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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Withstand In The Evil Day

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:10-13

It is time for Christians to wake up and realize we are living in an evil day! We are living in a time when God is being thrown out of the courthouse, the schoolhouse, the family’s house and even the church house! We are living in a day when sin is so prevalent it is normal and accepted! We are living in an evil day where righteousness is frowned upon and wickedness is uplifted!

What happened to our will, our desire, our passion to stand and fight! Do you realize that your life and your child’s life is at stake here? Satan is doing everything he can to destroy Christianity and things of Christ, and we are sitting here allowing him to!

It is time we realize that we are in the fight of our lives! It is time that we stand up for what is right! Stand against what is wrong! Stop letting the world and the devil control what we do and say!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about doubling down on our Christianity. About becoming more zealous and fervent for what is right! The worldly crowd is getting louder and louder while we get quieter and quieter. I was thinking about this, are they getting louder because more and more ‘Christians’ are joining them? Just a thought…

I want to take one phrase from the verses above, “…that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,…” Withstand means to stand up against:oppose with firm determination, to resist successfully; to be proof against: resist the effect of; to stop or obstruct the course of. We need to withstand in the evil day. We need to oppose, we need to resist, we need to stop and obstruct wickedness.

The preparation to withstand. To be able to withstand, we have to be prepared. How do we prepare? By putting on the armour of God. We see that God gives us the armour to put on in the following verses. This armour protects everything we need from head to foot. If we forget even one item, we are at risk of being defeated by Satan. He starts with the girdle of truth, that is why it is important to be honest in everything we say and do! He then goes to the breastplate of righteousness. The piece that covers your heart. We need to have a righteous and clean heart before God. The we are told to cover our feet with the gospel of peace, be a soul winner, be a witness for Christ. Then we are to take the shield of faith, realizing that we are not in this fight alone. Then the helmet of salvation. It doesn’t matter if you know everything about Christianity but don’t know the Christ that saves you. Without salvation, you will never be able to fight Satan like you should. Then we are to ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. It is important to read, study, meditate and memorize the Bible as it is our only weapon of attack. Be prepared everyday to withstand the wiles of the devil, to be able to withstand Satan’s attack!

The performance of withstanding. When should we withstand? Easy, whenever wrong presents itself. We live in such a day when we are worried about who we will offend. Have we thought about how much we are offending God when we give into the world and into the ways of Satan. We have too many Christians sitting on the sidelines watching the fight, we need more Christians to stand up for Christ and get in the fight. The Christian life isn’t no tea party, it is a battle, it is a fight! Let’s not give into the Satan and his wicked ways! Let’s learn to say no! Let’s learn to turn from wickedness! Let’s learn to be bold about our faith and what is right according to the Bible. Whether you are standing alone or with a crowd, as long as you are standing for right, continue to stand!

The progression of withstanding. I was thinking about when would be the time to stop standing, and there is no time to stop standing. When we think we can stand no more, stand. When we think the fight is won, stand. Too often, we quit too soon, we give up, we stop…we have to keep pressing forward and continue fighting! We have to continue to progress in our fight, if we stop, we will regress. It is going to be tough. It is going to be hard, but that is when we need to rely on God to carry us through! We cannot fight the battle against Satan and the wickedness of this world without Christ! We need to progress and go forward in our walk with God, in our service for Christ! We need to withstand no matter what!

Be one who withstands in the evil day! Don’t give in or give up!

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Don’t Just Stand Up, STAND OUT

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”

II Corinthians 6:17

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

I Peter 2:9

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I have heard many times that we should stand up if we are Christians!

Stand up and fight for the faith!

Stand up and be proud of who you are as a Christian!

I have heard that life is a battle and we must stand and fight for what’s right and holy!

I totally agree with all the above and that we need to stand up for our faith, but I think it is time that we go back to standing a different way and that is STAND OUT!

What do I mean by standing out?? Well I believe that we should stand out and be different from the world. People should look at us and say, “there is something different about that person.” “That person has something that I don’t have.”

As time moves on, it is getting harder and harder to tell who is a Christian and who isn’t…even in our churches.

God has called us to come out from among them, meaning the world. He has called us to be separated from the world. God has told us to touch not the unclean thing of the world, to not partake in worldly activities.

God has also called us to be a peculiar people. That word ‘peculiar’ means strange or odd, unusual. If we live our lives according to the Word of God, we are strange people, we are odd people and we do things that may seem unusual to those around us.

STAND OUT IN YOUR DOINGS

What do I mean by this? The difference between a worldly person and a servant of Christ should be this… Most worldly people are concerned with themselves, how much money they can make, how high they can climb the corporate ladder, and how they can gain more assets. There is nothing wrong with these things, but as a Christian, they shouldn’t be our main goal. Our goal should be serving Christ, by serving others. Serving Christ, by witnessing to others. Our goal should be to have a close relationship with God.

Our duties should be centered around the Saviour and not around self. Too many Christians are focused on what they can do for themselves, instead of what they can do for Christ. Which is why, no one can tell the difference between you and the world. Your focus and your desire and your goals are exactly like that of the lost person who is trying to build his career. I promise you that if you focus on doing more for Christ, He will bless your career.

STAND OUT IN YOUR DRESS

This is a touchy subject that I don’t hear a lot about anymore in churches…but it is still in the Bible. Our dress should be different than that of the world. We should try to dress modest at all times, especially in public. It is sad when you can walk into a church and people are dressed like they are at the club or at Walmart. What happened to looking presentable for Christ? What happened to wearing your best on Sundays?

Neither man nor woman should wear tight fitting apparel that makes the opposite sex lust after you.

The Bible still says “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5 What I find interesting about this verse is the order that God puts it in. He talks about the woman wearing man’s garments before He talks about men wearing women’s garments. As a society, we have become acceptable of woman wearing men’s garments, so why should we even be surprised that we are living in a time where men wearing women’s garments is accepted. We have allowed it to get this far!

We aren’t called to fit into the world, we called to come out and be separate! This area of dressing according to the Bible is an area that is becoming less and less talked about and you can’t tell a difference between Christians and non-Christians in dress anymore.

Don’t conform to this world! Stand out! Be a Christian! Be different!!

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