A Series on Church Membership
There is a saying that has been around for some time now that goes something like this: Going to church does not make one a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes one a car. Of course, this is most often used by those who do not want to attend church gatherings. Let me say, the most ideal situation for the safety and well-being of a car is to park it in the garage. Not all of us have garages, but we would if we could!
Can someone be a Christian and not belong to a congregation? Probably, but the New Testament does not know of any such Christian. Can someone be a Christian and not attend church services? Sure, but that is not the ideal situation. Some folks miss Sunday gatherings because they are too sick to attend, or they are looking after a loved one who is not able to come. We don’t need to discuss the exceptions. Let’s talk about the rule. The New Testament makes plain, as we have seen in our several articles from Heb 10:24-25, that Christians are those who belong to the body of Christ. All of the believers of the first century, apostolic age where members of local congregations. They were a blessing to other saints and were also blessed by them. This is the normal Christian life.
There are those who do not join a church or do not remain active because they are simply stubborn. Hebrews (and many other places in the Bible) warns us to not be like the Exodus generation who were a rebellious and stiff-necked people. They did not inherit the promises of God. Do not be like them! There are also folks who are afraid to make a commitment. While the Bible is clear that we should count the costs of following Christ, it is equally as forthright that the decision should be made fairly quickly. We cannot sit on the fence forever about God and the things of Christ. Either we are in, or we are out.
The Christian life is the blessed life, and it is also difficult. Yet, the question is, Are these things true? If what you have heard about Christ is true, then you must not wait anymore. Christ demands that we make a decision. We should commit to Him, but we have to freedom to reject Him. Either way, we cannot remain neutral. To do so is to reject Him.