Going to Church as an Act of High Treason

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Ben

Getting my family to church on Sunday morning sometimes feels like we are recreating the first 10 minutes of “Home Alone.”

There is nothing glamorous about it, even for a preacher’s family. After a sleepless night of babies crying, half-consciously fumbling for the coffee maker, showering, waking the kids up (who are finally deep asleep, conveniently), bathing the kids, getting dressed, getting the kids dressed, settling property disputes between the children, scouring the kitchen for something edible, reviewing Bible class and sermon notes, we’re just lucky to be alive at the end of the day. (My wife is an incredible woman for doing most of this so I can focus on the preacher stuff.)

I know it sounds crazy, but we do this every week. Willingly.

And, while it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of going to church, we need not forget the gravity of our mission. Going to church is a bold act of defiance toward the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2).

You see, each time your tired legs stand for another stanza of praise toward the King of kings and Lord of lords, you are declaring that the ruler of this world is not the prince he claims to be (John 12:31). You are part of a new Kingdom, have a new King, and are anxiously awaiting His imminent return.

At the risk of sounding overdramatic, going to church is nothing short of treason against the state of this world (John 15:18-20).

We know there are consequences to this. The commands of God now take precedence over the will of man (Acts 5:29). While we know the governing authorities of this world still have some limited power (Rom. 13:1-7), we are now citizens of a new Kingdom (Phil. 3:20; 1 Pet. 2:9). And it isn’t always easy being an expatriate (Matt. 10:34-39).

Thus, when you bow your head in congregational prayer – when you underline a passage in your Bible during the lesson – when you drink the juice of the Lord’s Supper – when you drop your well-earned money in the collection plate – you are wholeheartedly declaring your allegiance to the Almighty God and your noncompliance to the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

I know there are other reasons we assemble with the saints throughout the week:

  • We go to encourage and be encouraged (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11; Heb. 3:13; Jas. 5:16).
  • We go because that’s what the early church did (Acts 2:42; 20:7).
  • We go for accountability (1 Pet. 5:1-4; Heb. 13:17).
  • We go to learn (Rom. 15:14).
  • We go to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Cor. 11:26).
  • We go to contribute money to the Kingdom (1 Cor. 16:2).
  • We go because the local assembly of Christians is representative of the “living stones” of God’s temple, with God dwelling among Christians in a different way when they are assembled than when they are isolated (Matt. 18:20; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5a).
  • And we go to every regular assembly because that’s what we are commanded to do (Heb. 10:24-25).

But also go to church so you can tell the world – by your utter exhaustion (I’m talking to parents) – by your not being anywhere else (I’m talking to athletes) – by your dedication (I’m talking to those who must commute long distances) – by your courage (I’m talking to those who are mocked by their own family members) – that there is another King. And you love worshipping Him alongside the other citizens of His kingdom.

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