This is good, and I wish I had written it. – Pastor Art
Bible Reasons To Be Part of A New Testament Church
By Pastor Kent Brandenburg
Bethel Baptist Church
El Sobrante, California
Answering: “I don’t need to go to church to worship God.” or “I can be saved and going to heaven and not go to church” or “I can read my Bible and pray here at home.”
It is not surprising today that there are so many people that do not choose to join a church. People in many instances are cynical or skeptical of churches because: “there are too many hypocrites there”; “too much politics”; “I was forced to go when I was a child”; “my parents never went”; “I have had some bad experiences with churches”; “all of those televangelists, you know”.
However, the Bible gives several God-ordained, powerful, authoritative reasons why you ought to attend faithfully, join, and become involved in a local Bible believing and practicing church.
1. It is the institution of Christ’s promised presence.
Revelation 1:13a,20b,2:1 says, “And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man,…the seven golden candlesticks…are the churches…These things saith he that…walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.”
The Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20, speaking of the church, says in v. 20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
2. It is the institution where one can have Christ as his head.
Colossians 1:18a says, “[The Lord Jesus Christ] is the head of the body, the church….” Ephesians 4:15b, “…which is the head, even Christ.”
3. It is the institution where one is a member of Christ’s body.
I Corinthians 12:27, speaking of the particular church at Corinth, says, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
4. It is the institution wherein a believer can be built up for serving God.
Ephesians 4:11,12, says, “And [Christ] gave..pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
5. There is no New Testament worship outside of this institution.
In Romans 12:1,2, we see New Testament worship to be the presentation of our bodies and minds to God in a way that is acceptable to Him. We see in the very next verses the institution of this presentation is the local church. The one who is not willing to fit his worship into the church is said to be one that thinks “…of himself more highly than he ought to think….” New Testament worship is a believer worshipping within a church, not independently of a church.
6. There is no fulfilling of the Great Commission without this institution.
The Great Commission is to preach the Gospel to every creature, to baptize those converted, and to make disciples that observe everything Christ said (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). There is no baptism outside of a local church.
7. Without it there will be no consistent or sufficient truth for someone.
I Timothy 3:15 says, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The New Testament was delivered for practice in churches. I Corinthians 1:2, “to the church of God which is at Corinth”; “unto the churches of Galatia”; Revelation 22:16, “I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.”
Over and over in Revelation 2 & 3 it says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
8. Without being within this institution one will not get the necessary oversight or accountability.
Acts 20:28 says, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God.” God has given oversight and feeding to the churches.
9. Outside of the church there is no God given authority to do the work of God.
Speaking concerning the church in Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus Christ says in Matthew 16:19, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
10. No one today can fulfill God’s purpose outside of the local church.
That purpose is to make manifest the wisdom of God. Ephesians 3:9-11 says, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery…To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
11. Those not part of a local church are not to be considered to be saved, or born again people.
I John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
12. Those who are not faithful to this institution are disobedient to God.
Hebrews 10:25 says, “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.”
So What Does This Mean I Should Do?
First, immediately attend the next service of the independent Bible believing and practicing church in your area. The church should preach all of God’s Word, separate from sin and worldliness, and aggressively take the Gospel to the lost.
Second, ask about getting baptized in, joining, and being discipled in that church.
Third, start attending all of the services of the church faithfully: Sunday School, Sunday Morning and Evening, and Wednesday night.
Fourth, get involved in serving and soul winning in that church.