“Going to church doesn’t guarantee making heaven but not going to church definitely guarantees hell”
These words were spoken by a pastor I listen to pretty frequently. I have also heard a few of my friends echo this statement in their own ways. I’ve not quite made up my mind whether this is correct or not though, cos I’ve heard various arguments for and against the subject. Let’s discuss this.
I think in laying out trying to figure this out, we must first define what ‘church’ is and it’s aim. So what is church? Secular dictionaries define church as ‘a building for public and especially Christian worship’ and ‘a body or organization of religious believers’. Theologists and Christian commentary books describe the word ‘church’ (as used in the New Testament, not as per the English Language) as derived from the Greek word “ekklesia” which means ‘a called out assembly of God’s people’. In the various contexts used, it could mean an actual gathering of God’s people in subsets – people’s homes or specific locations as well as the larger body of Christ’s followers all over the world.
Okay, next, what is the aim of the Church? Most people draw their answers from Hebrews 10:25 which 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” and in the Message bible ( I love it cos it’s very easy to relate with) “not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching“.
Question though is, does this verse imply that it is a sin not to fellowship with other Christians or is this just a counsel or advise? Will I really go to hell if i don’t go to church? Am I displeasing God? Can I make heaven without going to church? All these questions come to mind when one considers this topic.
Frankly, I go to church and I love my church. I don’t go every Sunday though. Sometimes I’ve just had a hectic week and I can’t seem to get up and go to church. I try to listen to sermons on those Sundays I miss church and sometimes I don’t listen to anything at all. I rest and sleep. But those days when I do go to church I love it. I feel refreshed really and it’s like I can hear myself purr ‘aaaaaaah…long time! Needed this’…lol! I can’t help feeling guilty when I don’t go though. Some times it’s 3 Sundays in a row. I don’t feel like I have sinned, but all the things I hear come to mind and I’m worried I’m sinning.
What do you think? Let’s discuss.
All my love,