Most professing Christians today treat the New Testament churches of the Lord Jesus Christ as if they are optional to Christianity. Some actually demonstrate by their actions that they believe the local church is unnecessary. It is obvious from his PRACTICE as well as his teaching that the Apostle Paul believed that God's plan for this age is the local New Testament church. By that I mean that it is God's perfect will for everyone to be saved, baptized, and united with a New Testament church. I set forth Paul as an example because he is rightly considered as possibly the greatest Christian that ever lived. Search the Scriptures and you will see that the following facts about Paul are obvious:
Paul was convicted concerning the Gospel as he heard preaching from a deacon in the first New Testament church.
After his baptism Paul “assembled” with the disciples at Damascus.
When he went to Jerusalem “he assayed (meaning "attempted") to join himself (meaning "glue, stick, cleave, keep company") with those disciples that were known as the church which is at Jerusalem. “And he was with them coming in and going out of Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:28)
When he relocated to Antioch he assembled with the New Testament church that was located there.
When he took money to help the church at Jerusalem he did so under the direction of the church at Antioch.
He ministered to the Lord as a teacher in the church at Antioch.
He was sent out as a missionary by the church at Antioch.
He reported to that church after his missionary journey.
He wrote his epistles to the churches, the pastors, and one time a member of a church (Philemon).
He Encouraged, Exhorted, Reproved, and Rebuked the churches that God allowed him to start.
He prayed for the churches.
He gave himself for the churches.
He hazarded his life for the churches.
He laboured, loved, and longed for the churches.
He labeled the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saints, House of God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Temple of God, Body of Christ, Church of the Living God.
He confirmed the churches.
He protected the churches by taking a strong stand for the truth and a militant position against error, heresy, apostasy, and any stripe of false doctrine and non-Biblical practice. He went so far as to name the names of those that were contrary to sound doctrine. He loved the Lord's churches enough to sound the trumpet blast of warning.
He led in the discipline of unruly members who were contrary to the will of God and the Word of God.
He gave commandments concerning the doctrine and practices of the churches.
Now, what about you? Is the church important to you? It sure was to Paul!