Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

I am very comfortable with watching church services from home. Do I have to attend church in person to remain a Christian?


Answer: First, understand something extremely important. When you asked Jesus Christ into your life to be your Savior, you will ALWAYS be a Christian! FOREVER. After that lifechanging choice of yours, there is nothing extra you are required to do to maintain your position as a follower of Jesus. The Bible says God performed a miracle by coming to live inside of you, and you were sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1: 22, Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30), your name was permanently added into the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:27)
You are asking, do you have to attend church to be a Christian? Of course not. Then, why would God want believers to meet together to sing, worship, and study the Bible if they could just do this at home?
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
Some people say that they can receive much spiritual guidance and encouragement just by watching or listening to Bible teachings. They say they feel they are getting all that they really need. However, God means for Christians not just to receive or get what they themselves need, but to reach out to give support to others. As the verse mentioned, meeting together presents the opportunity to serve God well by “spurring one another on toward love and good deeds.” God made the first woman, Eve, so that Adam would not have to live alone (Genesis 2:18). And He knows that for people to thrive and be useful and happy, they must be there for one another: “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
What if no one were available to hear another believer’s concerns, answer questions about God, or pray for someone’s urgent needs? There are needs people have for fellowship which are best accomplished in person, face-to-face. As the one who created people in the first place, God has reasons for bringing people, his “saints,” together to minister to one another through fellowship, study, discussion, and prayer. It’s a mystery, but when you meet to share how great God is and all that He has done for us, that time together can be powerful!
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:18-19
Leaving your “comfort zone” at home and going out and into your community church reaps tremendous benefits in the lives of others! When Jesus saves you, He uses you to reach others so that they can know Him, too, and receive eternal life with Him. He calls you to spread the word, not to stay idle and absorbed only in your own needs. Other believers desperately need your instruction and good example to follow as you model how to live, following Jesus to navigate the challenging obstacle course of life in this world! Jesus charged us to:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Do you realize that God has already gifted you with abilities and insights that will serve Him and others? These accomplish nothing in isolation, and God wants us to make ourselves available and even seek out those who are in need: “ Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 4:10-11
Can you recall a time when you asked Jesus to forgive you of your many sins and save you from punishment in hell? It is never too late while you are still living. Jesus is ready right now, if you will only ask. Pray or say something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know it is time for me to make my choice clear that I want to follow you into heaven and eternity when I die. I am so sorry I have not followed you in the past but have made my own, bad choices. Please forgive me for all the wrongs I have committed and show me how to recognize your guidance each day. Thank you for loving me so much that you died on a cross to take the punishment I deserved. Lead me to others who will teach me what you want me to know. I am not sure how to begin, but I put my full trust in you to guide me. Thank you! Amen.

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