Why go to church?
Written by Bill Bradford
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and do much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).
One of the major reasons Christ began His Church is that He knew that, since larger numbers would be called, they would have to assemble for their own sake. He said “...I will build my church (His assembly) and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).
There is safety in numbers in this case. The lions and other predators will single out a weak member of the herd and focus on its weakness. When that happens it is at the mercy of the meat eater - not a part of the group anymore - vulnerable, easily brought down. “... your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He knows who is easy pickings. Jesus knew that within His Assembly we would receive exhortation. Love and good works would be stirred up. If we were on our own, would this happen? We need to have the support of others, and this dynamic should be at work within our assemblies according to Christ’s design for His Church.
So when we speak to one another what we have been “taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus,” we should consider one another. This isn’t meddling. It is support for each and every member of the body in a way that exhorts them toward fulfilling their precious calling.
How easy it is to become a loner. It’s so easy to become offended. It’s so easy to get lazy. It’s so easy to think we don’t need the “iron sharpening iron.” It’s easy to think we are independent thinkers and that we don’t need others. We do! Desperately! Christ knew this.
When Jesus was in the garden, He understood He needed three of His closest disciples to be there with Him, not sleeping, but watching with Him. One of the greatest sources of strength is when we know others understand what we are going through. We don’t have to give solutions, simply be there. It’s important to know how to give exhortation - which means comfort, encourage, “stand by” (the person); walk with the person.
The Assembly is the place where you receive the Word of God, not only in the form of the message preached by the speaker, but the Word of God as it lived by and spoken by those of the congregation. The Sabbath is the day of great inspiration if we would only see it as such.
“As you see the day approaching”. The day is approaching rapidly. Now is not the time to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. To lose the sense of the seriousness of the times in which we live with their detrimental effect on us and cease assembling with brethren walking the same path as us, is to succumb to the devil’s work.
Let us be mindful of each other, remember each other, pray for each other, love one another.
". . . I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in . . . the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). In this booklet we examine the fruits Jesus and His apostles said would identify His Church. We look at the contrasting fruits that identify those who are influenced by a different spirit and preach a different gospel. We will learn, not from human tradition or opinion but directly from God's Word, how we can distinguish "the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15) from those who follow "false prophets" in sheep's clothing.