Should we “go” to church?

Here’s the one verse that preachers use today …. for telling people they ought to GO to church:

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. The 1st thing we’ll do …. is examine that verse.

Then, we’ll look at a couple of verses that follow it …. for the context.
The epistle to the Hebrews (that’s the Jews) ….
is placed in the ‘Ages to Come’ section
because it is the beginning of Israel’s New Testament
during the Great Tribulation
just before Christ returns to Earth to set up His Kingdom.
True believers …. at that time …. will be fearful of meeting together
because of the persecution against them — by the religious crowd:
Luke 21:9-12 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not
terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and
by.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom
against kingdom:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences;
and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute
you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought
before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Jesus promised His presence among even a couple who joined together:
Matt 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.
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They won’t even be able to trust their own families. Their very lives
will be at stake. Betrayal will run deep …. even among blood relatives:
Matt 10:21-23 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death,
and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents,
and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that
endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily
I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son
of man be come.
Yet Jesus gave them hope of the ‘after-life’ — after physical death:
Matt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill
the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in
hell.
After Jesus’ crucifixion, His disciples were fearful of meeting in public:
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the
week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled
for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and
saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Christ’s little flock of believers were even then being hunted and run down:
Acts 8:1,3 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time
there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;
and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and
Samaria, except the apostles.
3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house,
and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Believers in Jesus were understandably afraid of open assemblies:
Acts 9:1,2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter
against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he
found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring
them bound unto Jerusalem.
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As it was then, it will be magnified worse during the Tribulation. God
will reward those who band together … give aid and comfort to each other:
Matt 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave
me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee
an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed
thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye
have done it unto me.
The opposite of that – are the ones who profess but don’t back it up …
they will get the judgment of everlasting punishment (Matt 25:41-46).
James describes the same situation:
James 2:14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and
filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to
the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Tribulation Saints will be stalked … and if caught, they’ll suffer greatly. As
the day of the Lord approaches (Heb 10:25), they must help one another:
Rev 13:16,17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor,
free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the
name of the beast, or the number of his name.
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In the United States ….
we have the precious, religious freedom of worship.
In public places, here in America ….
We don’t have to be scared of being ‘found out’
that we’re a believer in Jesus Christ.
We can pray to the Lord.
We can sing hymns and songs of praise to God.
We can assemble together to study the Bible.
Therefore, it behooves us to take full advantage of these liberties!
They are special treasures …. that not all saints get to enjoy!
Next, let’s get the CONTEXT of Heb 10:25,
by reading it …. with the 2 verses that follow it:
Heb 10:25-27 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.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge
of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries.
Wonder if the same preachers who say verse 25 applies to you today
…. would want verses 26 and 27 also?
I don’t think so!
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Another point to learn is this:
The ‘CHURCH’ is not somewhere you ‘GO’ ….
Rather …. the ‘CHURCH’ is ‘WHO’ you ‘ARE’!
The BODY of Christ is ‘WHO’ the church now ‘IS’:
Col 1:18 And he (that is God’s Dear Son — from verse 12) is the
head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from
the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Jesus Christ is the HEAD of the church:
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the
head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Organized religion teaches you to JOIN a church by water baptism.
We become members by baptism, all right – but NOT by WATER baptism.
God’s SPIRIT — not a preacher — performs our baptism:
1 Cor 12:12-14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all
the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be
Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to
drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
The Bible teaches that saved people …. ARE the Body of Christ
and members of the church:
1 Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
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You don’t have to ‘JOIN’ it …. you can’t be ‘VOTED’ in — or out!
GOD makes you a member of the church ….
when you believe the gospel of His Son.
So …. now that we’re ‘in’ the church —
let’s see how we ought to CONDUCT ourselves ‘in’ the church.
1 Thess 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort
you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk
and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
When Paul the apostle mentioned his pending trip to Ephesus,
he encouraged Timothy (the bishop there) to set a faithful standard:
1 Tim 3:14,15 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee
shortly:
15 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.
The ‘house of God’ is not a building …. it’s US, individually and corporately:
1 Cor 6:19,20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your
own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and
in your spirit, which are God’s.
Since the ‘church’ is who we are ….
and not some place we ‘go’ a few times during the week ….
