Do you need to attend church to be saved, can you provide scripture to reinforce your answer?
I think this is as close to your request as you will get with scripture:
3Jesus replied, "I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!"
4Nicodemus asked, "How can a grown man ever be born a second time?"
5Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6 Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7 Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above.
In these verses Jesus gives the two minimum requirements for salvation;participating in a water baptism ceremony AND receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit which is a sign that God is sanctifying our lives.
Although water baptism ceremonies are almost always held in churches,it is possible for non-clerical Christians to perform them even in outdoor locations as Jesus Himself requested.Even to this day there are regular water baptism ceremonies performed for anyone requesting one in the Jordan River in Israel near the spot where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist,a completely uneducated and non-clerical evangelist.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is usually NOT received during church services most probably because regular services seldom generate the passionate faith required to receive this amazing miracle.The indwelling of the Holy Spirit most frequently occurs during evangelistic crusades,prayer meetings held during multi-day religious retreats and in homes during periods of intense personal worship and prayer.
Church attendance is a way that the Church, of whatever faith, maintains power. If there is such a thing as an omnipotent God, he knows exactly what is in your heart, without the help of a hierarchy of Church dignitaries.
Though you do not need to attend church to be saved, for that can only be done through faith in Jesus Christ, the Bible says in Hebrews 10.23-25
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another and 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.
Therefore, as we see the 'day' approaching (the judgment) we should be assembling together and exhorting one another more... (and assembling can be done in the church setting.)
What is necessary and what is beneficial are two sides of the same coin. The heart that belongs to God is forever His, but to love Him is to love His people. Sometimes difficult, but, if we fail to love His church, we fail in the hope He has for us. It is difficult to love His church if we segregate ourselves from His people. We are all parts of one body. Our problem is the focus on whats wrong with the church, rather on what is right with the church. We may have issues with family, but, it is family and no matter how hard we try to seperate ourselves from the problems there, it remains, always, our family.
To FriendofTruth, my neighbor who professes his belief in God does not believe we need church.
I do not support or condemn his choice, because it is his choice and mine is not to judge others. Thank you for your well thought out answer
Absolutely MickS, true power comes from above not through man.
DrDeanCrosby, your scripture reference is superb. I am most inclined to believe we are saved by receiving the Holy Spirit. A lot of prayer and a heart of true repentance is surely a precursor. Thank you for your response.
To arb, I think you may have a valid point here. We are to love all members of the body, we can't possibly accomplish all things as loners.
To fatfist, the message you are sending out through your response is a message of exclusion and not inclusion. Your Koran, in the book of Mary, claims that Jesus is born from an immaculate birth and being as such, whom would we suppose the Father might be? I'm not going to question who is right, or wrong, this goes much deeper. Judaism, Islam and Christianity all have their roots in God/Allah as listed in the Pentateuch. Would the wiser decision not be to love each other as creatures made by the God mentioned in those five books?
wa alaikum assalam fatfist.
I personally enjoy going to church, although my work schedule does not allways allow me to do so. No I do not belive that you have to go to church to be saved. I was always told all you have to do is ask for forgiveness, ask Jesus to come into your heart, make an oath to turn away from sin, and you shall be forgiven and accepted into the Kingdom of the Lord
Lord Jesus, Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
You don't need to attend church to be saved, but it's the place God intended for people to hear his words, and He said where two or three of his people are together, there He is.
How can they believe if they have not heard?
Read Romans 10...
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