It seems so ordinary.
Get in your car. Gather with a big group. Sing some songs. Listen to someone talk. Spend time with other people.
Week after week after week.
Why is gathering as a church so important?
The reason it is important is because we all are sinners who deserve God’s punishment but in His grace this God sent His own Son into the world to die in our place that we might be forgiven of our sins and this God who has done all this will one day be revealed as Judge over the entire world and everyone of us will stand before Him and be evaluated by Him.
If this were just about, a nice place to meet people, or if this were just about, a weekly time to sing, or if this were just about, hanging out with your friends, or, if this were just about, a time to sit and here someone talk for a while then, there are a lot better things you can do with your time. But you are going to die and stand before God and you need to make it. You need to persevere in your faith, because if you don’t, then you are damned.
In Hebrews 10:26, writer warns, “If you go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversary.”
And how are you going to keep that from happening? What do you need to do?
You can’t just depend on yourself and say, hey, I can do this.
No God in His grace has designed a means to keep you safe and to help you make it so you can stand before Him in Christ and that is the Christian community, this gathering together on a weekly basis, as a church.
One of the reasons God sent Jesus into the world was to make you part of a new community, and one of the reason He commands you to be part of this new community is to help you cling to Christ.
When we talk about responsibilities of the church, like gathering together, I hope you understand it’s an expression of God’s undeserved kindness to each of us. This is not meant to be a burden on your back. There’s heaven. There’s Jesus. There’s the privilege of access. There’s relationships that are deep and full of joy. And there’s hell. And there’s judgment And God in His grace has given you means, tools, helps to keep you safe, and to enable you to enjoy His goodness and kindness forever and to protect you from falling away and experiencing His wrath, and one of those means, tools, is regular, gatherings of the church.