Last year Easter was canceled.
Some churches stayed open and held their Easter services, but the vast majority did not.
Instead, Christians either did not go to church or they saw an Easter service on Zoom.
This Easter, should you go to an Easter service?
Coming to an Easter service this Sunday is more than just your COVID-19 risk or no-risk assessment. What is God’s will? What is God’s best for you and your family? As a Christian, what should you do?
Here are 7 things you should know about coming to church on Easter:
#1. Should you come? The answer is yes… “but”… every Christian must assess their tolerance for risk.
You should go to church this Easter.
Haven’t been in a year? Go!
Been going to church since the pandemic started? Go!
But… if you are physically compromised, you have a legitimate reason to stay at home. Some are fearful of getting COVID-19. Some are afraid of affecting loved ones who are physically at risk.
But be realistic of your risk.
The politicians and media have spread fear. I know people who have died from the disease. I know many who have had COVID-19 and recovered. But as we enter herd immunity, the risk lessons. As we count millions who have had it and millions vaccinated, the risk has lessened. But in life, there is always risk.
I weighed the risk and have been going to an indoor church service since May. The church I go to provides three different types of services.
Most churches do provide these three different levels: some even more.
- Indoor services – most people don’t wear masks and those who want to can.
- Outdoor service or drive-in service.
- Social distancing service where social distancing and masks are requested.
In churches across America that are offering these, very few people choose the last two options.
Those people who are elderly or sick and vulnerable will usually choose the last two.
But coming to church this Easter is more than evaluating risk…
It is doing what God wants.
I know an 85-year-old who takes a 101-year-old to church every week. They know the risk, and they have chosen to have fellowship despite the risk – with no masks. It’s their choice.
#2 Going to church on Easter is following the word of God.
Going to church is Biblical.
Going to church is not just about avoiding all risk. It’s not about what the president or the government says. It’s about being obedient to God.
Hebrews 10:25 really says it all, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
It’s clear. We’re not to forsake or to give up on going to church. The Greek word “Egkatealiepo” means to leave behind or desert.
We are not supposed to leave behind or desert going to church.
Why do you think this would be a mandate of God?
To a large extent it’s because being part of the body of Christ is more than an electronic Zoom meeting.
It’s interacting with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It’s interacting with people who are afraid, with people who are hurting, who need prayer, who need encouragement, who need a hug, who need a smile.
When Christians are together, they build one another up. It’s part of our spiritual health to be involved with other brothers and sisters in Christ. And meeting in person does this in a way that a video meeting cannot.
Hearing God’s word is key.
Worshiping with song and melody in your heart cannot be duplicated on Zoom.
Talking to friends and those who need friends – and giving them encouragement – cannot be done the same way on Zoom.
And reaching out to the broken and hurting, to those who need a touch of love or prayer or a kind word cannot be done on a podcast.
We are to encourage one another or exhort one another. The Greek word for exhort, “parakaleo” means to comfort. We have so many people depressed, lonely, suicidal, struggling with addictions and in isolation. They need comfort.
They need a touch of you this Sunday. You need a touch from others this Sunday. And it cannot be done from any type of livestream.
The interaction is something God has created within us and that’s why the Bible tells us that to be obedient is to be in fellowship.
#3. Being remote just does not do it – even if the government thinks it can and tells you no.
Zoom does not do it. Livestream does not do it. You cannot have that dynamic relationship in isolation.
In my article, “Should Christians and Pastors Obey or Disobey Unfair Laws [Romans 13 and Shutting Down Churches”], I outline the scripture and reasons to obey God, not man. You can see the article here.
The voice of fear believes the Church is “non-essential.” That is a lie from the pit of hell.
You are a part of the body of Christ. You are essential.
Those who want to destroy the church and marginalize Christianity are thrilled. But God’s people cannot accept it.
#4. Your presence is needed. When you are involved in this Easter and beyond, you are a part of the body of Christ.
In church you are interacting in a powerful way for encouragement and healing for yourself and with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Some people have been out of church for a year – others less, depending on if your church is in a locked-down state.
And, depending on if your pastor stood up against the unconstitutional laws outlawing churches. Depending on if your pastor was too afraid to open the church or not. I encourage you to go to church even if your current church is not open. Find one that is open. In most states, almost 100% are open for complete indoor services. Lockdown states have far less. But every state has churches open, even the lockdown states.
Not sure where to find a church that is open? One short cut: look for a Calvary Chapel near you. Most are open even in lockdown states.
#5. It’s time: Evangelism at Easter.
Historically, people come to Easter from an invitation, out of politeness or out of curiosity. But they come and hear the gospel.
In this post-Christian society, many people have never heard the message of salvation. They don’t even know who Jesus is.
This is your chance to reach out and invite people to come to church. Let’s pack the churches with new people!
#6. Church is not the building.
Understand, I’m not saying your church must be a “megachurch.”
It’s not the size that matters. It’s the body of Christ.
I go to a megachurch where we have over 2,000 people at each of the two Sunday services.
I love the interaction. I love the excitement of people during worship.
I love being a part of a body reacting to a powerful teaching from God’s Word.
I love the ability to meet new people and to talk to others.
But it’s not the size.
It could be a small church.
It could be a small-group home Bible study.
But it’s got to be something where you are rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It doesn’t have to be your tradition of the past.
I used to go to sunrise services. They were awesome.
That’s changed in the last five years.
That’s okay. I will still go to a church service on this celebration of resurrection.
It doesn’t matter what time.
It doesn’t matter the size.
It doesn’t matter what the building is.
What matters is that you are a part of the body of Christ.
#7. For there to be revival in America, we need the churches open.
If there is going to be revival worldwide, we need to have the churches open.
The only hope for people is the gospel.
The only hope for America is revival.
And that’s not going to happen on Zoom. It’s not going to happen hiding in the house. It’s not going to happen if we close churches…
Finally, examine your heart.
Examine your relationship now with Christ over the last 12 months.
Has it grown or has it shrunk?
Is your prayer life better or worse?
Is your knowledge and understanding of the Word of God better or less?
Is your relationship with Christians stronger or weaker?
Is your ability to minister to others who are burdened and hurting more effective or less effective?
Are you able to evangelize and tell others about Christ more effectively or less effectively than a year ago?
Easter is a time for great celebration.
He is RISEN!
He is risen indeed!
Please watch this video. It’s only 1 ½ minutes long, but it reflects the attitude you and I should have about the resurrection.
Once you see this video, please email me your thoughts.
Click HERE to watch the “He’s Still Risen” video.
Let me know what you think. Email me at [email protected].