The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
Forsake Not The Assembly
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Someone once said, “If your religion won’t carry you to the house of God, it probably won’t carry you into heaven.”
I have chosen to speak on this subject because there are so many unchurched people in the world today and also, we see a growing number of church members who do not see the need to faithfully attend the house of God.
Every Christian should be faithfully attending and supporting a Bible-believing church. The Scripture verse in Hebrews 10:25 that is telling us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together is just as much a part of the Word of God as John 3:16. If we believe the one verse, we must believe the other.
“Tell me what the young men of England are doing on Sunday, and I will tell you what the future of England will be.”
Please notice three things pertaining to the house of God:
A PLACE OF EDIFICATION:
The local church is more than a place to marry the living, bury the dead, and counsel the confused. It is a place to hear the preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures. According to Ephesians 4:8-13, God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the church for the perfecting of the saints. In other words, God uses ordained ministers to speak forth His Word to His people. If this is true that God speaks through the minister, then the saints of God need to faithfully attend church in order to hear God’s message to them. All through the Scriptures God has given leaders to guide and direct his chosen people in the ways of righteousness. The local church is the only divine ordained institution in the New Testament. According to I Timothy 3:15, the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. That is, the church is the support and foundation for the truth of God. The way the believer is cleansed is by the truth of the Word of God according to John 15:3. By missing church and the preaching of the Word of God, you may be missing the message God has for you. According to one man, the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for the saints. The church is a place to gain spiritual health.
I recently preached in a small church in Tennessee where I had originally heard the gospel of Christ over twenty years before. As I stepped into the pulpit to preach, I asked the congregation how many of them were attending the church at that same time when I had heard the gospel and only one man raised his hand. People just do not stay in church anymore as they should. There is a great turnover of people in the house of God these days and absentees have a tendency toward unbelief. Remember, Thomas may not have been a doubter if he had not been an absentee.
“Jesus spoke about the ox in the ditch on the Sabbath, but if your ox gets into the ditch every Sabbath you should either get rid of the ox or fill in the ditch.”
A place of protection:
The church serves as an umbrella in that it provides protection for the saints of God. According to Matthew 18:20, the Lord said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.
It is wonderful to know the Lord will be with us as we assemble ourselves together. We will be in good company when we come together with other saints in Jesus name. The church prayed for Peter while he was imprisoned and God honored their prayers according to Acts 12:6-13. By being associated with a body of believers, we have their support and prayers. I have noticed that when people get in trouble, whether saved or lost, they turn to the church. They do not go to the local bar to get in touch with the Lord. They go to the preacher and to the congregation. The reason for this is found in James 5:16-18, the prayer of the righteous person gets results with the Lord. I promise you, that if I need to get in touch with God, I will go to the people of God for help, especially those who love God.
The world is Satan’s domain, for in I Corinthians 5:5, the apostle Paul speaks about delivering a person to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. That is, he was to be put out of the church because of his sin. It appears there is some sort of protection for a person as long as he is a part of the congregation. There is a hedge built around the Christian when they have the prayer and support of other fellow believers.
I believe with all my heart that the church (local assembly) serves as an umbrella for the saints of God. May every Christian realize this and see the protection for themselves and their family in a Bible believing church. According to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, there is help, support, strength, warmth, and protection in a threefold cord.
“Don’t stay away from church because there are so many hypocrites. There is always room for one more.”
- A. R. Adams
A Place of Fellowship:
The local assembly is a place of fellowship with other believers of like precious faith. It is a place where Christians come together to worship God as a unit. It is a place to rally together and draw strength from one another. We find the early church in Acts 2:41-47 eating, praying, and feasting upon the Word of God with one another. The apostle Paul tells the church at Philippi to strive together for the sake of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). The fellowship of believers is very important and it is mentioned often in the word of God, especially in the book of I John. If we truly love the Lord and are looking for his return, our desires should be to fellowship with the children of God as we see the day of the Lord approaching (Hebrews 10:25).
May our desire be to assemble together with the saints of God in the house of God. It is disobedience to forsake this God-given privilege we have. Someone once said, “The popularity of the church is seen by the attendance on Sunday morning. The popularity of the preacher is seen Sunday night, and the popularity of the Lord is seen by the attendance in the Wednesday night prayer meeting”.
Many people are like Alka-Seltzer Christians: They drop in, fizzle a little while, and then disappear. People are also like an automobile: They usually start missing before they quit. Maybe we should take notice.
If you are too busy to go to the house of God, you are too busy. Please remember, “no one is too bad to come to church, and no one is too good to stay away.”
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…”
I Samuel 15:23
“Our great-grandfathers called it the Holy Sabbath, our grandfathers, the Sabbath, our fathers, Sunday; but today we call it the weekend.” (Wesleyan Methodist)
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523