How To Behave In Church – Lesson 2

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” I Timothy 3:15

Behave – to manage the actions of oneself in a particular way; to conduct oneself in a proper manner.

As we start going through the list of behaviors that we should have in our life as a Christian, when it comes to the house of God, I want you to ask yourself if you display these behaviors. When I was looking at this list I have, I had to ask myself if I needed to improve in any of these areas. To be honest, I could use improvement in every area and most Christians probably could because we never reach a point of perfection in our Christian life.

BE FAITHFUL

The first behavior we need to have in the house of God is that of faithfulness.

“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.” Hebrews 10:25

Faithful: steadfast in affection or allegiance; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty

Forsaking: to renounce or turn away from entirely

Assembling: to bring together (as in a particular place or for a particular purpose); to fit together the parts of; to meet together

Exhorting: to incite by argument or advice; to give warnings or advice; to make urgent appeals

As I start this lesson, I want to say that I understand that there are times when you are sick or your child is sick or an emergency happens and you can not make it to church. These are not the times that I am talking about today. I am talking about and referencing the times we purposely choose to miss church.

When we choose to miss church, we are forsaking church. We are saying that it isn’t important and that we don’t need it. Sounds harsh, right? I find it interesting and convicting that God uses the word forsaking, He was emphasizing how much church attendance means to Him.

When we forsake church, we are renouncing church and we are turning away from church. This isn’t an immediate result but over time, the more you forsake church, you will end up totally out of church. You have to choose whether you want to be faithful to church or to forsake church.

The Bible also tells us to exhort one another, to make urgent appeals to one another to be at church. We think that we are being rude and overbearing when we keep inviting and asking the same person over and over to be at church. Well we aren’t, we are just exhorting like the Bible says. It also tells us to do it more and more as the day approaches, the day of Christ’s return.

Why is it important to be at church?

  • Because Christ gave Himself for the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Ephesians 5:25 If Christ found the church so important that He gave Himself for it, the least we could do is show up when there is church going on. Christ didn’t give Himself for that football game or that family outing on the lake. Whatever you have going on during church time is not more important than church itself.
  • Because Christ placed you in your church. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.” I Corinthians 12:18 God has placed you in the church you belong to for a specific reason. You are a part of that church body. When you miss church, you are letting part of the body of Christ down. If we think of ourselves as members of the body of Christ, we may make more of an effort to be at church every service. God has placed you in your church, and He has a function for you to do in that church, no matter what it is.

If you are ever going to have good behavior at church, you must learn to be faithful. Show up, be on time, enjoy church and enjoy being part of the body Christ has placed you in.

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Let Us….Assemble Together

Have you ever wondered why you go to church?

Have you ever thought about the reasons why you make church attendance a part of your life?

I was thinking about the Biblical reasons why I go to church. To me, these aren’t really reasons but commands. Commands from God for the Christian that should be obeyed.

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“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.” Hebrews 10:25

This is one of the most recognized verses when it comes to church attendance. We are command to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. I have always thought and believed that this verse was about church attendance Sunday morning, Sunday night, and the mid-week service.

Over the last few months, I have started to question this verse and what it actually means. In Sunday School a while back, my teacher stated that he believes it means everything that a church has to offer, you be there and be a part of it.

So no, I haven’t question my church attendance and whether I should go or not, I have question how faithful I am to other church events and activities.

It makes sense if you think about it. The Bible states “…and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” That day is the day of the Lord, the Return of Christ! We should want to assemble with our fellow believers whether it be in church or soul winning or activities and events.

This verse tells us to exhort one another. Exhort one another to do what? To be faithful in assembling in church and its ministries and events. Exhort means to strongly encourage or urge to do something. In this day that we live in, it is hard to get people to attend church faithfully, especially with all the worldly things that we have in our lives. That is why God used the word exhort, so that we can STRONGLY encourage people to be faithful!

If you don’t faithfully assemble with your church and your do more forsaking instead of assembling, I am exhorting you, encouraging you, begging you to find a good church and get involved. Why? Because the Day of the Lord is coming and we need as many people as we can to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this lost and dying world!

I want to focus on verses 22-24, the verses that proceed the well-known verse of “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” What is being said that is leading up to this verse?

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22 What are we to draw near to? It is talking about the house of God as mentioned at the end of verse 21. When I read this verse, I think about salvation. I see that as we draw near, we should do it with a true heart, full of assurance of faith. When accept Christ as your Saviour you have to be true with yourself. You have to know and believe that you are a sinner who deserves Hell. You have to know and believe that you Christ and Christ alone is the only way to Heaven.

The first step in assembling is association by salvation. Yes, I know and I believe that everyone who goes to church isn’t saved. For 27 years, I was one of those unsaved church goers. Judas Iscariot served alongside Jesus Christ Himself, yet still was lost. When I look for a church to attend, I want to assemble with people who are saved followers of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is our job to witness and and lead people to Christ but I believe church is for the fellowship of the believers. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When looking for a church, the first thing you should look for is how the church presents the Gospel. You need to look for a church that presents the Gospel biblically, that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. Because this is how I believe, why would I attend a church that believes different? Why would I attend a church that believes that salvation is through baptism or that good works are the way to Heaven? Why would I attend a church that believes if I give my life to Christ, I will be saved?

If I am going to be a part of a church, I want to make sure it lines up with what the Bible says about salvation. The Gospel presentation that a church endorses should be Biblical and line up with the Scriptures with no man-made guideline in the presentation. I want to make sure that I am associated with a church that believes salvation is through Christ alone!

