About Church Membership and Attendance

About Church Attendance and Membership

Is “church” attendance a scriptural requirement for Christ’s disciples? Which “church” should I attend? Is “church” membership required? Is participating in the “church’s programs” “serving Christ”? Which programs? How do I decide these things?

Lets see what the scriptures say about these questions. Since we live in the New Testament age we must use the New Testament as our source of the truth concerning these questions. The old testament pattern (law of Moses) is not the source for us as it was given ONLY to Israel as at the time they were the people of God, but since the death and resurrection of Christ (the SON OF GOD) the people of God are those who believe in AND FOLLOW CHRIST. Scripture tells us that ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY has been given to Him until the end of the age (new testament age, final age of man,) when He returns it to God and sits down at the right hand of God in submission to Him.

Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

1 Cor 15:20-28 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Because the Son of God has all the authority and power of His Father God during this age, acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is required to enter the Kingdom of God, scripture tells us there is only one way to enter the Kingdom, through Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Is “church” attendance a scriptural requirement for Christ’s disciples?

The scripture usually used to say “church attendance is required is;

Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

First lets look at what scripture says is “church” (ekklesia is usually translated as church). Is it a building that we must go to to meet with our Lord and sit and listen to a salaried man (hireling) teach us his beliefs on what the bible says? Or is it actually something else as some say?

In the scriptures below we see what the “church” ekklesia really is.

1 Cor 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Matt 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Acts 5:10 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Acts 11:26 So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Acts 14:27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together,

1 Cor 11:18 For first of all, when you come together as a church,

1Cor 16:19 with the church that is in their house.

Phil 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church;

Do you notice that in the scriptures above that every reference to the “church” is people? There is no mention of “church” being a building or anything other than the people following Christ. It tells us that we are the TEMPLE of God, that He will build His “church” in people beginning with Peter, that fear came upon the “church” (a building cannot have fear), when they came for the”church” they took people, that they assembled “with the church” (how do you assemble WITH a building?), they gathered WITH “the church”, with the “church in a house (how would you get a building in a small house?, and that they “PERSECUTED THE CHURCH” (how do you persecute a building?).

So according to scripture “church” (the ekklesia), is the disciples of Christ) NOT A BUILDING it is the PEOPLE IN WHOM THE SPIRIT OF GOD RESIDES.

What is the purpose and manner of the church “ekklesia” coming together?

1 Cor 14:26-40 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Do you see anyone “in charge” here? Do you see the “pastor? Do you see that all that have something edifying to say are to say it.

You do not see a “pastor” because THE PASTOR is present, there is only ONE PASTOR and HE is with and in His people. The church is wherever 2 or more of His people are gathered, not a building, because His people do not have to go anywhere to meet with Him..

Note in the example above that the Holy Spirit does the teaching through the people He selects. No man made programs here.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Note you must remember real church is NOT A BUILDING, it is 2 or more saints meeting with the holy Spirit, whenever wherever, it has nothing to do with a building falsely called a church.

What about “church” membership

There is NOT A SINGLE MENTION in scripture of “church” membership, “church membership cards or rolls. They are a man made means of binding people to a doctrinal indoctrination center run by men espousing their corrupted version of “church”.

The Kingdom of God is entered one way, through the front (narrow) gate which is Jesus Christ the Son of God. All who enter by the front gate are citizens (much better than being members). Like any other kingdom the Kingdom of God has rules for entering and participating in the benefits of citizenship. NO ONE enters and gains CITIZENSHIP without complying with ALL RULES.

What”church” programs should I participate in?

There are NO “church” programs in the church of Jesus Christ. But There are things required of All citizens.

Citizens are required to do the following;

Love the Lord with all you facilities

Love each other as yourself.

Help other citizens in need .

Teach the Gospel to all peoples you meet and be an example of Christ

Become like Jesus

I have randomly mentioned a few things you fill in the rest, to be found in the new testament.

How do I do these things?

The below 2 scriptures tell us how.

We must receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit so that we can hear Him tell us what to do, how to do it and empower us. And we must study scripture with the aid of the Holt Spirit to be sure we learn TRUTH. Remember God does use men to teach but men can teach both truth or lies. The Holy Spirit is THE ONLY SOURCE for ALL TRUTH so be sure to have Him confirm or deny all things. Whether they be truth or lies.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Acts 1:8 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

If you heed the scriptures and advice herein no one will be able to lead you astray. You will not fall for the guilt trips, the peer pressure and all the wiles of satan and men to pressure you to follow them and their plans. You will learn to tell a wolf even it he is dressed as a lamb. God’s Son and His word say IF WE ENDURE TO THE END WE SHALL BE SAVED. This means following all the rules to the best of our ability and repenting quickly when we miss the mark. MAN may say different but God wrote the rules and HE WILL ENFORCE THEM not man.

 

TrueChristianity.org Charles LaFoe

Copyright 8/6/2017