Many Christians will agree that the current time reflects the last days referred to within the Bible. Even with this mindset, some Christians overlook the importance of going to church, especially being planted and loyal to the local church God has called them to attend. Jesus had the custom of going to the temple (Luke 4:16) or what Christians would now call the local church. If the name Christian is to be “Christ-like” why do some Christians believe that church attendance is optional? Even Jesus warns believers that there are eternal dangers of having excuses for not attending church (Luke 14:15-24). This supper represents the gathering of people to fellowship with God in the local church but just as in today’s time some will make excuses to not come even by the invitation through God’s representatives. Within Luke 14:15-24, the reader can see there are three excuses given to not attend the great supper. The first excuse is buying a piece of ground (verse 18) which reflects a hobby or home that is more important than God. No hobby is ever more important than God or His house. Having an emergency like a water leak or a rare occasion that needs dire attention would be an occasion for home needs but to stay at home or do house duties is not a valid excuse according to Jesus Christ. The second excuse is the yoke of oxen (verse 19) which represents a job or business that is more important than God. Having a rare occasion to work on a church day may be an exception but this cannot be the majority of our lives, or a person begins to serve mammon and not God (Matthew 6:24). The third excuse is marrying a wife (verse 20) which displays placing family as more important than God. Family is very important to God, but even they are not a valid excuse to not attend church. Invite family to worship God and use this time to let them experience God in His house. Each of these items is important in its regard but not more important than God at any time.
If many Christians agree these are the last days, the answer should be more church attendance and not less (Hebrews 10:25). When Christians are away from the house of God there is a lack of restraint allowing them to live a life that looks more like the world and less like God (Proverbs 29:18). What better place can a person, especially a Christian, go to have their mind renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2). The answer? Nowhere. What better place can a person learn the ways of God (Isaiah 2:3)? Nowhere.
Can a person experience God anywhere? Absolutely, but the best place to be with Him is in His house. The thought comes to mind that when person A goes to person B’s house person A expects person B to be home to fellowship. Sure, person A could call or use technology to have video and audio access but nothing replaces the face-to-face fellowship where all the senses can experience the visit. Nothing can replace being in the house of God with His presence and His people. Where God’s presence can be felt, seen moving in the lives of His people (1 Corinthians 14:26), tasted to see that He is good (Psalm 34:8), and the Word of God heard (2 Kings 22:8). May Christians everywhere see the importance of the local church and not forsake God, His house, or His people.