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Does The Bible Say Christians Have To Go To Church?

Perhaps you’re attending a church and not really feeling fulfilled, but are having guilty feelings about not going anymore. This lens itself to the question, do Christians have to go to church? What does the Bible say about Christians going to church?

I remember growing up in a Baptist church and the pastor would continually preach on the topic that it was not acceptable for you to leave the church. He wasn’t talking about the church in terms of Christians, but rather he was speaking about that building. When I found is that they were many members of the church who are not feeling satisfied or fulfilled, but would not consider gathering somewhere else because they thought it would upset God.

I want to begin by saying I am not anti-church attendance. But actually just the opposite. I think church attendance is very healthy, and I think it is extremely wise to be surrounded by like-minded people who know and love Jesus Christ.

A moment ago I mentioned being around ‘like-minded’ people. In my experience, I found one of the biggest reasons people stop going to church is because they start having a desire for Jesus. In fact, I find the opposite. I find that their affections for Jesus are very strong, and what they are really missing is a message about Jesus.

There are many churches today that are obsessed with talking about everything but Jesus. Some are talking about water baptism nonstop. Others are talking about behavior improvement issues. And others can’t talk about anything but predestination.

What I discovered is that as people come to know who Jesus is their hearts yearn for hearing more about him and his goodness. But instead, they are being inundated with messages that would be more consistent with an unbeliever or the Corinthian church.

One of the most common verses we’re here to guilt us into not leaving our church comes from Hebrews 10:25 which reads:

Hebrews 10:25 ‘not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Here’s what you need to know.

When this writer talks about not abandoning the church, He is referring to the church as people, not a building. There were no church buildings at this time. These were just like-minded followers of Jesus who got together to talk about Jesus. It didn’t matter if they were 3 people or 50 people. When two or more are together you are indeed meeting together with the church. You can do this on a Sunday or you can do this on a Tuesday, it doesn’t really matter. You can do the seven days a week, or one time a month. You are not under any specific commandment to get together a predetermined number of days per week.

And while good things, the writer is not worried about whether or not we were singing songs, in a Sunday School class, or performing a bunch of outward works. In fact, the writer tells us exactly why he wants us to be with other believers. The purpose of getting together with the church is so we can encourage one another

So my friends this is the truth. The church is a wonderful place to be. But you are free to find a church with like-minded people, and where the truth about Jesus is being proclaimed. Now I think we know every church claims to preach the truth. But some are talking about predestination, while others talking about losing Salvation, While another group is talking about a requirement of water baptism for salvation. The one thing all these denominations who supposedly tell him the truth have in common is they all disagree on something.

My advice is to try to find a church that lines up as closely as possible with who you see Jesus as. I understand it may be very difficult to find a grace-based church. Sometimes I think we need to be willing to allow people to get it wrong….At least a little. But the reality is if you feel like the message your church is pushing is not lining up with the Scriptures, and is sucking the spiritual life right out of you, then you are free to go to another church, and you are also free to never assemble in a building again.

The only Thank God has asked from us in this matter is to continue to be around other Christian friends and encourage and edify each other. You can do that in your home, or you can do that in the parking lot of Walmart. It’s up to you. You are indeed free in Christ.


Author: Mike Cynar

Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.

It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.


  • Donna Posted May 30, 2022 2:21 pm

    Very well said

  • Marisa Monti Posted November 5, 2023 2:33 pm

    Thank you so much, let the Lord bless you. In my country it’s really difficult to find a church that doesn’t add denominational tradition to its teaching. As you say, they emphasize some formulas of baptism or sacraments or speaking in tongues or their type of worship. On the other side, there are some churches that are just interpreting the Gospel with a modern psychological approach. Some of them are based on emotions created by lights and music. And the worse that happens, is political affiliation. I would attend your church for sure. Blessings again.

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