The convenience of a streaming church service is a double-edged sword. Indispensable to those who cannot leave their bed, but a tool of temptation for the devil.
I heard that whisper this morning: Why get up so early? It’s cold and you deserve a break, and who will notice you anyway? Whether you go or stay won’t make a difference. You’re still going to watch the sermon online, it’s not a sin to miss one week…
It got me thinking about why it’s important to go to church. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that it’s an outright sin not to go, nor does the Bible specifically say which day we are to worship.
So why should I go?
To see my friends?
Because Starbucks is on the way and I can get a treat?
Well, what does the Bible say about going to church? There are several reasons from scripture:
To encourage one another:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
To meet with God together:
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
Friendship with other believers:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
To mature in faith:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
As for whether it’s a sin or not, “sin” is a deliberate rebellion against God. That’s between Creature and Creator. Far be it for me to say yes or no on behalf of someone else, I’ll humbly say that in my case, I believe it would have been considered a sin. The reason being that I understand and agree with the importance of church attendance. As mere laziness, I’d be a hearer only and not a doer of the word. (James 1:22).
I went anyway. And instead of losing comfort, energy, and time, I unexpectedly gained something even better: peace that my obedience meant something to God. I think he is proud of my response. And I can’t wait to obey again next week.
How would you answer that question? Bring the question of church attendance before the throne in prayer and ask God for his wisdom in the matter.