Do You Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
Is church attendance, if you’re physically able, a requirement to go to heaven? In a very technical sense, the answer is no. However, we need to remember a few things. Christ commands His people not to forsake the assembling together (Heb. 10:25). When God constituted the people of Israel, He organized them into a visible nation and placed upon them a sober and sacred obligation to be in corporate worship before Him. If a person is in Christ, he is called to participate in koinonia—the fellowship of other Christians and the worship of God according to the precepts of Christ. If a person knows all these things and persistently and willfully refuses to join in them, would that not raise serious questions about the reality of that person’s conversion? Perhaps a person could be a new Christian and take that position, but I would say that’s highly unlikely.
Some of us may be deceiving ourselves in terms of our own conversion. We may claim to be Christians, but if we love Christ, how can we despise His bride? How can we consistently and persistently absent ourself from that which He has called us to join—His visible church? I offer a sober warning to those who are doing this. You may, in fact, be deluding yourself about the state of your soul.