Why Church?

…Maybe there’s something in it for you…

Actually, what is said above is the simple answer for why you should go to church. The Creator of the universe would very much like to give you something… something you need very much. There is something in it for you.

These days many people argue, “I don’t need to go to church to be close to God.” When I hear this I ask, “Who told you that?” The fact is, that’s a nice sentiment but it is far from describing the way God would have you think about the whole situation. For while it is true that God is everywhere, He’s not everywhere to save. And that’s the whole point.

God has promised that He makes Himself available to those who seek Him through certain things and in certain places. Not that church is the only place where that happens, but it is the place where it happens with deliberate regularity… all for your convenience.

What it boils down to is this: God has promised to be in certain places at certain times to deliver the gift of salvation to those who show up. Church is kind of like a soup kitchen for the homeless. Those who show up get soup. Those who don’t, go hungry. And no matter how stubborn some people can be, insisting, “I can get soup anywhere,” the reality is their bellies are still empty and deep down they know it. What the church really is, is a group of believers in Christ that gather regularly around the gifts He gives out. Yup, God does charity work. Lucky for us.

Unfortunately, this is rarely understood today, even among most Christians. The focus of a church service should be the movement of God descending to be with His people for the sole purpose of delivering the forgiveness of sins to them by way of the good news of the Gospel preached, read, delivered under the waters of Baptism, and given through the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper.

Why these ways? Because that’s where God has promised He is to be found according to the New Testament; and a faithful church will endeavor to stick close to Jesus’ promises for that very reason.

The church really has only one thing to offer. Forgiveness. Plain and simple. If the forgiveness of sins through the substitutionary death of Jesus is not the focus of church, it’s simply not church. It may be a good time with great music and a helpful message relevant to your daily life. It may be emotionally uplifting and soul stirring. It may feel great, but it’s not… church. At least according to the New Testament definition.

In short, the answer to the question, “Why church?” is, “Because it is the only place on earth where you know for sure that God will meet you where you are and extend to you His hand of forgiveness, welcoming you into eternal life.”

If you’ve never dared to enter the doors of a church, I understand. But, it’s a risk worth taking. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

If the culture really understood what the church is, they’d be breaking down the doors like heroin addicts at a methadone clinic. What God has to offer is that good, my friends. And there’s nothing else on the planet that can take the place of the free gift of forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ.