I'm sure you've all done this already, but sunday night, on my knees in my living room, I asked Jesus into my heart. I have been reading my bible and praying for the knowledge to understand it all. I am really trying to be a good christian. But to be a good chrisitan do I have to go to church? I know this sounds silly, but I am serious. I do believe the end times are coming, and soon, and I want to change myself before its to late. I want to be rewarded with eternal life, not d**ned to hell. I just have so many questions, and we don't have a church to go to.....I also posted this under Growing in the Lord because I wasn't sure where to put it.....Thank you for any input/support you may have.
I am so happy you've done this!!! WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME to the family of God.
Does attending church make one a "good" Christian? No, just attending church doesn't make one a "good" Christian. There are plenty of "bad" Christians in the church - ever heard anyone complain about hypocrites?
BUT, attending church is very beneficial in assisting the Christian who genuinely seeks to grow in the Lord. Today's world is so very full of distractions, blatant sinful temptations - there is literally an unseen WAR for human souls going on all about us. From where I sit, we Christians need all the help we can get. We either seek counsel from others who are also seeking God's will or we seek counsel from the world. Godly people are going to do their best to guide you according to the Bible. Whereas, the world will do it's best to pull you back into a life of sin separated from God.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:23-25, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for He is faithful that promised): And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
When we are actively involved in a church body, we have an opportunity to be discipled, encouraged by others, strengthened by the testimonies of others. We have the opportunity to find the area of ministry God has called us to. (Yes, ALL Christians are called to ministry - some preachers, some for worshiping, others for praying, some teaching, a few for kitchen and/or janitorial ministry, landscaping, some are called into street evangelizing, others to the foreign mission fields, child care departments, etc., etc.)
Attending church also gives us the opportunity to HEAR God's Word. Hearing it reinforces what we've read. Often times we also gain a new perspective by finding that a scripture we studied last week really is relevant to our current walk with the Lord.
Many folks often seem to forget that Jesus attended synagogue and followed all the Jewish laws (holy days, meals, etc.). Jesus didn't do this because it would get Him to heaven - (He's the Son of God!). He did it out of obedience to His Father. EVERYTHING Jesus did was out of obedience. HE was the human form of God's love, mercy, conviction, POWER. Because of His obedience, we have forgiveness. Because of His obedience, even to the cross, our sinful hearts are made clean by His blood.
As Christians, we strive to be like Christ. Do we have to go to church in order to be saved? No, but going to church helps us grow and mature in Christ. And in obedience, Jesus went to synagogue, aka "church". Do we have to be baptized in water in order to be saved? No, but it is an outward expression of dying to our sinful nature and of the new life that Christ is birthing within us. And in obedience, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist before He begin his new life of public ministry. Do we have to be baptized by the Holy Spirit in order to be saved? No, but the Holy Spirit gives us power to resist the temptations of sin. And in obedience, Jesus accepted the Holy Spirit when He landed on His shoulder in the form of a dove immediately following His water baptism.
Attending church is not about being a "good" or "bad" Christian. It is about obeying the Word of God, maturing in Christ, being encouraged in your growth process, uplifted in prayer during trials, celebrating with "family" when victories come. I like to think of the church as a hospital for the soul. When we first come in many of us are sick and dying because of sin. We have our first heart surgery (aka get saved). Then we begin the process of "recovering" (aka growing out of the "baby stages" of our salvation). Once our recovery is complete and we are no longer a patient, we begin our training as a health care worker (aka learning what our gifts and talents are and how to use them within the ministry).
I highly recommend that all Christians seek out and find a local church to attend. It will help you build up a spiritual foundation.
Post by mountaingirl on Jul 4, 2008 13:22:44 GMT -5
I too welcome you to the family of God. I have praised God for leading you to him and encouraging you to read His word; for only He can work such wonders.
I do want to encourage you to find a church to fellowship in. I personally find it easier to obey God when I attend church and listen to his word every week. I read my bible more often, pay attention to what I read, watch, and listen to a little bit more. I also seem to pay more attention to my children on what they are reading, listening to, and watching. What I'm trying to say is that when I attend church it bleeds into everything else that I am doing. When I don't attend church on a regular basis then I personally start slipping which bleeds into everything that I do.
I am not saved by works but by grace. Church helps me to remind me of the life that I God has called me to live to glorify Him.
Please don't take this as everyone slips so easily; just me.
Post by submisive2him on Aug 29, 2008 10:47:19 GMT -5
Welcome, welcome, welcome I am so excited to hear this wonderful news. I too agree with TB, I think that one needs to go to church for their own sake, and if they have a family, for their family's sake also. I think that one needs the fellowship and wise discipleship of others. When being a new christian in can be easy to fall back into sin and the old ways, encouragement from others is well needed for this reason. Anyways, it is nice to have close friends that you can talk to, pray with, and have biblical conversations with.