“Why Go to Church? – Commanded or Optional?”


“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” —Matthew 18:20

“Why go to church?” This question and ones like it arise often at RW and yes, also in the conversations of brethren within and without the corporate church. Thus, we need reminders, not only from God’s Word, but also from godly men. “Where no counsel is the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14

“There are people who think that they are bestowing a great favor upon the church of God when they grace it with their presence, and the implication seems to be that they bestow a great favor on the Almighty. How reprehensible is their own self-esteem! How far removed is their thought from the humility and contrition that reflects the inestimable mercy God bestows on us in the institutions of his church.

There are also people who have such esteem for numbers that they will deign to patronize the exercises of worship only where crowds congregate. It is easy to discover the measure of such calculation. They have greater regard for the presence of people than for the presence of the Lord. If we make numbers the criterion of the Lord’s presence, then we miss entirely the purport of our Lord in this text (Matt. 18:20). If only two came to a meeting for the worship of God, it would offer grave insult to the Lord of glory to suspend the service because of the fewness of those in attendance. Where there are two met in Jesus’name, there are always three, and the third is the Lord of glory. And wherethere are three, there are always four.” Christ Himself in the Assemblies of His People by John Murray


“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves” (Hebrews 13:17).“Is church membership, then, a necessity or is it somehow optional? Let’s put it another way: Is obedience to Christ a necessity or an option? This question must be asked today because many people have the mistaken idea that to be a Christian all they must do is pray a simple prayer and then they will be forever saved. No particular transformation may ever be evident in their lives. They may never give up any pet sins. They may never have any desire to read their Bible or attend church regularly. They may never exercise spiritual leadership in their family or have a credible Christian witness. They may never amount to anything for Christ. But that’s all right (it is thought), for there are two levels of sanctification: Christian and super-Christian! Not all Christians must become obedient to Christ. Not all must deal with sin. Not all must read their Bible or attend church regularly. Those things are only for super Christians, those who have attained a higher level of spirituality. “ Is Church Membership Optional? by Stephen Pribble

Spend some time educating yourself in these matters of church attendance and membership. It IS important. The New Horizons at the OPC website has some excellent ones.

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