Since all great ideas form in the shower, I was thinking this evening before work about why I go to church. As a 22 year-old guy, my parents feel as if I am not under their rule per se all that much. Now, granted, I am living at home and they EXPECT of me to do certain things, i.e. get up at a reasonable hour, don't run around the house naked, invite hippie freak girls over the house without their permission, you know, the little things.
As I started to think more and more about this idea, I realized that, sometimes, I go to church for the wrong reasons. Sometimes I don't feel like going to church to get a fulfillment from God but to have a good time with my friends. Sometimes I go to church to please my parents or to please God, which is foolish since God knows my thoughts. It then struck me that it has been a tradition of ours to go to church whenever the doors have been open. I know it is bold to say "tradition," but just think about it. I mean really, when your boss says, "Hey, what are you doing on Sunday?" Most of the time, you say, "Oh, I am going to church." Its' not, "I'm gonna sleep in, get up, mess around for a couple of hours until the football game, have some friends over for steaks and then go to bed." No, USUALLY, in a Christian home, the whole family goes to church.
What does the Bible say about going to church? If you are part of a church that you go to faithfully, even if you are not a member, like me, you are still part of the body of believers! Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking our own assemblies, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day draw near." The Bible says to be in a relationship with other believers to be encouraged and also to encourage as the last days draw near. What else does the Bible say? In Romans 12:5, we belong to each other. "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." This is great since we need to grow in the faith, practice forgiveness, and learn how to serve others. Another great point that the Bible makes is in Ephesians 4:2. "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another, in love." If we didn't fellowship with other believers, we wouldn't grow as we ought. We learn gentleness, humility, and patience, developing a Christ-like spirit as we fellowship in the body of Christ. There are many more points to look at but I believe that this is the greatest. If we are to be like Christ, we should do what He did when He walked this earth. He went to church, too. Luke 4:16 states it clearly: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read." People, this was Jesus's CUSTOM - a normal practice of His - to go to church! I am very sure that if Jesus met with fellow believers to encourage and to also be encouraged, shouldn't we do the same, for the right reasons?