Bible Question:

I truly love God, so why do I find it so hard to be regular at church? Is there some scripture that can help me to have the desire to fellowship more often?

Bible Answer:

There are a number of reasons why one may not want to go to church. He/she may 1) not really be a Christian, 2) feel rejected by God because of some sin, 3) be spiritually starving at his/her church, or 4) be going for the wrong reasons.

Not Really A Christian

This is a common reason. Many folks think they are a Christian because they did something meaningful, had an emotional feeling, were raised in a Christian home or something spiritual seemed to happen to them. Folks have said, “I am Christian” instead of “I am a Christian.” The first is like a description of the type of person they are rather than a statement of who owns them.

Matthew 13:18-23 tells us there are four different ways people react when they hear the truth about Jesus Christ,

PassageJesus’ Description
Matt 13:19The person does not understand the Bible.
Matt 13:20-21This person turns away because he/she is afflicted or persecuted for being a Christian.
Matt 13:22This person turns away because he/she worries and desires the benefits of money.
Matt 13:23This person hears the word and understands it and bears fruit.

It is possible that each type of person is in every church. So it is not surprising that 1 John 2:19 says,

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us. (NASB) 1 John 2:19

Guilty Because of Sin

There are some Christians who do not want to go to church because they believe God is angry with them. King David reflected this fear when he said,

Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. (NASB) Psalms 51:11

He had sinned by killing Bathsheba’s husband and by committing adultery with Bathsheba. He feared God would reject him. I have known men and women who did not want to come to church because of some sin they committed.

Spiritually Starving

This is a serious and widespread problem in our churches today! Many churches are not feeding Christians the solid meat of the Word of God. Hebrews 5:11-14 describes Christians who are not growing as babies, that is, spiritual babies. The book of Hebrews is written to a group of Christians who were apparently baby Christians. They did not know their Bible very well. The Holy Spirit says they should have been teachers, but they were still learning. Hebrews 10:23-25 commands all Christians to love and encourage each other because it appears some Christians were not attending church. This is the message of,

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some. (NASB) Hebrews 10:24-25

Why did they stop? They had been persecuted because of Jesus and were not growing spiritually – so they were wavering in their faith! Many Christians today are not being physically persecuted but are still spiritual babies because the churches are not feeding them.

Wrong Reasons

Why should we go to church? Church is a social group for many people. It is a place to meet their friends, ask God for help, enjoy the music and then sit through the service thinking about the events of the day while partially listening or enduring the pastor’s sermon. After church they talk with friends, discuss church business, meet their girl friends or do something else. Why do we go to church? Hebrews 10:23-25 gives us one reason – fellowship. Acts 2:42 give us the big picture,

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (NASB) Acts 2:42

The major reason we go to church is to learn God’s Word.

The major reason to go to church is to worship God, to mean the words you sing, to confess your sins, to take communion, to learn about Him from His Word . . . to honor Him from your heart,

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 10:31

Reference Links:

Marks of a Christian
How can get them back in church?