God’s people are imperfect. It’s not an excuse, merely an observation. Yet, imperfect people judge imperfect people imperfectly and make it an excuse to avoid church. Or we use crisis to help us avoid church. Or we declare we are uncomfortable and miss church. The only reason we should not go to a church is if that church is unbiblical in its practices, does not stand on sound doctrine, and wanders away from the Word of God. Jesus went to Synagogue every Sabbath (Saturday). How do we know? The authors of the Gospels make it clear that He did by using the words “As was His habit.” The Book of Acts tells us that the Apostles and Evangelists of the early church would often go to Synagogue on Sabbath until they were unwelcome, and then meet with the Church on the Lord’s Day (which is Sunday). We have a model from the first 5 books documenting Christ and the rise of the early church: they gathered together!
Why, then, do we feel we can be okay without it? As I said earlier, yes, it’s full of imperfect people. That’s part of the point! It’s a place to be lifted up as we all seek Christ together. It’s a place of accountability and vulnerability. It’s the body of believers throughout the week checking in on one another, and helping one another, and praying for one another, and dining with one another, and serving one another. It’s a phone call, a text, a prayer in the supermarket, a meal and a conversation, a cry and a hug, a lifting up. We can’t do all these one-anothers, as the Bible commands (there’s no commands about texting and calling, but the rest are implied!) if we’re not together. And it’s more than the Gathering place on Sunday, it’s how we love each other the rest of the time as well! The world is hostile to Believers in Christ and searchers of truth. Jesus gave us two gifts to help us cope: His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and His Church to support us! The first gift is perfect, the second imperfect, but together, we can aim at His perfection! Get to church! Be the Church. Love one another, as God in Christ loves you! 1 Peter 1:13-25 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.