I hope you went to church on Easter Sunday. I also hope you go to church the week after Easter. To be honest, I hope you go the week after that, too. Here are 7 reasons you should go to church the week after Easter, and the week after that:
1. God hates empty religious routine. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. True, there was no church in Malachi’s day. However, if Malachi was clear about any issue, it was this issue. God is never please when his people simply go through the motions of religion (Malachi 1). Unfortunately, I’m afraid many Easter only attenders do just that.
2. Jesus died to purchase the church. In Acts 20 Paul was saying his final goodbye to the church in Ephesus. In that goodbye, Paul reminded them that Jesus obtained the church by shedding his blood (Acts 20:28). It seems strange that so many who say they love Jesus want nothing to do with the people Jesus gave his blood to obtain.
3. Jesus is building the church. Matthew 16 is a critical passage for anyone who wants to know the truth about Jesus. In that chapter Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. Jesus responds by promising to build his church (Matthew 16:18). Again, it seems strange that someone would recognize Jesus as the Promised One, but not show any interest in being apart of the one “institution” he left behind.
4. You need to learn from and be served by others. There is a strong spirit of individualism in most Americans. Sometimes this individualism leads people to believe they can follow Jesus faithfully without a church family. This idea is foreign to the New Testament. The first Christians clearly understood the importance of community and relationships (Acts 2:42).
5. You need to use your gifts for the good of a church. There is much to debate about Paul’s words on spiritual gifts. Setting aside the controversial issues, one issue that is not up for debate is the purpose of spiritual gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:7 Paul clearly says God gives spiritual gifts for the “common good.” It’s hard to use your gift for the common good when you aren’t part of a church family.
6. The Bible commands church attendance and participation. Hebrews 10:24-25 is one of the clearest passages in the Bible about the importance of church attendance and participation. Not only does the author of Hebrews command believers to continue meeting together, he also commands believers to encourage each other by looking for ways to “stir up one another to love and good works.”
7. Your faith is worthless if you don’t love other believers. That may seem like a harsh, judgmental statement. But John is pretty black-and-white in 1 John. He clearly says anyone who does not love their “brother” is walking in darkness (1 John 1:9-11). He also says we can have assurance of salvation when we “love the brothers” (1 John 3:14-15). It seems that regardless of your profession of faith, your love for your fellow church members is a reflection of your love for Jesus.
Again, I hope you went to church on Easter Sunday. I also hope you make it back this week, and the week after that, too.