Why the Church Gathers
Last week, we began our study into why the church gathers. Understanding why the church gathers is important for everyone who is a Christian. It’s important because action without purpose is vain. There must be an interaction of the will and heart of a person in order for there to be any meaning attached. To blindly gather with the church by ritual rote only means that your heart is not in it. And if your heart is not in it in the sense of there being a sense of importance attached to assembling with the church, we can find ourselves falling into that same kind of empty worship that Israel experienced and many people in the church experience today.
We saw that evangelism is not the main purpose of the church gathering. It is not to cram as many people in the front door as we possibly can. Evangelism is a byproduct of the church gathering, not the focus. Though we should preach to the unconverted in a congregation, that is not the main thrust. This is something that is important because by making evangelism the main purpose of the church gathering, we then fall on methods that do not help the church but harm her.
Last week, we said that there were five reasons, five pillars, of why the church gathers. Took a look at two of those reasons. So let’s do a recap of those two reasons.
The number one reason why the church gathers is that God commands it. This reason undergirds all the rest of the reasons that will be listed. It is the cornerstone on which every other reason rests. The number one reason why the church gathers is that it’s commanded in Scripture (Hebrews 10: 24-25).
There is a lot of talk about the love of God in the church but it’s based on fluff, not substance. If we truly love the Lord then we will keep his commandments (John 14:15, John 15:10). Notice that the Lord didn’t say anything about how you felt in terms of loving Him. He simply said if you truly love Him, this is what you will do. Loving God is not only about what you feel on the inside but more so it is about what you do on the outside.
Not only will we keep his commandments believe will encourage others to do so. This is the thrust of Hebrews 10:24, so that we can provoke one another do good works. Your presence within the body of Christ at the church gathering is important because it allows people to bless you. It is not that that’s the reason why you should come is simply to get a blessing. But to be a blessing in the reality that others are able to bless you because it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
If you are not active in your church and the only thing that you do is sit there like a bump on a log, that’s a problem, but it’s better than not showing up at all. If that’s all you have to give at the moment then give yourself in presence. That means we don’t sit at home watching it on a television screen. We actually enter act and have communication in person face to face with other believers. I’ll elaborate on this later on in the series.
Gathering with the church is a form of spiritual warfare. The last thing the enemy wants is for you to be in the gathering of holy people with a holy atmosphere and holy ordinances to promote more holiness in you. The last thing the enemy wants is for you to be in the midst of the people who have pledged their unadulterated allegiance to the Almighty God. Your commitment to getting up and gathering with the church is a proclamation to the principalities and powers that you are fighting against their influence and pledging your allegiance to the head of the church who is Christ (Ephesians 5: 23).
The second reason the church gathers is to hear the teaching of God. When the Bible speaks, God speaks. The teaching and exposition of the word of God is biblical and mandated by God in the call of the church (Matthew 28:19). This means that there is an actual teaching by a teacher whom God has placed in the body to minister to the Saints (Ephesians 4:12, Titus 2:1). Jesus was a teacher and a preacher. He preached sermons. He taught his disciples. He unfolded and explained the Scriptures to them. And it’s important to understand that he only did that with his disciples and not unbelievers. What he told unbelievers to do was repent and believe the gospel. But understanding was only given to believers and he would explain that to them (Matthew 13:10-11).
There should be an expectation from the church to hear from God at every church gathering. If you are saying that you don’t hear from God then you are not paying attention. Again, when the Bible speaks, God speaks. In addition to that, when the man of God speaks from the word and teaches correctly from the word, God is speaking. Therefore, if all you’re getting is motivational speeches, pithy little anecdotes, and personal stories, you’re not hearing from God. You’re hearing from man.
Today, we’re going to take a look at another reason why the church gathers or assembles.: to worship the triune God.
Join us at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612. Our tune in right here (https://www.facebook.com/david.washington.9083) for the live stream beginning between 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teaching independence in dependence on God.by