Welcome to Bible Answers
SALVATION QUESTION 188
Is it necessary for me to go to church if I become a Christian
This is a question I am often asked. It would appear that the questioner is saying, “Is this the burden or cross I must bear?” In order to answer this, it is necessary to find out what the church really is. When I was saved over fifty-five years ago, there were eleven different churches to which I could have gone. To which should I go? If you were a Baptist you would say, the Baptist; if a Pentecostal, you would say, the Pentecostal and etc. The church as God sees it, is not that building down the street with the stained glass windows and steeple. It is not an organization at all, but a living organism, made up of people only. People who have been born-again by realizing their sinfulness and in their utter helplessness cast themselves upon the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved. They have been baptized (not water) by the Spirit into one body called the body of Christ or the church. 1 Corinthians 12:13. There is only one. Ephesians 4:4. Jesus said, “I will build my CHURCH (singular) Matthew 16:18. This body of people is from every race and culture and are scattered all over the world. Since they never come together it would be impossible to go to this church.
However the scripture teaches that there were local groups of these same people that gathered together in the Name of the Lord for certain purposes. Matthew 18:20, Acts 2:41-42. We are told “that believers were together..”Acts 2:44. A true local expression of the body of Christ is a group of born-again believers that gather together in the Name of the Lord for biblical purposes. Now if you find such a group, and you are saved you will want to be with them. They are your brothers and sisters in the Lord. They love you and want to care for you.
Now sad to say, you will not find this in the established churches. To begin with if you were to stand at their doors when they have their roll-call services and ask each member as they went out, looking them straight in the eye, “Have you been born again? Do you KNOW that. you are saved?” If you get the same answers that I get from them you are going to be surprised. To meet with such a mixed multitude is not the biblical meaning of a meeting.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated March 13th, 2014 by Sandra Felix