Can a Christian survive apart from the church?
There are many who are convinced that one can be a Christian without “going to church”. How do you feel? Would you agree with them? Well, to be honest sometimes the thought has crossed my mind, I mean sometimes people are just hard to understand; sometimes people have expectations that are just impossible to meet. Relationships are hard work, there’s no question about it and sometimes we want to just skip over the relationship part. But, just as you were born into a family you didn’t choose so too with God’s family. However, back to our question: can a Christian survive apart from the church? The answer is no, and here’s why. The church – that’s the congregation of believers, not the building with the steeple – is the mechanism (if I may use that word) by which God strips away my selfishness, my pride, my independence, actually…. He strips “me” away. You see God won’t let me get any closer to Him if I won’t get close to my Christian brothers and sisters. Husbands if you mistreat your wives then God won’t hear your prayers. Christian, if you won’t forgive your brother or sister then God won’t accept our worship of Him. Our relationship with God is tied to our relationship with one another. Another reason why church is important is because at church you come under the preaching of God’s word and it is through His word that God shapes you into the image of Jesus. It is through the preaching of His word that He speaks truth into our lives and without truth we would be like ships tossed about on the ocean, no direction and no anchor for the soul. A third reason why we can’t survive without the church is because in the church we come under the authority of the church leadership. Now I can hear you running for the door but this is perhaps the most important reason why God calls us into community. We are like sheep, we’re always going astray and we NEED God’s leaders to lead us and, when necessary, correct us and as shepherds, bring us back to the safety of the fold. Since our relationship with God is tied to our relationship with one another, then just as you cannot survive without God so too you cannot survive without being a part of the church.