During this trying time, if anyone has prayer requests, please send an email to beattieroad@yahoo.com or call (229) 435-2193. We will pray for you and with you. We love you and want to serve in whatever way is needed.

There are some Christians who have discovered something that some others are yet to figure out. Their enlightenment has led them to believe (and admit), “I feel closer to God when I am away from the church. I have found my own way to really focus on me and God, and I found that the church was just dragging me down and keeping me from truly finding this inner peace.” This is not an exact quote from anyone, but it is the sentiment that a number of folks have expressed, as they sought to explain the new direction that they chose for their lives.

What do they see that some others do not? There was a time when some of these Christians used to be at every Bible class and worship service of the church. They were active in the education program, in regularly encouraging the brethren and the young people, in participating in the activities of the church, etc. But now, the church is no longer at the center of their lives. They might come to worship on a Sunday morning, but to see them at any other time is rare. They have filled that part of their lives (once occupied by the church) with something else. So the question must be asked: Can someone be “closer to God” when he has distanced himself from the church?

A Christian cannot be “closer to God without the church” because the church is the body of Christ. (Colossians 1:18) One cannot distance himself from Christ’s body and be closer to God.

A Christian cannot be “closer to God without the church” because the church is bought by Christ’s blood. (Acts 20:28) One cannot distance himself from Christ’s blood and be closer to God.

A Christian cannot be “closer to God without the church” because the church was/is Jesus’ highest priority. (Colossians 1:19-23) One cannot distance himself from Christ’s No. 1 priority and be closer to God.

A Christian cannot be “closer to God without the church” because the church draws nigh unto God’s very throne in its worship assemblies. (Ephesians 2:21-22) One cannot distance himself from the throne of God and be closer to God.

A Christian cannot be “closer to God without the church” because Christ assembles with the church. (Hebrews 2:12; Matt. 18:20) One cannot distance himself from Christ’s presence and be closer to God.

Some brethren have convinced themselves that they don’t need the church or to assemble with the church in order to be close to God. Such could not be further from the truth. When one does not abide where God calls for him to abide, he does not have God. (2 John 9) Please consider this.

The Beattie Road Church of Christ meets at 1731 Beattie Road in Albany. Times of services are 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information, call (229) 435-2193 or (870) 500-5535 or visit beattieroad.org.

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