I'm just sad at this. I keep trying to "get plugged in" to "Life Groups," as they call them. I don't think churches think Christian fellowship outside of a sermon is important.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian” or “I am spiritual but I am not religious?
Now some people refuse to go to church because they see it as a house full of liars, hypocrites, gossipers, slanderers, adulterers, snobs and they are right.
What they do not see is Jesus sitting at the Eucharistic dinner with all these sinners. What they also do not see is their own sinfulness behind the smoke screen of self-righteousness. I’m not a liar, I’m not a hypocrite, I’m not a slanderer, I’m not a gossiper and so on. Well if you’re not any of those, what are you because you are some kind of sinner?
We are made to worship. We are all spiritual in that we have a soul, we are all religious in that we show reverence, love and devotion through ceremonial prayer to things our soul considers sacred. To deny one or the other or both is to deny the very essence of who we are. What animates, what moves us, what motivates us? It is our soul. Our soul is our spirit.
One Christian is no Christian. We cannot be a follower of Christ in isolation. We need to belong to the body of the church in a living union with the congregation of the faithful. The Lord called His Church a “vine”, a climbing vine. He is the vine and the faithful are its branches. The congregation of the faithful constitutes an invisible whole, in living union with the Lord. As a branch that is cut off withers and dies, so also every believer who in any way is cut off from the Church, and consequently from the Lord, dies spiritually (John 15:1-6).
The Apostle Paul says this more clearly by calling the Church “the body of Christ”. Christ is the head and the faithful are the rest of the body. And as in the body ever member lives be being joined to the rest of the members, so also no believer can live alone, but only by participating in the common life of all the members, of all the faithful of the Church. Whereas if he is cut off, he dies spiritually and perishes (1 Cor. 12:12-27).
This is why true Christians, throughout the centuries, till today, always felt that they were alive by being united with the rest of the faithful, with the Church. We consider the Church to be our mother. And the saying is true, that he who does not have the Church as his mother, does not have God as his father. But if God is not his father, then who is?
The Lord, through the Apostles, established the Church and endowed it with every salvific means for preservation and expansion on earth. The Church preserves all the mysteries of the faith and the entire truth. In it are found Divine Grace, The Divine Mysteries/Sacraments, and the Priesthood that guides us on the path of salvation. In it rest the benevolence of God, who hears the prayer of the Church and of her children.
It is also important to note that you can’t participate in the Divine Mysteries/Sacraments like the Lords Supper without attending church (1 Cor. 11:23-26). Receiving Holy Communion with the family of God is not only an incredible privilege, but it’s also the responsibility of every true believer. Divine Grace is offered and received in no other way than through the Divine Mysteries/Sacraments that are performed by the Apostles and their successors, as the Lord Himself ordained in the Church. And corporate worship is not only what our gracious sovereign God deserves, but also what He demands.
For these reasons and many other reasons, Christians should take church attendance seriously. The Christian life is to be lived within the context of the fellowship of the saints. The Bible knows nothing of a “lone ranger Christian”. Many logs burning together burn very brightly, but when a log falls off to the side, the embers quickly die out.