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23 In the next verse, I see what I call our association by stand. The church you attend and the stand it takes helps define you. When I talk about the term ‘stand’ I am talking about the stand a church takes on separation from the world, the stand a church takes doctrinally. It is like that old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I want to be a part of a church that takes a stand for right, that takes a stand against wrong. A church that takes a biblical stand on separation and standards we should live by. It is alright to have guidelines and rules in place in your life to help protect you from the evil and the wickedness of this world. I want to attend a church and surround myself with people who are living a separated life and standing against wrong also. Now, I do not believe that everyone that even attends my church lives a separated life according to the Bible, and if we were all honest with ourselves, we all have room to grow. But I know that I am able to go to church and for the most part escape the world and its influence because of the type of church members that also attend.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24 The last thing that I see that we should consider is our association by service. I want to be associated with a church that believes salvation through Christ alone, I want to be associated with a church that stands for right and stands against wrong. Lastly, I want to be associated with a church that has a desire and a heart for serving others. What good is a church if it isn’t concerned about reaching others for Christ and being a blessing to those in its community? I want to be surrounded by people with a heart of loving and serving others. A church that is concerned with loving, serving and witnessing to others is a church that is growing. Find a church that will provoke or stir you up and encourage you to love and serve others. Each one of us individually also need to encourage those around us to serve and be a witness.

Where we go to church matters! I have stated it in previous posts that I am an Independent Baptist and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But in choosing which Independent Baptist church I am going to attend and be a member of, I want to make sure my association with that church is Biblically correct in salvation, stand and service.

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When To Leave A Church?

Because I know I have family and friends who read my blog, which I am thankful for, I want to preface this blog by saying that this isn’t pointed at anyone. Due to recent events and circumstances, I have developed a checklist, if you will, of when to leave or not leave a church. This is an area that God dealing with me on. Yes, I want to move back to Colorado, but why? If church is one of the most important things in my life, I need to make sure that I am in the church that God wants me in. Whether it is here in Mississippi, or back in Colorado, or elsewhere.

“Why would you leave the church over 5% you don’t agree with, when you agree with 95%?” I have heard this statement many times and yes, there is some truth to it. It all depends on what that 5% is that you don’t agree with.

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”

I Corinthians 12:18

God has placed you in the church where He wants you to be. There is a reason why you are where you are. There is someone that you are supposed to reach and be a blessing to where you are. If you decide that you know which church is best for you, then you are displeasing God. I think that we should take our church membership seriously.

So let me get into my reasons to leave a church.

These first three reasons are reasons that I won’t hesitate on or waver on. If any one of these happens, I will move on.

When the King James Bible is no longer the ONLY scripture used, then it is time to leave that church. I am King James only. I will never change where I stand on that. If the church or pastor decides to use something other then the King James Bible, I will not wait until the end of the service to leave. Unless it is out of the blue, you can usually tell when a church is getting to the point where it will go to some other book. By then, I probably would have decided to leave.

When the doctrine of salvation is preached as a ‘works’ salvation and not as a ‘believe and you shall be saved’ salvation, then it is time to leave. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. No works or deeds. No baptism of church attendance. No living a good life, or giving your life to Christ. Salvation is ONLY through the blood of Jesus Christ and trusting in Him as your only way to Heaven.

When the doctrine of the Baptist church as found in the King James Bible is changed, then it is time to leave.

These next couple of reasons are things that I would probably try and find out more about, before I made the decision to leave a church.

When the pastor of the church decides to preach in conferences and behind pulpits that are not of like faith (Independent Baptist, King James only.) The reason for this is that if I am attending a church, then I am putting my stamp of approval on that pastor. For him to preach for other denominations that I don’t doctrinally agree with, in my mind, I would be putting my stamp of approval on that denomination also.

When it is known that the church leadership is trying to cover up something done by a church employee that is legally and morally wrong, then it is time to leave. It is sad that this even has to be said, but in this day in age, I am afraid it goes on more than we can imagine.

Then lastly, here are some reasons that have to deal with personal beliefs.

When you are asked to put the church before your family, I would pray about what God would have me do. The family is the first institution that God created. How can we be that effective in ministry if we let our own family go by the wayside. One should never be looked down or disrespected in any way if they choose their family over extra-curricular church activities. I am not saying that you choose family over church attendance and over doing what is right according to the Bible.

When the church standards, fall below the standards that are set for us in the Word of God. When it becomes acceptable to look, live, and talk like the world and there is no call to be separate and no call to be different, I would start to look and pray about going someplace that will push myself and my family to be better Christians.

And the last reason to leave a church…

When you know that it is God’s will to leave. God will let you know when it is time to leave and where you are supposed to go. As mentioned before, He has placed you where He wants you. We should have a close walk with Him, that we know when He is calling us elsewhere to serve Him.

If you do end up leaving a church, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

  • Do your best to leave on good terms, no matter the circumstances.
  • You should never speak poorly about the church you came from. Your complaints with the previous church and pastor are YOUR complaints, you don’t need to share with everyone.
  • The new church you are attending should be that of like or stronger doctrine and convictions.

If we sit down and think about it, we can come up with many reasons why we should leave a church and many of them would probably be valid points. But one thing I have realized recently is that the less that I am involved in at church, the more critical and discontent I become. When you are busy serving the Lord and obeying the Word of God, you have less time to nitpick and point out every little mistake there may be.

Don’t be looking for every little way out! Get in and serve! Stay busy and let God use you! He placed you there for a purpose and a reason!

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