This question, to many who have been raised in it, seems like a crazy
question. Theology books abound on the subject and yet people are coming
in every day who don't have a clue as to what going to church is all about.
The Gospel, or the Good News about Jesus Christ, is really quite simple.
Put simply, there is a God beyond your natural world. When the power of
this life comes into your life, it takes on an extra dimension. Only one
problem. There are two gods, or spiritual power sources, and one is from
the Author of Life and one is a counterfeit.
The Author of Life created the Universe. Not only that, the Author of
Life wants personal relationship with you. Intimidating? Yes. But real?
Yes, also. The other god, who can go by many different names, including
impersonation, offers you a "power source" for this temporary life but
cannot offer you real peace and promise, now or beyond the grave.
The God who can raise people from the dead is Jesus and He came to earth
as a man, but yet also God, to give a living example to us as to how to
live, as well as what His powers and abilities are toward us and for us.
He rose from the dead and His ministry has gone on for generations. It's
God gave man free choice that He might have communion and fellowship with
Him. In that choice making ability, we can choose to go another way. But
He made the choice ability with the factor of loving, fulfilling blessing
if we choose the right way. If all the choices were easy, it would not
mean much. But Jesus' life proves that even if you have to deny your very
own life, the choice for God is worth it because He is greater than hell
Wow. Heavy stuff, but we all must face our own mortality and problems.
But I don't want to just address the life after death issue here, I want
to address the life in this life issue. Those who call themselves
Christians have a guidebook for life that is called The Holy Bible. In
this Book, the mysteries of God are revealed. It's a spiritual book and
it must be spiritually discerned.
You don't read this book like a novel, for while there are stories in
there, the stories have to be understood in a Spiritual light to make
sense of them and have them do you any good. The good news is that the
Holy Spirit is available to whoever would call on the Name of the Lord
Jesus. But you must call on Him to receive Him. As a kind and loving and
patient God, He will help you to understand Him and His Word and His Ways.
No one is an overnight sensation, but spiritual growth can be
The only expert that God promises us are His Spirit and His Word. He has
sent forth ministers to help us and they do greatly, but perfection alone
lies with Him. I say that because there is no perfect person who has ever
lived on this earth. The Bible plainly says that ALL have sinned (or
missed it and offended God by wrong choices) and come short of the glory
of God. But because He wants us to have that choice, He has made a way
through His Son Jesus for all to come to Him through Him.
God wants personal relationship WITH YOU. Isn't that an awesome thought?
But it's true! When you ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, He will
come into your life with the ability to make you His child - His son or
His daughter. And He promises to take care of you from this life to the
next. But you must also do your part to make this relationship work! A
one sided relationship is no relationship at all!
So therefore you believe, and by believing you speak what it is that you
believe. This confession solidifies your commitment to this God. Just
pray and tell God that you need Him and want Him and desire Him. Tell Him
you believe in His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit and His power will come
into your life to enable you to become a successful Christian. But as I
said, you must do your part of participating. All of this can be found in
the Bible. Start reading with the New Testament.
Many people will tell you many different things as to what Church is all
about, but what I am sharing is the BOTTOM LINE of it all. In this there
is a great freedom and the Bible Scriptures say: "Where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is liberty." When your soul is free, you know it. It will
take you through the rough days.
There are communities of people who gather together in the Name of the
Lord and they call themselves churches. Actually Jesus said, "I will
build My House, and the gates (or plans) of hell shall not prevail against
the Church." What is this Church? Church is the gathering of believers
where-ever they may be. Since His Spirit comes to live inside of us, we
believers are the Body of Christ, or His Church!
I can't preach the whole Bible in just these few short lines, but it is a
fascinating study. God gave man the Ten Commandments to abide by as
guidelines for living life in Him, if we are believers. One of those
Commandments says to "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
People were to gather in a holy convocation and worship Him and learn of
Him. This involves praise and worship and testimonies and instructions in
Godliness and prayer, which all can result in beneficial miracles and
fulfilled life. Giving is important to make this happen. While it's true
that you can do all this by yourself to some degree or with a few friends
on a street corner, people have created houses of worship, or churches, as
we call them now, as places of sanctuary for these purposes. There is a
blessing of God in it.
It's not the building that matters as much as the heart, but the gathering
together as believers is crucial and is commanded as something necessary
and good for our lives. It is my strong belief because this is one of the
Ten Great Commandments that honoring God in a place of worship with other
believers at least once a week if at all possible is what God desires from
People will argue on what day, or what time, or where at, or how often, or
what manner or form or ritual, but really what people say is not as
important as the heart issue of worshipping God in the way that He desires
for us, in order to give us the blessing for choosing Him. All of our
lives should be dedicated to Him, if we choose to live for Him, but this
is the way He has stated is His desire for us, at minimum, and He pretty
much holds the whole thing, you know?
Now that it's established here that church is important, what is going on
at church? This can be something that is greatly misunderstood and this
misunderstanding can cause great problems for people. Some people can get
so upset that they end up losing the blessing that God wants to give them!
The purpose of church is for the gathering of believers to worship and
learn of God. This all should be based on the Bible's instructions. Some
want to get really zealous with details and while that may be good,
getting into contentions over it is totally not the idea God has in mind
for His true people. None of us are perfect or all-knowing and I think
most of us just do the best we can and have to work with that!
God has appointed ministers for the church, who are not God, but shepherds
of people who lead, like a shepherd would a flock of sheep. Sheep and
people are just going to do what sheep and people do, and so pastoring is
not the easiest job in the world. But a good shepherd or pastor will do
the best they can with the abilities they have to instruct and lead people
into ways of righteousness.
There are small independent churches that are established and there are
also mega churches of mega denominations. Usually the bigger they are,
the more defined their visions. As I said, it's the worshipping of God
and the learning of Him that is more important than all the visions and
programs. The visions and programs are great most of the time, and serve
to bless people and help them in the Name of the Lord. But getting
involved in programs at church is not the main reason we should go to
Getting involved in visions and programs can be quite satisfying and a
great way to express your gifts and your love back toward God. Surely you
will be giving to someone else to help them along the way and this is
highly commendable. But your relationship with God comes first before
your service to others. Like I said, if you can do both, you are the
better for it.
God has called and placed people into the ministry to minister. Since
this is God's program, it pays to honor God by honoring and obeying his
ministers, but not at the expense of violating the Word of God or your own
good relationship in the Holy Spirit with Him.
A pastor at a local church has been given the authority to oversee the
ministry and activities of the church. You may have a lot of great ideas
on how things should be, but don't get disappointed if not everything goes
the way you think it should. Often, because of the divine nature of the
spiritual calling, the pastor is more right than you are! Be nice about
There is a government to church structure but it is not so stringent that
you should feel like you are in the military or a jail, nor should it take
you away from the things of God toward something or someone else.
Church should be a blessing. You should be able to find warm friends and
ministry and healings and helps, and for everything you expect, you should
in some measure be able to give back as well. It's not a place of spoiled
brats who say "Give me, Give me!" (Sadly, some do that.) You should be
able to develop good social relationships while serving and worshipping
Church is not the answer to all the problems of the world. Personal
relationship with Jesus and working together with others is though.
Jesus is building His Body and we are that Body. It's not complete until
all are in and walking in their fulfilled destinations. And it's going to
happen! With you or without you.
But oh what a joy to find your place and to be a part of something
wonderful happening. And it is happening. If one place does not work out
for you, continue working on changing yourself, but don't be bound by a
just a structure. God wants you to grow in Him in that personal
relationship and be a blessing to others. This pleases Him and will cause
you to fit where you are supposed to fit. Keep looking up to HIM!
God bless you.