Why did you attend church today? Was it habit? Were you told? Why should a Christian want to attend church? One answer is so that you are "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves togetherl"Hebrews 10:25. Going to church is not about getting your attendance gold star, nor is it about gaining God’s favor for the week because you assembled together with His people. Church is not a place to go, rather it is a living body where God wants you to become a part––for your good and His glory. Here are a few reasons to go to church even when you don't want to... 1. To Hear the Preaching of the Word. If the word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than a sword (Hebrews 4:12), then hearing the preaching of Scripture is vital to your spiritual well-being. Watching preachers on TV is often how people justify giving up on church attendance. It is through the preaching of sound doctrine that the Word of God: *Penetrates hearts and transforms lives *Calls sinners to repentance *Encourages the downtrodden *Lights the way God would have you go When facing certain death. Apostle Paul told of the importance of preaching with this final instruction to Timothy: “Preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). 2. To Participate in group Worship; Worshiping God alone is wonderful, but nothing can replace the beauty of coming together to worship Him with others who also have His Spirit in them through the redeeming work of salvation. Jesus said those who worship must worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). In order to truly worship God the way He demands requires some soul searching. Realize that worshiping God comes as a response to our humble gratitude for His love for us. 3. Because Iron Sharpens Iron; That is what Proverbs 27:17 tells us. Meeting regularly with other believers is a source of encouragement and strength. But know this: when iron rubs against iron, not only does it become sharper, it also causes sparks! It’s just part of the process. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). When you live in community with other Christians you will get bumped. And what spills out of you is what’s in your heart. God uses our interactions with others to show us the areas He would have us repent and turn to reflect more the image of His Son. Working alongside Christians in a church fellowship is a wonderful way to grow your love for God and for others. And it is also God’s way of showing you areas He wants to mature your walk with Christ. 4. To Exercise Your Gift; From preaching to encouraging, hospitality to administration, God equips His children with gifts to serve Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:6). When a church body is healthy, its members realize they are part of the congregation not only to receive but also to be a blessing. 5. To Encourage Your Pastor; The pastor’s heart of the Apostle Paul comes through when he says, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now… And it is right for me to feel this way about you all for I hold you in my heart” (see Philippians 1:3-7). Can’t you just hear Paul’s affection for these precious people who partnered with him in spreading the glorious gospel of grace? 6.Find Godly Mentors; In the church you’ll find many people who have walked the road ahead of you. They can teach you from their mistakes and help you grow. Titus chapter 2 is a great place to learn how much God values mentorship. It is His plan for the older men and women to come alongside of the younger to train them in godliness, and guide them toward building a life of no regrets. And not only is the church a wonderful place to find amazing mentors, it is also the place God wants to use you to mentor someone else. With one eye looking to godly older women for guidance, and your other eye on who God might want you to mentor, don’t be surprised at the opportunities He will give you. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). 7. To be a Light to Your Community; Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another, so of course Satan wants to destroy any sense of love and community in the body of Christ. When you commit to loving God and loving others, the light shining from your Christ-honoring love is what the Spirit can use to draw others to know Jesus. 8. To Bear Each Other's Burdens; Galatians 6:2 teaches us to bear each other’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ. Life can be hard, right? In a moment everything can change. Just when things are going great, a phone call, diagnosis, or a host of other mishaps can leave you feeling afraid and alone. But to those who are a part of a church family never feel alone. When life is going great, they have the affirmation of others. And when life throws a curve, they’re blessed by loving concern, support, and prayer. 9. Because God Says To; Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” I don’t think the writer of Hebrews could make any more clear God’s desire to have you regularly assemble together with His people. Realize that God wanting you to regularly attend church is for your good. He wants you, and His people, to exhort one another especially as the days grow darker and the time of Christ’s return approaches.
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