I am sure we are all aware of those who do not go to church, but claim to be Christians. There are many reasons for them not doing so, and many are legitimate such as work obligations, a sickness, or being bedridden. However, there are many that are not.
Today we will look at some biblical examples of why it is important to gather in fellowship with other believers. It is indeed a biblical concept and should be taken seriously if one claims to be Christian. The church was established to nurture and develop disciples of Christ. This is done by sound preaching, scripture reading, and holding people accountable for what the Bible says.
Throughout the New Testament we see examples of believers gathering together regularly. The word church is used 82 times in the New Testament, and 21 of those times in the book of Acts. One such passage is Acts 9:31 which states, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” Another verse is Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” From these two passages we begin to see some basic developments in the life of the church. People are being built up in their knowledge of God and the Spirit-filled life. They are getting along and are being harmonious with one another. They are helping each other grow, and are making an impact on their communities. Early on in the church we see that Christianity is not about me, but it is relational. Christianity is about a thriving relationship with Christ, and that relationship gets even deeper, and thrives, when we are with other believers.
When we become Christians we ae all blessed with a Spiritual gift that is meant to be utilized with other believers. This gift cannot reach its full potential if it is kept in the closet. We see this in 1 Corinthians 12:28, “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.” If we look carefully at these gifts, we see that they are to be used for the benefit of others within the body of Christ.
The Bible is deliberate in saying that we should not neglect meeting together. Take Hebrews 10:25 as a n example, “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.” The bottom line is that without being relational, and meeting with other Christians our growth is stunted. Christianity is about relationship. Whenever Paul evangelized a new area ne started a church, and they gathered together not only to learn, but for support and encouragement.
As you read this you may think that I am beating up on you. Please believe me when I say that this is not my intention. There are those who have legitimate reasons as to why they cannot fellowship with other believers, but there are those who do not for selfish reasons. I myself fell into the latter category in my youth, but I found a church that teaches the scriptures, prays, and genuinely cares about the welfare of myself and family. They also hold me accountable which is a key, and sometimes not pleasant, piece in spiritual growth. The point is that Christianity is a team sport, and we are in this together. It is about relationship, and developing those relationships in such a way where we become disciples of Christ. Then we teach others to do the same. Soon that one relationship will have an impact on the church, then the community, and even the world.
1 Corinthians 12:28 (Revised Standard Version).
Acts 2:42 (New American Standard Bible).
Acts 9:31 (English Standard Version).
Earley, Dave, and Rod Dempsey. Disciple Making is. Nashville, TN: B&h Academic, 2013.
Hebrews 10:25 (King James Version).
 Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making is (Nashville, TN: B&h Academic, 2013), 39.
 Acts 9:31 (English Standard Version).
 Acts 2:42 (New American Standard Bible).
 1 Corinthians 12:28 (Revised Standard Version).
 Hebrews 10:25 (King James Version).