Of all the gifts Jesus gave us, He put his stamp of approval on the family and The Church. Both are very similar, Both have imperfect people with problems, that is exactly why they need The Lord and each other. John 13:34,35
In my own life, I first heard the bible preached and taught in my local church. I was baptized in water and received the Holy Spirit in my local church. I attended prayer meetings regularly and served as an usher and cleaned windows and floors, preached my first sermon, all in my local church. I first learned about giving and receiving, attended weddings and funerals all in my local church.
I am sorry to say that many times, people don’t value the company of fellow Christians as they ought – particularly the fellowship of those who believe as they do.
When reading the New Testament from the Book of Acts to Revelation you see the church as a family, here on earth and in heaven. Eph 3:15
In the beginning of the first Church at Jerusalem, Acts 2:1,4 you see believers meeting in prayer together as Jesus instructed Acts 1:14. Luke 24:49. All through the book of Acts the first Church gave us a pattern for today’s local church. Acts 2:41-47
There is something about fellowship with others that believe like you do, it lifts you up and encourages your faith.
We see an example after Peter and John went into the temple, at the temple gate a man was healed. They were questioned by the Sadducees, and Priests, for healing the crippled man and put in custody, they commanded them not to use the Name of Jesus, then released them, Acts 4:18-21. Notice verse 23,…..where they went.
Act 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
Their own company, a group of people who believed together the same teachings Jesus taught them.
Say it with me “their own company”, like your own family, they prayed corporately together in one place Acts 4:31-37. This resulted in a re-filling of the Holy Ghost and they spoke the Word of God with boldness. Unity in prayer and praise brings God’s power down. United or corporate prayer has the strongest anointing and power.
They worshipped and magnified the Lord God, they did not say – “what are we going to do now?” and cry about it, but magnified The Lord, yes, they were persecuted. They did not draw back, but preached boldly the resurrection of Jesus.
When believers come together in unity and love, it is powerful. John writes in 1 John 3:14, we know we have passed from spiritual death, unto to spiritual life because we love the Brethren. Following the biblical pattern of love and fellowship is what Jesus demonstrated, and we are to do likewise. 1 John 1:3, 7 , 1 John 4:20, John 17:21,22,23
You just simply cannot be in fellowship with God and not be in fellowship with other believer’s. Because the head and the body of Christ are one. You cannot separate the two. Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 12:25-27, Eph 5:25,29-33.
Rev. B.B. Hankins used to always say, ” You can tell how you are getting along with God by how you are getting along with people.” if you can’t seem to get along with others because you are always see their faults, then you are really not getting along with God. people have problems and when you get to fellowship with them, you find out their problems. The blood of Jesus cleanses us of all our problems and sins, some just need a heart adjustment.
The Church, which is made up of all believers in Jesus as the Son of God, 1 John 5:10-13, Rom 8:16 both universally or world wide and locally where we live. If you don’t have a church family, who believes like you do, pray and God will direct you to the right one for you. You may have to move near one, because your spiritual well being is eternally important for you and your family. Man’s greatest need is not physical, but spiritual. When you find a church after you prayed, stay connected to it and get involved serving God and one another.
We are called out from among the world, [Ekklesia] – Greek means called out, and called together, we live in the world, but our home is in heaven. 1 John 2:15,16,17, John 17:18. Believer’s go into the world to preach the good news. Jesus spoke and prayed for His disciples John 17, that we would be one family in unity, even as God the father and Jesus are one.
Every believer should willfully put themselves under the care and oversight of a local shepherd, or pastor who they can go to and learn and grow in bible teaching and be serving for a reward in heaven. In today’s life of Internet viewing, some choose to forfeit some of their eternal reward by not attending and serving the Lord in their local church. Gal 5:13, Col 3:23,24, Rev 11:18.
You are not saved because you go to church, you must be born again, John 3:3, 2 Cor 5:17.
Heb 10:25 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.
We should be attending church regularly and serving in our local church as if the Lord could return at any moment, and be inviting others to church. Every time the doors are open we should make every effort to attend. Remember others see our priorities and notice what we do. This is so important to our children, they observe more and know what really is of value in your life.
I once worked at a local hospital in the cardiac monitoring unit, there was an older woman who lived by herself, she was a Christian, one day I asked her what church she attended ? She told me she could not find a local church that she “fit in”. I encouraged her many times and mentioned several great churches near where she lived and even invited her to our church, however she would not change.
Over a period of time, I left that job and later saw another employee who work with us in that unit. She told me that older woman did not show up to work one day, and then after 5 days they finally contacted a relative who went over her house and found her lying on the floor, she suffered from a stroke, she was alive, but very dehydrated and had not taken her medicine in several days. She was later admitted to a nursing home and finally died. If she had belonged to a local fellowship she would have probably had someone check on her welfare regularly. 1 Corn 12:25,26
Each of us has a gifts God has given us to increase the body of Christ. The Church is the body of Christ and cannot function effectively without each other doing our God given part, that is why so much of the work is put on the staff and some get burned out. Eph 4:16 Christians quit, because so many are not functioning in their place, if at all.
God will give you grace to find your place and finish your race. You must take the first step and willingly want to serve Him with all your heart and receive a reward. No one can do the things that God has given you to do, without you it cannot be done. God will not force people to get involved, it is out of a heart of love for God that we want to serve and help one another. It is time to get serving, before He returns soon and do it with joy and love. Deut 28:47
It is so very important to belong to a local church family and fellowship together. No church will ever be perfect or do every thing you like, when we each bring our supply and gifts we can accomplish all the Lord has brought us together to do. With thanksgiving and praise we can glorify Him.
He will give us our eternal reward and what joy when our work is completed down here.
If you want a change in your life now, pray this prayer from your heart,…
Father God, forgive me. If I have not followed your plan for myself in the church, I ask you now, help me to find my place as you direct me, Help me to do it with joy and gladness of heart. Help me to do just what is asked of me exactly as I am asked. if I don’t understand or seem to have a better idea, help me to submit to those in leadership above me and help me to learn and grow and follow the Pastors direction and not my own.
By faith, I now receive your grace and direction to be involved in my local church. Thank you Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen