Question from a Site Viewer
Do I have to go to church to be saved?
Thanks for the question of whether you need to go to church to be saved. Jesus taught that those who trust in Him for their salvation will be saved (John 3:16: 5:24). The Apostle Paul, when he was asked the question of what must be done to be saved, answered with the same answer – believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). If going to church was required for salvation, then those who have no church anywhere close would have little hope of being saved. But salvation is offered as a free gift to us (Ephesians 3:8-9) through faith. John writes a little letter to let us know that we have eternal life, and nowhere in that letter does he mention going to church (1 John). So the answer to your question is “no,” you do not have to go to church to be saved. Some people are saved in their homes. Some people are saved on the roads. Some people are saved in stadiums. Some people are saved at their business. Wherever people repent from the lives they have been living and seek to trust and follow Jesus Christ, they are saved. One does not need to go to church to be saved.
The benefit of church is to encourage believers in their lives as followers of Christ. The church also gives us an opportunity to love one another, encourage one another, support one another, and carry out the many “one-another” commands of Scripture. It also provides an opportunity for a community of believers to join together in praising God. And a good church helps shield us from bad teachings. However, many places we call church simply do not do this. And no church is perfect.
My encouragement to believers in Christ is to find a sound, Bible proclaiming, loving church, attend the church, and encourage others at church to love Jesus and mirror His love to the world around us. Surprising to some, not everyone who goes to church loves Jesus.
If a person cannot find a sound, Bible proclaiming, loving church, then I would seek out some individuals who love Jesus and seek to follow His word and try to meet with them regularly. Of course, one must be aware that there are many false prophets who will try to lead one astray. Jesus warned us about these ones. It is wise to watch out for these, such as the Jehovah Witnesses who deny that Jesus is the One God; Mormons who believe in many gods; or other such groups. But with good Christian company, one can be encouraged in the new life of Christ given to all who believe in Him.
And always, make seeking God a life-long passion. By praying for His guidance in everything, reading and studying the Bible, and seeking to honor and love Jesus, your life will be enriched by the very presence of God.
My prayers are with you,