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Subject: Does God tell us to go to church?
I disagree with the post you wrote in regards to not attending church. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is a sin not to attend a synagogue. The Bible says where two or three gather and speak of me 'God.'
Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” This verse of Scripture was written, because there was a problem of people not assembling together as a church. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is..." (some were not assembling together, so he was rebuking them). We are exhorted to assemble together as a church, "...and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (that “day” is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ). Any professing Christian would say that “day” seems very close, so we are told to be assembling together as a church “all the more” in these days—not “less” or making excuses for “not at all.”
God says that the Church is the “pillar of the truth” (a “pillar” is something that “supports” or holds up the truth). 1 Timothy 3:15 says, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” This verse clearly states how we are to “behave” ourselves in the “house of God,” which is the “church of the living God.” The context is clear that is the church “assembled together.”
You brought up Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Look at the context of that verse—it is talking about the church assembled together, and telling the whole church, if a problem cannot be resolved between brethren. Matthew 18:15-20 says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
This passage is dealing with a Christian committing a sin against another Christian. The problem should be handled one-on-one, first. If the matter cannot be reconciled, then that person should take one or two more with him and try and get it straightened out. If that does not work, then there are now the proper amount of witnesses to bring it before the Church assembled. If that erring person still will not repent, then the Church is to put that one out of the membership (“...but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican”—a “heathen” or “unsaved” man cannot be a member of the church, so the sinning person is removed from the membership of that local church).
The reference to the “two or three are gathered together in my name” is once again a reference to the “church assembling together.” No matter how small the church may be, or how few will come together and follow church discipline, God will honor them for gathering together in His name, and obeying His Word, the Bible.
Yes, it would be a sin to not assemble with the local church, when a Biblical one is within driving distance. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
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