Do I Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
Though you may call yourself a Christian, if you don't go to church, you're probably going to hell.
What, no! Church doesn't save anyone. You know that thing about being in a garage doesn't make you a car? So going to church doesn't make you a Christian!
Sure. But being a Christian means that you are part of the body of Christ. And what is the body of Christ? Ephesians 5:23 says the body of Christ is the church.
Jesus died on the cross for the sins of His people so they could be reconciled to God. That word "reconcile" means "to accept that which was not previously desired." Because of our sin, we did not desire God, and He did not desire us in that state. But because He loves us, He sent His Son to live and die in our place.
By faith in Jesus we are made righteous in the eyes of a holy God. Titus 2:14 says, "He purified for Himself a people for His own possession." And in so doing, He reconciled us not only to God but to God's people. In sin, we are far from God and against one another. But in Christ we are one with His body and members of one another (Romans 12:5).
Christian, understand something. If you want to be with Christ, you will want to be with his body. To be separate from the body is to be separate from Christ. If you don't want to be with His church, it's probably because you're still dead in your sins, and you are not saved.
Hebrews 10:25 says, "Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." So be faithful to the body of Christ, when we understand the text.