There are a lot of people in the world today that simply do not attend church. We have family members, friends, and other acquaintances that have no desire to attend a worship service. When Sunday’s role around, it is just another day to sleep in and relax on their day off of work. Wednesday nights quickly approach and, once again, it is just a quite night to rest on the couch and catch up on television shows.
One of the reasons that we have heard in the past of why someone does not attend church services was very simple… They love Jesus but they do not love church.
Can you love Jesus and not the church?
Let’s start with this simple but powerful passage found in Ephesians. Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
If you love Christ, you must also love His bride, the church.
The end right? Well, in our culture, we still must help others understand the importance of loving the church and what the church actually consists of.
First and foremost, we are built in Christ’s image. We are to be like Christ, walk like Christ, and most importantly, LOVE like Christ. Christ loved the church so much that he gave His Son for the church.
What defines the church? Our dictionaries define the church as “a building used for public Christian worship”. Unfortunately for the writers, that definition is not accurate when used in the correct Biblical term. The church is all but what the world has defined it as.
The church is not a building at all but the body of believers that represent Christ’s family. Ephesians references the church as the bride of Christ. The church is made up of imperfect people who need God to restore their souls, build relationships with Him and others, help those who need help, and to serve and glorify God.
Hebrews 10:24-25 states that we should not neglect to meet together or forsake the assembly as some have made it a habit but should encourage one another. Does this passage really mean that we should meet together for worship? Absolutely.
So, can you love Jesus and not the church? Short, simple answer is No, you can’t. If you don’t love the church, you don’t love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31), you can’t love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and you are not living in the image of Christ.
Christ loved the church so much that He gave His Son for it. We should love the church that much as well. Its simple, you can’t love Jesus without loving His people. When you love God’s family, you bear each others burden (Galatians 6:2) and you would do anything for them.
If you have have struggled with the thought of loving Jesus and not loving the church, we encourage you to reach out to God, pray to help you have a better understanding what God’s love and His church really is. Reach out to others Christians as well and ask for prayer of encouragement. We have an amazing, loving family that you are welcome to be a part of and grow with us.
God is Good..