Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Why Won't My Church Attendance Get Me to Heaven?

This month, I'll be examining two questions. The first one is which requirements will let us enter heaven. The second question concerns our eternal destiny in general. After all, everybody has differing opinions on the answers to these matters but we still must make the right choice before death.

In most Christian denominations, congregants have the notion that attending church regularly will please God. When I was a child, I received an award for the best church attendance in 1965. Of course I had no choice back then. Every girl and boy in Jericho Hill School had to attend their parents 'denomination's church each Sunday except when they were ill.

So what does the Bible say about regular attendance? Hebrews 10:23-25 (BBE) reads, "Let us keep the witness of our hope strong and unshaking, for he is true who has given his word: And let us be moving one another at all times to love and good works; Not giving up our meetings, as is the way of some, but keeping one another strong in faith; and all the more because you see the day coming near."

From this and other passages, we can deduce that the purpose of church attendance is to build up our trust in Christ and to encourage others. No mention is made in Scripture regarding attendance being counted toward earning one's place in heaven. In fact, there is only one way to be saved that Scripture mentions and that's trusting in Christ's atoning work.

Perhaps the most-often quoted Bible passage on this matter is Romans 10:9-10 (BBE). "Because, if you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and have faith in your heart that God has made him come back from the dead, you will have salvation: For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation."

This is obvious but some churches insist that works must be added to gain eternal life. According to James, works are a proof of salvation, not an aid to being saved from hell. Look at what he wrote in the second chapter of his epistle, verses fourteen to eighteen (BBE).

What use is it, my brothers, for a man to say that he has faith, if he does nothing? will such a faith give him salvation? If a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day's food, And one of you says to them, "go in peace, be warm and full of food;" but you do not give them the things of which their bodies have need, what profit is there in this? Even so faith without works is dead.

But a man may say, "you have faith and I have works;" let me see your faith without your works, and I will make my faith clear to you by my works.

These, and many other verses, show that it's faith in Christ which produces good works in a person. Doing nice things to save yourself is extremely displeasing to the Father since it's rejection of Christ's atonement on the cross.

I'll be writing in depth on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I want nobody to go to hell because supposedly-knowledgeable and self-righteous teachers lied to them about God's entrance requirements. Once I get the debt monkey off my back, I hope to self-publish my next book. Until then, keep following these posts.