One of two things must be true concerning the church:  Either it is a divine institution or it is a man-made organization.  If it is divine, then it must be important.  If it was originated by men, then it has no function so far as eternal salvation is concerned because men cannot provide eternal salvation.  To be divine, the church had to be established by the Lord.  This is true of any church.  If the Lord established it, it is divine; if some man established it, it is human.                       


          Here are some scriptures concerning the church of Christ:  Matt.16:18 (Jesus speaking)  …and upon this rock I will build my church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of the Lord, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (American Revised ed.).  Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  Therefore, the church is a divine institution.  Christ died for it!


          Let us consider, is the church the organization through which God will save, or is its purpose strictly social?  If it is a social institution, we have the option.  We can remain home whenever company drops in or we may attend whenever we feel socially inclined.  However, let us again look to the scriptures to determine the purpose of the church.  Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved.”  If the Lord added those who were being saved to the church, then all of the saved are in the church.  Again, Eph. 5:23 tells us, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.”


          Now let us ask the question: “How important is the church?”  Christ promised to build it; he purchased it with his own blood; the saved are added to it, and when the Lord comes again he will save eternally those who are faithful in the church.  This makes it a rather important institution—so important, in fact, that you cannot be saved unless you are faithful in it.  In view of these facts, can you afford to be careless in your attendance and in working for the Lord?  God loved you enough to give his Son that you might have opportunity for salvation.  How much do you love him?  You answer this question by your actions.