17 – Question 2

No, you do not have to go to church to be a part of the body of Christ.  In fact, going to church will not make you a part of the body of Christ.  Let’s look at Ephesians 1:22-23 which says, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”  This is a precious portion and I encourage you to read the entire chapter.  I referenced these two verses to show that the church and the body of Christ is the same thing.  How do we join or get into the church?  Only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Acts 2:46-47 says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”  Let’s re-read that last sentence, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”, or “those who were being saved.”

The only way to be a part of the one, true church, which is the body of Christ, is to be saved.  It is possible to join a local church, be a big part of the function of that church, but never be a part of the true church.  Only those who truly know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior are in that church.  You can’t really join it.  The Lord adds you to it when you believe on the Lord Jesus.

So, I’ll repeat, you do not have to go to church to be a part of the body of Christ, but the Lord does want us to gather with fellow believers on a constant basis.  Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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 Lord does not want us to forsake the gathering of believers.  We need each other.  I need my brothers and sisters in Christ and they need me.  We need to make it part of our lives to gather often with fellow believers.  Most church groups get together on Sunday and Wednesdays.  Whenever possible, we need to be right there with them.  In fact, if there are other times we can meet with fellow believers that is also very good to do.  In the day we’re living in, we need all the encouragement, fellowship, and edification that we can get.  I encourage you to gather together often with other Christians that are seeking to follow and honor the Lord.