God’s Choice or Ours
Does it really matter where one attends church services or whether he attends such services at all? Can one please God by isolating himself from the Lord’s church? What qualities of a local church should a person consider as he contemplates becoming a part of that particular local church? The criteria that people sometimes use for choosing a local church may be faulty, or they may be scripturally founded.
There are “plants” which God has not planted (Matthew 15:13). There are “synagogues of Satan”, making false claims (Revelation 2:9). There are churches that have a name that they are living, but are spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). There are religious organizations which were not purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25-27). There are churches that worship God in unauthorized ways, that appeal to worldly appetites, and that engage in works unauthorized for the church of which one reads in the New Testament (Matthew 15:8, 9). Can one join himself to such churches and still have fellowship with God who has no fellowship with iniquity? Can social or religious brotherhood with those who are disobedient to God supplant the spiritual brotherhood that is enjoyed by those who are in Christ Jesus, living each day by His authority? Please read II Corinthians 6:14-7:1.
When one seeks a local church where he can worship God acceptably, he has the New Testament to guide him in making a proper evaluation. He can know what true worship consists of, and he can readily enough learn what a local church is doing in its worship and work. Since he is looking for a church where he can serve Christ, surely it is reasonable and sensible that he is looking for a place where he may be of service and where he can help to encourage and teach others. Too many servants these days are looking for a place that pleases them socially and where they feel very comfortable instead of looking for a place where they can serve most beneficially.
Where we attend worship services is obviously very important, and whether we should attend worship services ought to be affirmed without question (Hebrews 10:25). If one makes his choice based on spousal approval or social concerns, he may sever himself from God and from the people of God and may thus lose his own soul and influence his spouse and children so that their souls are lost, also. Please, please, dear friends, think carefully about these things!
Beulah Church of Christ