Church columnist: Know your Bible — Why would you not go to church?
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 16, 2016
Do you watch “Know Your Bible” every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.? It comes on the NBC affiliate out of Columbus, TV38 WLTZ.
If you’re not watching that program, then you are missing some very good biblical discussions. Preacher Elliot Glasgow, of the Cusseta Road Church of Christ, does a great job moderating a panel of guest speakers on various Bible subjects from caller’s questions. I’ll be on the last two weeks in January — 24th and 31st — and I always appreciate the invitation to take part in that program.
One of the challenges of recording a TV program is the time constraint. As I said, we receive some very good questions and could easily spend the entire 30-minute program discussing any one of them. However, we try to cover as many of the caller’s questions as we can on each broadcast.
I have the advantage of being able to elaborate on my questions via this weekly column. One of my question on the most recent recording of “Know Your Bible” certainly deserves a little more attention.
“Why wouldn’t you want to go to church?”
My first response to this question was that I don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to go to church.
Certainly the desire of godly people is to be with and please God (1 Thess. 4:1). He will want to draw near to God, knowing that God will draw near to him in response (James 4:8). Someone who loves God and His people – Christians – would want to be with those people at every available opportunity (Romans 12:10).
Someone that loves Christ and His kingdom would certainly want to be at church because that’s where Christ is. The Hebrews writer said that the Son of God is in “the midst of the assembly” with His “brethren” — i.e. Christians (Hebrews 2:12).
When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:29), He said that He would partake of that Supper with His disciples in His kingdom. His disciples observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (Acts 20:7), in the assembly of the church — His kingdom (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
So, if I know that Jesus is in the assembly of His church on Sunday, singing praise to God and hosting the memorial Supper of His death, why would I possibly want to be anywhere else? I would not!
Why do so many choose to forsake the assembly of the saints (Hebrews 10:25)? When it is a matter of choice, why would they choose anything other than to be in the presence of the Most High God? I, personally, don’t understand it.
However, it may be because they do not know what the church is or how important the church is to God. It may be that they don’t “want” to go to church because they don’t know that Jesus purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). The church was so important to God that He allowed His Son to die on the cross, shedding His precious blood to make the establishment of the church possible.
It may be that they don’t “want” to go to church because they don’t understand that the church is the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10, 11). Paul said that it was God’s “eternal purpose” to establish the church by the death of His Son to be the organization in this world that would teach His “manifold wisdom” to man.
Just as the Son of God was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” to be the sacrifice for man’s sins (1 Peter 1:20; John 3:16; 1 John 2:1-2), so the church was purposed from eternity to be the place of those saved by Christ (Acts 2:41, 47). That means when we talk about “going to church,” we’re not talking about going to a building, we’re talking about being with the people that are washed in the blood of the lamb! The church is the people, not the building.
Why would I not want to be with the people that are offering praise and worship to God, with Christ in their midst, that are the redeemed of God? I don’t know why I wouldn’t want to be there. Do you?
The “Know Your Bible” program is just one of the many ways the churches of Christ in this area reach out with God’s word. If you have questions or want to study the Bible with someone, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We have a wealth of study material for use in personal Bible study, correspondence course by mail or online correspondence course.
To learn more or to contact us for a Bible study please visit our website at NorthsideLaGrangeChurch.org.