Is Not Going To Church a Sin

Is not going to church a sin

Is not going to church a sin? The answers are maybe, sometimes, yes and no. Here’s why:

God commands us to go to church and blesses us when we do. But is it a sin to not go to church? It depends on your motivation. If you’re not going to church at all, you’re sinning. But if you skip church one weekend because you’re sick or your child is sick, or your car broke down, or you have to catch a flight at the airport to go home for the holidays, it’s not a sin.

When does missing church become a sin?
People become like those they associate with. If you intentionally choose not to associate with like minded followers of Jesus Christ, you are, by default, becoming like the rest of the world that does not follow Christ. People who choose, either to stop going to church or to never start going, are drifting away from God. They may be drifting away quickly or slowly, but either way, if they’re never around other believers, their love for God is fading.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:24-25)

If you choose not to go to church because you feel it’s too much effort, or because you think you don’t have time, or because you believe you don’t know anyone there and would feel uncomfortable, you’re disobeying God, which is a sin.

But if you’re already plugged into a church where you’re growing spiritually by being connected in vibrant relationships with other believers, and happen to miss church one Sunday because of special circumstances, you have not sinned.

Here’s a hypothetical example: Let’s say your parents live two hours away and your dad’s birthday is on a Sunday. You decide you’re going to get up early that Sunday, skip church, and drive to his home to spend the day with him and celebrate his birthday. Is it a sin to not go to church? On the contrary, the bible says, “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

Through his teachings about the Sabbath day, Jesus shows us that the more important consideration is your inner motivation. The work that Jesus did on the Sabbath day came from his inner motivation to love God and love other people, therefore, the work he did on that day was not a sin.

Occasionally missing church is not a sin, so long as your inner motivation continues to be a desire to worship Jesus Christ and to fellowship, on a regular basis, with other believers.

Why is it important to go to church

(photo credit:flickr creative commons, chruch, Silent Shot photo stream)

5 thoughts on “Is Not Going To Church a Sin

  1. Cyndi says:

    What if your child has severe separation anxiety and church is traumatizing for them and you, you gain nothing from sitting distracted through a message, and your church mandates age segregation?
    This question plagues me.
    I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    • GaryH says:

      Cyndi,
      This is a great question. I would start by asking the Lord where He wants you to be and how He wants you to handle the separation anxiety. It may be something that is resolved in a year or two and then you’ll be free to attend any service without distraction. Our church has a room for new mom’s and special needs kids where they can watch the service and kids can be kids without becoming a distraction in the main sanctuary. Pray frequently about this issue and the Lord will answer.

  2. shawn says:

    Hi i have a question? I was saved at 16. I attend regularly until about 1 month ago. I had to get a second job to pay off some bills. I have missed for one month. I had a church member tell me i was wrong. I have actually witnessed and blessed more people at my second job than i have in along time. By random acts of kindness good deeds and truly caring about welfare of my coworkers they have seen i am different and began to ask questions. This church member at church last night 4 45 mins lits into me saying i’m wrong i shouldn’t miss at all. I’m letting church down. The way i see it is church is full of Christians, why do they need to here gospel again. I’m doing more at work. I witness to everyone i contact w. What is yslls opinion

    • GaryH says:

      Hi Shawn,
      Thanks for visiting my website. The church member that you’ve written about here is both wrong and right. He is wrong for reprimanding and judging you without knowing or even inquiring about your circumstances. God is not stupid. God knows exactly the circumstances you are in financially. That being said, it is also up to you to have faith the God will provide and that what you need to seek first is Him. I understand that you have been a witness to people at work. That’s great. But missing out on fellowship with other believers for the sake of sharing your faith is like never going to the grocery store because you’re too busy preparing your pantry for the food you want to someday put in it. We go to church, not to hear the gospel over and over again, but to hear a fresh word from the Lord each time and to connect in friendships with other believers. When you attend church, pray first that the Lord will speak to your heart while you are there and He will. Also, as a side note, if your current church is full of judgmental people, don’t be afraid to visit other church’s.

  3. Bethany says:

    I don’t go to church very much, but I don’t feel I am losing my faith or connection with God. God has been and continues to be in my life everyday. I find myself praying all the time whether I am having issues or am thankful for waking up or for my childen. Growing up, I bebopped to different churches and now I struggle. I was baptized, first communion and confirmed in the Catholic church at age 18 years, but I am not the ‘normal Catholic’. I don’t believe in praying to the Virgen or saints or cinfessing my sins to a Father as the Lord knows what I have did and I confess those to the Lord during my prayer times. I don’t like going to church with people who believe because they have money, they will make it into Heaven, I also don’t like peopke who talk to you in church, but turn their back to outside. How do you know which church is right, when there are way to many. I would prefer to go when the Holy Spirit nudges and keep prayibg and trusting in God as I do. I am a Christian and feel the presence of the Lord with me, in our home, everywhere. I think there should be one universal religion if you believe in God and if you don’t …you’ll be a list soul forever.

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