Can a relationship with God be found and maintained outside of the normal church setting?


The short answer is YES, church in any sense is NOT a requisite for a relationship with God. That being said, the Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth. The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). We should follow that example of devotion—and to the same things. Back then, they had no designated church building, but “every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46). Wherever the meeting takes place, believers thrive on fellowship with other believers and the teaching of God’s Word.

Connecting with other believers is not just a “good suggestion”; it is God’s will for believers, but that is NOT to say it can only be done in an organized church. “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.” Hebrews 10:25

Even in the early church, some were falling into the bad habit of not meeting with other believers. The author of Hebrews says that’s not the way to go. We need the encouragement that fellowship affords. And the approach of the end times should prompt us to be even more devoted to seeking out such fellowship even if that's in a church. The church experience is a place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another to love and to do good works (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).

When a person trusts Jesus the Christ for salvation, he or she is made a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present and working (1 Corinthians 12:14–20). It’s not enough to just attend a church if you go; one should be involved in some type of ministry to others, using the spiritual gifts God has given us (Ephesians 4:11–13). A believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without having that outlet for his gifts, and we all need the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21–26). For these reasons and more, church attendance, participation, and fellowship can be a regular aspect of a believer’s life. Weekly church attendance is in no sense “required” for believers, but someone who belongs to Christ should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers.

As the building materials of God’s “spiritual house,” we naturally have a connection with one another, and that connection is evident every time the Church (the people of God) “goes to church.



Why Christians Believe What They Believe 

© 2020 Tony - Antonakis Maritis