Several weeks ago, one of my friends posed a question, “Why do I need to go to church and openly receive salvation if I already know that God exists?” For the first time in a while, I did not have an answer.
I’m sure that most of us have faced this situation before. It’s a difficult question and even harder to answer because…well, there’s no right answer. You could give a number of reasons to why it’s important to go to church and why we need to publicly declare our salvation, but many times the reception of our answers won’t be what we want. So what causes such thoughts? What causes someone to think or feel that going to church or declaring yourself a Christian seems overrated? I have no clue. I cannot convince any of you that you should go to church and try and spend time with God, but I can explain the significance behind going to church and the importance of salvation.
#1 Importance of Proclaiming Your Salvation
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in the church—in fact, my dad is a PK and my mom is an MK. I grew up in a sheltered atmosphere and was constantly reminded of the Bible’s teachings and how we should live as Christians. Of course, I believed in God, but I did not care for proclaiming my faith openly—it just didn’t seem necessary. I want us to understand something here: I believed in God, yet I did not want to proclaim my faith for Him. I felt that having to proclaim my salvation openly was a waste of time. If I already believed, why did I need to make such a big deal out of it? I am going to tell you right now if you view salvation in the way I used to, you aren’t going to get anywhere.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “ that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
When you confess with your mouth and take a step forward, that is salvation. You can’t just believe it, you must proclaim and live it. I realized that salvation needed to be my choice. Sure, believing is the first step, but to truly have a relationship with God and security in Christ, you need to have the commitment to openly accept Christ into your life.
I know that all of us can relate to this one. Have you ever gotten tired of listening to sermons? Is it a constant struggle to go to church because they talk about the same thing over and over again? Does your pastor have an annoying habit that always bothers you? If you have not experienced any of these things, I am happy for you.
Growing up in the church, we get used to the Sunday routine of worship, sermon, small groups, etc. We as humans have a habit of going into autopilot—becoming so apathetic and bored we don’t care to listen anymore. This might sound crazy, especially since I am a columnist for Theology and Worldview, but I used to hate going to church. The sermons were boring and repetitive, worship was subpar, and I never could click with any of the other kids. It just became a chore and a habit. Eventually, I grew annoyed having to constantly go somewhere I didn’t want to. What was the benefit of going to church if I already knew what was being taught and didn’t have any friends? I only realized the reason a couple of years ago—it is because we need community and constant reminders.
God created us to be social beings. He created us with the intent to bring Him glory and also to be His company. Without other people, we cannot achieve anything. No matter how we look at it, we constantly need other people in order to achieve greatness or improvement. For a few years, I didn’t like my youth group. I’m one of those kids who doesn’t really get along too well with others. It’s not that I don’t want to get along, it’s just that I am shy by nature and have a hard time interacting with others. So when I came to a new church and had to make new friends, it was a challenge and I hated it. When I reached the high school ministry, however, I was finally able to find a community of people to interact and love on. Many of the upperclassmen took the time to get to know me and made an honest effort to include me. Finding community within the church not only helped me to get out of my shell, but it also made me realize what a blessing it is to share experiences with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
You don’t realize at first, but every single person in your youth group has the same exact questions, fears, and doubts as a Christian. It becomes evident that you aren’t alone in your struggles—and it makes church all the more worthwhile.
1 Corinthians 4:17: For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
If you’ve heard enough sermons, especially sermons done by youth pastors, you’ve probably heard them mention the gospel message a couple of dozen times. It’s repetitive, it’s boring, and it can be annoying, but there’s a point to constantly repeating the same message over and over again. Yes, sometimes it’s just hard to sit still during a sermon and it’s even harder if you’ve heard it before, but as Paul wrote above, we need to be constantly reminded of Christ’s teachings. We, as human beings, are imperfect. There’s no point in denying that fact. It may seem like a waste of time continually listening to the same thing on repeat, but I believe that as Christians, we can never have enough of God’s Word and the lessons that it teaches us.
Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,”
As we mature in our faith and in our relationship with Christ, it’s important to remind ourselves of the truths Jesus taught and our own brokenness within. When we lose sight of either, we begin to fall away and lose our understanding of God’s character and our purpose on this earth. As Christians, we must strive to continue our learning and understanding of God so that we may spread His love and good news to all that we can reach.
It’s hard to start a relationship with God, it’s hard to go to church, it’s hard to live out your faith, but in the end, it’s worth everything.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:24-25