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Why Go To Church?

Why go to church?

Do I have to go to church in order to be a Christian? 

You don’t have to do anything in order to be saved. Jesus completed all the world of salvation by dying on the cross on Good Friday and rising again on Easter. As John 3:16-17 says, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” We are saved by faith alone, which receives God’s grace through the Word and Sacraments. 

Ok, but I can read my Bible and pray at home. I can watch tv or internet and be enriched by Christian programming and websites. What else do I need?

It is true that Christians can and should pray and read their Bibles in their homes. There is good material that can be found (with a little searching) on the tv and the internet. However, replacing corporate worship for individualistic spirituality is not Biblical, nor is it commendable.  

Instead, ask yourself these two questions: Should I go to church?  And What does living like a Christian look like?

Should I go to church?
Here are 5 quick reasons why it is beneficial

5. At church, we speak the truth about our messed-up lives (Confession) and hear the words of forgiveness proclaimed. 

One of the charges sometimes levied against Christians is that of hypocrite. Our Lutheran church service (liturgy) addresses that charge head on. Our service begins with the words of confession: ‘I am a poor, miserable sinner.’ 
Confession reminds us not to think more of ourselves than we ought. Absolution reminds us not to think less of ourselves in Christ than we ought. 

4. A time to be together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. No man is an island. People need community. As the family of God, we rejoice with others, we mourn with others. Together, “we proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) We need mutual consolation as we walk along the journey of life. 

3. The 3rd Commandment – Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. As we live our busy lives, we need a day of rest. A day to recharge and reorient ourselves.

2. Receive the Lord’s Supper – The early church called communion the ‘medicine of immortality.’ It is a joy that we receive this medicine, the body and blood of Jesus for our forgiveness, life, and salvation.  In John 6:53-54, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” 

1. Jesus is here….Let me write that again: Jesus is here.   It should be our desire as Christians to be where Jesus is. In Matthew 18:16, Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I among them.” 

We go to Church to be blessed by God    -   The rest of the week we are called to be a blessing to others

What does living like a Christian look like?

The Divine worship service on Sunday is only part of the Christian life. It begins the week, as we together hear God’s Word and receive the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. It only takes one hour of our week. Let’s face it, most of us are not called to be monks or nuns. Instead, God has given us Sunday afternoon, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to go out and live – to steward God’s creation and serve our neighbors and community through our vocations as parents, students, citizens, workers, etc. “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Be a blessing to others, as God has blessed us. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:24-25

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