Do I Really Need to Go to Church?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

More and more believers are dropping out of church, and ask, why do I need to go to church?

Forsaking the Assembly

More and more believers are dropping out of church, and ask, why do I need to go to church? The fact is, in these days we need one another more and more. Jesus said in reference to the coming New Covenant command of the Lord’s Supper that “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:58). Like a fire that has only one coal, other logs must be put on the fire and the coals stirred up, otherwise the fire goes out. It’s the same with isolated or separated believers from the church. Left alone they die out and grow cold. This is why we are told to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb 10:24). We can’t stir one another up from the couch and reach out and touch members on a TV church service. It is commanded for us to assemble together on the Lord’s Day. Those who refuse are clearly breaking God’s command. The author of Hebrews commands us to “not [be] 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” (Heb 10:25). This is the habit of many today too and that’s sad because we need one another to encourage one another and pray for one another, and all the more as we see “the Day drawing near,” meaning Jesus Christ’s return. There are no solo acts in the New Testament Church, nor should there be in the church today.

The “One Another’s”

One of our Sunday school teachers and wise and godly women in our church said that of the 100 “one another’s” in the New Testament, 48 of them are imperative commands. Those commands include partaking of the Lord’s Supper or Communion. The New Testament church would have never considered staying at home during times of worship or for the Lord’s Supper. It was unthinkable for them not to assemble together (Heb 10:24-25). It’s impossible to obey these “one another’s” while separated from Jesus’ church.

Commanded Communion

We need the church in the sense that the church offers the sacraments which identify the believers as God’s children.How To Prepare To Take Communion Missing communion is not optional. Jesus introduces the New Covenant and the symbols as commanded sacraments. It was when “Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt 26:26). That’s not a suggestion but an imperative command from the Supreme Commander and King, Jesus Christ! You can’t do that with a TV or radio preacher or partake of communion at home. Next, Jesus “took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:27-28). Twice Jesus commands His disciples, and by extension the church, to “Take, eat” and “Drink of it.” There’s no option here. It is clearly a commanded ordinance given to the disciples and to the church (1 Cor 11).

Forsaking Communion

Children and CommunionJesus told those who were following Him but would later fall away, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). For the Jews, it was forbidden to eat human flesh or drink the blood of any animal, especially a human being (Lev 17:13-14), so we can understand why many fell away from following Jesus after hearing this. Later, Jesus gives the disciples a command to partake of the New Covenant, or the Lord’s Supper, sometimes called Communion, and that’s obviously what He was talking about when mentioning His flesh and blood. Paul instructs the church at Corinth to keep the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:24), meaning Jesus Christ. Paul says that “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26). If we do not partake of the bread and cup, then we are not proclaiming His death until He returns again. Tragically, many upon hearing God’s command to partake of Communion, still refuse to partake. Just like when Jesus was talking about the symbols of His body and blood, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66), and many today are no longer walking with Him thinking they don’t need the church.

Not Of Us

The Apostle John saw many begin to leave the church in his day over Gnosticism, but what does John say about those who have left the church? He says they were not really part of the church to begin with. John says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). If they were really those God has called out to Jesus’ church, then they would still be there (John 6:37-39, 44; 10:28-29). Someone can say they don’t need the church, but Jesus said the gates of hell (or death) cannot stop it. When people say, “They don’t need church,” it flies in the face of Jesus’ statement that the church will never perish (Matt 16:18). What Saint Augustine said is true I believe; “He who does not have the church as his mother, does not have God as his father.”

Virtual Pastor

When people say they don’t need the church, then where will they seek counsel when they need it or who will visit them in the hospital or ask the church to pray for them when they’re in serious trouble or who will give them help through the deacon’s fund? People have said to me more than once, “I watch a TV preacher and that’s my church,” or “I go fishing outdoors and that’s my church,” to which I reply, “Well, will you have a virtual pastor who comes to visit you in the hospital” or “How will you partake of the Lord’s Supper through a fishing trip?” Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd and He has one flock, but the flock is never scattered. There might be an occasional stray (Matt 18:12), but He always brings them back to the fold. There’s safety in the flock. Wolves are not afraid of sheep…they are afraid of sheep who are close to the Shepherd.


I pray you have put your trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and found a good church home, being obedient to God’s command to assemble together as the church.  Jesus said If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15). If you haven’t trusted in Christ yet, you are in real danger of hell fire. You are just one breath, one heartbeat…one accident away from eternity when it will be too late to repent and trust in Christ. Today is the best day of all to believe (2 Cor 6:2) because tomorrow is not guaranteed. If Jesus Christ came today, read your future (Matt 7:21-23). This is why I plead with you who read this, right now…at this very moment, repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If you do not, you will face God’s judgment after death guaranteed (Heb 9:27) or at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), which by the way, could happen at any moment.

Here is some related reading for you: What Does the Bible Say About Church Membership and Attendance?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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