Why is it important for believers to have a church home? What are the benefits and what are the detriments to attending and not attending church?
The Command to Assemble
The 10th chapter of Hebrews frequently includes the words “us” and “we” so the author is apparently writing to the church and this would include us if we are believers so the “us” and “we” is you and me. The author commands us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24-25). It is hard to stir yourself up if you don’t assemble with the Body of Christ. It is hard to encourage one another if you never meet with other believers and especially as we see that “Day drawing near” meaning the Day of His Visitation. I heard that there are over fifty “one another’s” commandments in the New Testament. It would be impossible to obey these if someone is a lone ranger Christian. There are no “churchless Christians” to be found in the first century church on the pages of Scripture. All the epistles are written to specific corporate churches in literal, physical cities with only a couple of exceptions.
God’s Placement of the Members
The church is called the Body of Christ and Jesus is the Head of the Church but who determines where each member should fit in the Body? Since “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1st Cor 12:18) we learn it is not our decision to make. It was God who “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12). If you’re a churchless Christian, then who’ll be your teacher, your pastor, or other members that you need to be equipped by? God is the Master Builder Who knows what each church needs and what each individual in that church needs. If you are a Christian then “you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1st Cor 12:27). Paul wrote much about the members of the Body of Christ and how they all fit together to form one Body with Jesus being the very Head of the Church as he wrote, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1st Cor 12:12). The Body works together when it is working in unity, therefore there should “be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another” (1st Cor 12:25). You can read more about this unity in 1st Corinthians chapter twelve.
The Gates of Hell
Sometimes there are no options but to have a home church because, unfortunately, a lot of churches have turned lukewarm in regards to essential doctrines of faith and verse by verse biblical, expository preaching is absent. Some have no other choice but to have a home church, particularly in areas where Christians are not allowed to meet publically. There are a lot more underground Christian churches that we will never see or hear about. Jesus made an absolute, concrete resolution; “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18) and this church has a rock-solid foundation as its “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Eph 2:20), meaning it’s not going anywhere. You cannot be any surer that Jesus’ church is here to stay. This is not a human church; otherwise it would’ve vanished long ago.
One man said that he belonged to the invisible church and needed no church building. I agreed that the church is not a building, it is a membership or Body that works together in the Great Commission, but they need a building to meet in because of the size, at least in most cases. Some have found a church home at home with other members that assemble together to sing and study and be taught the Word of God. Anyway, I asked the man who belonged to his “invisible church” If he can call his invisible pastor when he’s sick or have his invisible church pray for him? I understand that a lot of people have been hurt by the church but that doesn’t mean every church is like that. Unless someone’s attended each church personally, they can’t really say that God doesn’t have a use for the church today; the corporate Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head. Not being attached to the Head and Jesus’ Body might make a person more vulnerable to spiritual attacks and be deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The safest place to be is within the sheepfold of which the Great Shepherd oversees.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.