It’s not uncommon these days to hear someone say, “I don’t really do the church thing anymore. After all, I can meet with God on my boat out on the water, or in the woods, or on the golf course.”
Here’s the little secret I hate admitting: a person who says this has his facts right, at least in part. After all, God is everywhere at all times, and He has promised to draw near to all who will draw near to Him, at any time and in any place (James 4:8).
But, for those who have lost their grip on the importance of church, at least for those who claim to be followers of Christ, there’s a very important truth that’s being missed: we don’t go to church solely to meet with God. We go to church to meet with each other.
The author of the ancient Book of Hebrews offers us the following three encouragements in Hebrews 10:22-24:
Let us draw near, which speaks of our meeting with God in praise and celebration for the work of Christ on our behalf, and the confidence that comes from real faith in a Real God, who has forgiven us and made us His own.
Let us hold on, which speaks of our continual agreement, in heart, voice, and deed, that He who has loved us so much is trustworthy. We can fix our grip on the Word of the Lord and the One who is Lord of the Word with complete confidence in His every promise.
And here’s the kicker:
And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other . . . .
See it? This thing of attending the meetings of the Body of Christ, the church, is not just about what is going on between you and God, it’s about what’s going on between you and me! We encourage each other as we live the Christian life together in a real, visible, living community. And worshipping together is a central activity of that community.
Can I meet God when I am otherwise alone? Of course I can.
But when you and I meet God together, along with the many others who have gathered to worship, we actually minister to one another in a quite-powerful way.
That can’t happen if you’re not there.
So . . . See you in church!
McGregor Baptist Church
3750 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966