I have been told many times by non believers that it is not necessary to go to church. Let me explain for a moment why I go and why my family will forever do so.
"The church" is not what being a Christian is about. It is not about a spiritual law. It is not about doing good deeds, giving all of our money, or showing up because it is a routine. It is not about religion and religious ceremonies that take on the same face each and every week. This kind of "church" leaves you empty and dissatisfied. Church, however, is about being with other Christians who you can relate to, talk with, worship comfortably with, and be in prayer with. The world is full of people who discourage us, despise us and disrespect our God that why wouldnt we want to be in a place that is of comfort and that can lift us up in our spiritual journey?
Hebrews 10:25 says:
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
When Jesus died on the cross for us He broke the barrier of living under the law. Practicing good works and good deeds alone will not get us into Heaven. Being "a good person" will not give you a free ticket through the gates. The Bible is clear through many scriptures on this issue.
"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt.5:20)
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Jn. 3:3)
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)
You can be ignorant of many things and yet be saved, but to possess eternal life and see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. To be born again is not merely reformation (such as quitting smoking or drinking), or making an amendment, a moral change or an outward alteration of our life. It is a thorough and complete change of your heart, will, and character. It is the implanting of God’s life in your soul, with the result being that the whole course of your life is changed.
Nevertheless, knowing that a man is not justified (declared not guilty) by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus..." (Gal. 2:16a)
I understand that you can be a Christian and not attend a church. But I also understand that the longer you go on without being encouraged, taught, and lifted up...the easier it is for Satan to bring sin into your life. I understand that many think that going to church is a waste of time and energy because church-goers are hypocrites. Let me explain that every single one of us falls short of the glory of God, but by grace we are saved. By going to church and trying to learn more of God, I want more and more of Him in my life. He consumes my thinking and I go because I WANT to go. I love God. He is my best friend and I want to share that love and passion with those around me. It is a safe place and a comfort. I do not go because I am required to do so. I go because I long to hear His word, speak of it freely and learn more about what it means to be the kind of person that God would have me to be. I truly believe that there are a lot of "good people" in hell. God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to want Him. So many times we paint this feminine picture of God (He's so loving, His grace is perfect and He is beautiful, wonderful, awesome). He IS all of those things! However, our God is a very judgiving, just, jealous, powerful God as well. We tend to forget that we will have to face His judgment someday. Being "good enough" wont convince God that you are worthy to live in eternity with Him because absolutely none of us is or ever will be "good enough." However, loving Him enough, striving to love Him more, getting to know Him, spending time with Him, teaching others of Him and having His word on our lips continually are just some of the things that I believe God will see and honor when we get to Heaven. I am not the judge and God is all knowing, but I do know that His word gives us a clear description of the kind of life we are supposed to lead in order to please Him.
I will take my children with me to church each and every week that I go from now until they are old enough to decide for themselves if they want to go or not. By speaking life into them even at their ages and praying that God would reveal Himself to them, I am confident that they will have a passion and a love for Him that is so big they cant help but want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Something powerful happens when you meet with other believers and God shows up! He changes lives, heals the sick and consumes your mind. There is nothing like showing my children the joy of the Lord on the faces of people who genuinely love Him and love us the same. I am so grateful for the opportunity to raise my children in this way! God's plan for their lives is incredible and I see it unfolding every single day. I will absolutely "push" them to go because if I dont, the world will "push" them into the things of sin and I will not settle for the devil stealing their souls. Their salvation is covered in the blood and I received it from the moment I knew they were inside of me. My children are the Lord's!
Here are a few pictures that I havent shared yet! Enjoy!