“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Do you go to church or do you go to Jesus?

God’s church is much more than just a building

It’s a simple question, but your answer has far-reaching implications as to your relationship with God.

So … why do YOU go to church?

Do you go to church to fellowship with other believers?

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

But if we don’t believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, what purpose does this fellowship have? Then, we are not of one accord.

When the praise band leads the congregation in worship, do you draw closer to the throne of God?

Are you in His presence … or do you just hear a bunch of nice songs?

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

We go to church to listen to the Word of God, perhaps a great message from a great pastor.

But if you’re not there to learn about Jesus and embrace Him; if you’re not there to let the scriptures sink into your soul, to be molded and guided by the Holy Spirit, the words will miss their mark in your life.

Perhaps you tune in what you want to hear, and tune out what you don’t want to hear.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

-2 Timothy 4:3

Does the Word of God strengthen you, or, like Jonah and the Whale, is it just some Sunday school story to entertain you?

Has God’s Word Taken Root in You?

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

-Colossians 2:6-7

Do you go to church because you ‘re dragged to church, or feel obligated to attend church?

Is it a trade-off with family so you can watch sports on TV the rest of the day without nagging?

Or do you go to church because Jesus is front and center in your life, and you’ve come to that point in the road where life really has no meaning without Him?

“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

Going to church, in and of itself, is not without merit.

It’s a place to bring the unsaved to hear the gospel.

It can be a gathering place for friends, to hear a concert, see a movie, have a bible study, attend a wedding … or a memorial service.

Sometimes we go to church because it’s a meeting place to help the poor, to bring foods into the pantry for the less fortunate.

We come to volunteer, like candy stripers at a hospital, smiling and doing good works, but is the love of Jesus the reason we’re there?

If we do this as a civics project more than a command from Jesus to help the poor, how does that grow your relationship in the Lord?

So, The Question Remains…

Do you go to church or do you go to Jesus?

If you don’t go to church with a glad heart to worship Him in praise …

If you don’t go to church to be touched by the Holy Spirit…

If you don’t go to church to praise the Lord with fellow believers in one accord…

If you don’t go to church with the attitude of “Jesus, here I am, fill me up!”…

Then you might as well stay home, and look into an empty box with great expectation. The result will be the same.

You go to church because Jesus lives in you.

Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep him (Acts 2:24).

He’s the pure Lamb of God slain to atone for your sins. He is resurrected. He makes our joy complete and gives purpose to our lives.

Without Him central in your life, without the deep exchange of fellowship between you and God, without giving Him the same love with which he rescued you, then going to church is a meaningless act of contrition.

Stay home.

“But, I need to go to church to get right with God,” you say.

No you don’t. You can do that anywhere. He always listens to those who cry out to Him.

  • Come to church to thank God for making you whole again.
  • Come to church to thank Jesus for dying on the cross for you.
  • Come to church to give Him the glory for washing your sins away in His blood.
  • Come to church to praise His mighty name with all your heart and all your soul.

Jesus IS worthy to be praised.

Church vs. Christ

Church is not going to resurrect your life or forgive you of your sins. Only the power of Christ in your life can do that.

No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been in this hard life, only the blood of Jesus can cleanse you…

Only the love of Jesus can pick you up, dust you off, and set you on that straight path to righteousness…

Only the power of Jesus can hold the darkness at bay and allow you to walk in the light of day.

He is the praise of Israel and the Rose of Sharon. He is our God forever.

He reigns in mercy, is slow to anger, and quick to forgive. He loves you more than you can love Him back.

Next time you go to church, ignore the building and ignore the walls.

Ignore whether the seats are too soft or too hard, whether the lights are too bright or too dim.

Just open your heart and listen.

Feel your heart beating. God gave you life to fellowship with Him, not just go to church.

Let your heart beat for Jesus.

Open your heart and ask Him to take hold of you and make your joy complete.

Open your arms and let Him draw close and embrace you.

Open your mind and let Him teach you who He is.

Open your soul and let Jesus reveal Himself to you.

Open yourself to Him and marvel at the love He has for you and at the incredible works of His hand.

Only then can we say that we, the church, are married to Jesus.

And so, the question to you is this:

Do you go to church or do you go to Jesus?