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Christian, You Belong In Church



Article by Jeremiah Riner


The Lord has sovereignly appointed the local church as a crucial means of grace in the life of every believer and their family. To neglect this gift is to be in rebellion toward God and to withhold love and aid to His bride. No Christian is healthy apart from a faithful local church and no local church is healthy apart from their members unified around the Gospel and utilizing their gifts to glorify God and benefit one another.


Yes, we’ve all been hurt at times through churches, but it’s vital to remember that the hurt was caused by people, not by God. He has never hurt His people and never will. The Good Shepherd is not an abuser of His sheep. At times, under shepherds and church members will cause harm, but that is to be expected by imperfect sinners who are saved only by God’s amazing grace. This is not a license to completely turn our backs on God’s people as a whole, nor towards to local church He has established for our good. Jesus’ bride may not be all she’s intended to be right now, but she’ll always be God’s perfect design for us here on earth and no personal experience can override that truth.


If a restaurant undercooked your food and caused you temporary health issues you wouldn’t give up food at restaurants all together. We’ve all been offended or frustrated on the job, but we didn’t quit working to provide for our families. If a dentist caused unnecessary tooth pain due to a procedure you don’t write off all dentist or cease going to get your teeth cared for. Yet, when we have a negative church experience for some reason we find it perfectly acceptable to blame Jesus’ bride and avoid her entirely.


This is a poor excuse, a lack of forgiveness, and a slap in the face of our Savior and the church He literally died for. We cannot say we love Jesus while at the same time despising His people. That is hypocrisy of the highest order. Christians, life is way too short and eternity is far too long to hold a grudge that, in reality, is actually holding you. Your spiritual health is taking a beating every week you choose not to forgive and invest yourself back into a healthy local family of God.


Sure, you may have to drive a little further to find a local church that is faithful, but is it not worth it? We travel so far for other fleeting things so how can we not make the trip to worship the God of Heaven and fellowship with His people? Christian, if you’ve been hurt and it’s been a while since you’ve committed to a local church with your family now is the time. Forgive. Move forward. Be faithful to Christ. Love His bride.


Consider the following verses for reference and further study:

Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 12:12


Jeremiah Riner lives in Mt. Carmel, TN with his lovely wife, Morgan and their two young children. He is the pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Duffield, VA and a social studies teacher for Scott County Public Schools. Jeremiah is also the host of the Deeply Rooted Podcast.



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