I make no apologies for saying when someone forsakes the church, they forsake Jesus. But I do make a plea with people so that no one fools you on this fundamental matter – not even yourself!
The idea of being in Jesus, which is where salvation is found, entails that we are actually a member within His body:
“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10)
“and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
As can plainly be seen from the scriptures delivered to the church by God’s Spirit, if we leave the body, which is the church, out of our life, we leave behind the Head that gives life (i.e. salvation) to the body as a whole and to our soul individually.
So if someone has convinced you that you can enjoy a proper relationship with Jesus without being involved with His church, then I encourage you to reconsider your convictions, for a body part removed from the body becomes a body part removed from the head by default. EA
“And [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:25)