I listened to a sermon from Pastor David Platt this morning. In it he said that in the New Testament there is no such thing as a believer who is not part of a local church (i.e. gathering on a regular basis with a body of other believers). To be apart from the church is to be apart from Jesus Himself. Yet, we’ve all heard people say, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian”. There was probably a day when I even said that myself. That was me trying to convince myself that I was OK when I wasn’t. When I truly became a believer, I realized that and I would rarely miss church.
One of my favorite illustrations of this is one of a boat on the open sea. Off the coast of Somalia is a dangerous place. Modern day pirates capture boats, large and small, and hold them for ransom. What are the bad people looking for? They are looking for boats that are alone. It’s much safer for the boats to be sailing with other boats. The bad guys are no match for a bunch of boats together. The boats will look out for each other, sounding warnings if danger approaches. A boat on its own has fewer eyes watching out for evil and nobody to help them when they get into trouble. Such is the case with the individual who tries to go Christianity alone.