Does the local church matter in 2021?
The past 18 months of lockdowns have made it really difficult to gather as a church. Services have either been totally shut down or severely limited during this time. Many have seemingly decided during this time that church really isn't worth the time or the effort anymore.
Many people feel if they simply watch a sermon online, occasionally read the Bible, and pray before bed that they are fine. Church is not viewed as important or necessary in their mind.
And yet, the Bible is clear that gathering together is incredibly important. So much so, that by not getting involved in one we are actually putting ourselves in great spiritual danger.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the moreas you see the Day approaching.- Hebrews 10:23-25
Did you catch that? Not only does God command believers to gather together, but the reason why is significant.
As the Day approaches, that final day of Christ's return; we're told in Hebrews that we should be gathering together MORE, not less!
The reason why? Times are going to get much harder before the end. Whatever your end times view is, Jesus told us that things would get much harder before His return.
We covered in 1Timothy 4 (in the sermon titled, "guard your life and doctrine") that one of the main signs of the end is worldwide deception and false teaching- even in the church!
And so, we need each other as believers in Jesus. There are indeed some things we can do from home- read, pray, listen to sermons; but there are many other things we're missing out on when we don't have a church we're involved with and attending: community, fellowship, accountability, ministry opportunities, and so much more.
I believe that sitting under preaching in a local church with a pastor who teaches the Bible might be one of the most powerful things we miss out on if we skip church. Sure, there are great preachers out there to listen to. But do they know you? Are they praying for you? And has God led them to prepare a message each Sunday that YOU need to hear- along with the rest of your church?
God is doing a work in this world and much of that work is happening throughout local churches. God wants to use YOU in your local church, as well. Not only are you missing out on what the church can offer you, the church community is missing out on what you can offer it!
As we exit this pandemic and are able to gather again, please consider
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
God saved us so we can have fellowship with Him AND each other!
Let's get back to church! We'll save a seat for you!