not always. But, when the priest doesn’t teach the Word of God to people and he doesn’t live in accord with what he teaches, you have to look for another local church, but anyway continue to attend the divine services of a church. Be a Christian whose life will draw others to come to church, but not to repulse them, as you have suffered a repulse from other’s behavior.
In the end, I wrote an advice from the Holy Scriptures:
Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.(Hebrews 10:25)(NASB)
Translated by Felicia Djugostran