Beep, beep, beep! Your alarm goes off, but your eyes struggle to open. It was a late night with your friends and you are mentally and physically drained. You glace at your clock to read, “9:00 AM.” It’s Sunday and if you don’t get up now, there is a 100 percent chance you will be late to the 10 o’clock church service. A chipper bird sings loudly outside your window eliminating the choice to fall back to sleep. As you crawl out of bed, the cool air outside of your warm covers wakens you awfully and abruptly. Thoughts of getting back under those covers swarm your mind, but then you remember you promised your best friend you would pick her up at 9:45 sharp to head to church. So, you follow through with your promise.
Sound familiar? The weekly decision to attend church is often times a struggle and, most of the time, something we think we have to go to. But, do you really have to go to church? What’s one week without worship? What’s one Sunday of not hearing God’s word? Is it that big of a deal to skip?
Sarah Schmitz is a junior transfer here at Greenville University majoring in Biology Education. “I feel like it’s different for everyone. Like some people may feel they aren’t welcomed into the church and feel more comfortable on their own. Or maybe some people just don’t really fit in with the church services but they still believe in God and practice religion outside of church. I feel like it’s something that is different for each individual person,” Sarah replied when asked if she thought attending church was important, “Every church is different, just as every person is different.” According to Sarah, these differences determine if a person needs to attend church.
So what does the Bible say about taking part in church? Exodus 20:8 reads, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” But what does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy? The context around this verse answers that question. Verses 9 through 11 say, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days, the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” According to this passage, keeping the Sabbath holy means to rest on the seventh day, which in our world today is Sunday. Is going to church resting?
Different denominations believe different things about church attendance, but Hebrews 10:25 states, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” There is a lot of good that comes from attending church. It shows commitment to faith, allows Christians to come together, and gives us the opportunity to worship the Lord. Now, is not going to church a sin? Maybe. Sins can only be defined and forgiven by God. However, going to church does not mean you will be saved. In the same way, not going to church does not mean you will not be saved.
The Bible teaches that attending church is a very important part of Christian life. There are many pros to making church on Sunday a habit, but the act of going to church every week is not a ticket to heaven.
Media by Shelbi Fisher.