Greg Laurie Answers: Is It OK for Christians to Watch Church Online and Not Attend?

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California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries has explained why it’s important for God’s people to attend church in person, even though it’s often more convenient to watch services on television or online.

“Why does the church exist? Why did God put us here on this planet? The Church exists for three reasons,” Laurie, who is the senior pastor of Harvest Orange County and Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, began his sermon on Sunday. “We’re here for the exaltation of God, we’re here for the edification of the saints, and we’re here for the evangelization of the world.”

“Number one: The exaltation of God, the glorification of God,” he said. “Secondly, building up one another. Thirdly, evangelizing the world. A simple way to remember it: Upward, inward, and outward. That’s why we’re here.”

The 1st century church, as depicted in Acts 2:42-47, can be summed up with the acronym WELL, Laurie said.

“They were a worshiping church, they were an evangelistic church, they were a learning church, they were a loving church,” he explained.

“God has ordained preaching and teaching,” Laurie contended. “Now look, some people will say, ‘Well, you know, I like to attend church online.’ And this always makes people mad when I talk about this, so I’m going to talk about it some more.”

“People will say, ‘I listen to teaching on podcast, I watch online,'” the pastor continued. “Now, there’s a place for that, and of course there are extenuating circumstances. Maybe you can’t get out to the church in person, I understand that, I appreciate that. I know there are people that watch … from around the country and around the world and it’s a way for them to still participate.”

But Laurie argued that “something special” happens when God’s people gather together and study the Bible.

“You know it when you’re there, and you’ll experience it, and this is what the early church did,” he said.

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Source: Christian Post