these issues are things for us to follow in our every-day lives:
1 Tim 4:12,13 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of
the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
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We need to be careful that the teachings we believe and promote are right:
1 Tim 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in
them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
God designed for the DOCTRINE to be
what GATHERS us together ‘in’ the church:
1 Cor 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions
among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind
and in the same judgment.
We come together …. ‘as’ the church …. to rejoice in the message of liberty
we have — and to study the scriptures with the same understanding:
Phil 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,
being of one accord, of one mind.
One thing that could JOIN professing Christians ….
would be to acknowledge Paul’s God-given authority ….
as the official spokesman ….
for the dispensation of grace ….
under which we now live.
If we would but follow Paul, as God commands us in the scriptures ….
(even 3 distinct times, as 1 Cor 4:16, 1 Cor 11:1, and this next verse) ….
then we would have alliance ‘in’ the church:
Phil 3:16,17 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk
by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me (Paul), and mark them which
walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
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To recognize the 7 ‘one’ things of God — including the ‘one’ baptism —
would bring ‘agreement’ in the church ….
and help us treat each other as we should:
Eph 4:2-6 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing
one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope
of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in
you all.
We are edified, built up by gathering with like-minded believers:
Rom 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual
faith both of you and me.
It is God’s plan for faithful men to govern the church:
1 Cor 4:1,2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and
stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
They are to focus on the doctrine God entrusted to Paul:
2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses,
the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach
others also.
Those men who are delegated to supervise are called ‘elders’.
Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order
the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed
thee:
The title of a preacher-man ‘in’ the church …. for the dispensation of
grace — is specifically termed a ‘bishop’ — not as traditionally — a ‘pastor’.
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He should concentrate on preaching ‘sound doctrine’ ….
which is ‘according to the revelation of the mystery’ given to Paul:
Tit 1:6-9 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful
children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled,
not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he
may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the
gainsayers.
God’s method of supervision ‘in’ the church …. is correctly called a bishop:
1 Tim 3:1-5 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop,
he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober,
of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a
brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with
all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care
of the church of God?)
The other office ‘in the church’ that God wants filled with faithful men
…. is that of a ‘deacon’. Again here, ‘the mystery’ revelation is an issue:
1 Tim 3:8,9 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not
given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
When Paul wrote to the Philippian saints ….
he named the 2 ‘offices’ that God set up to be ‘positions’ in the church:
Phil 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the
saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
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We should respect the men who direct the affairs of the church ….
those older men who make decisions and administer godly counsel:
1 Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double
honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
We should soothe and encourage each other in the church and
make it easy for our church elders to lead us:
1 Thess 5:11-13 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one
another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you,
and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And
be at peace among yourselves.
We ought to yield to those who serve us:
1 Cor 16:15,16 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of
Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted
themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth
with us, and laboureth.
We should happily enjoy Godly music when we are gathered together:
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching
and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Fellow saints in the church should be as dear to us as our immediate family
1 Tim 5:1-3 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father;
and the younger men as brethren;
2 The elder women as mothers;
the younger (that is, naturally, younger women) as sisters, with all purity.
3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.
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God issued responsibilities for each of these ‘church family’ groups:
Tit 2:1-6 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity,
in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands,
to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own
husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
We should be personally responsibile for our behavior. God doesn’t
remove our sinful habits from us …. He tells US to stop them ourselves ….
so don’t pray and wait for God to ‘take it away’:
2 Cor 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness
in the fear of God.
2 Tim 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a
vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared
unto every good work.
We ought to sacrifice for those less fortunate than us, to edify them:
Rom 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the
weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
We looked at some things we SHOULD do ‘in’ the church.
Now, let’s see some things we SHOULDN’t do:
We ought not support dead-beats.
It takes money to live, personally — and to operate the church, corporately.
The means of having funds – is having a JOB …. so you can get paid:
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2 Thess 3:6-10 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that
walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves
disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour
and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample
unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any
would not work, neither should he eat.
We should not pal around with ungodly people who claim to be saints:
1 Cor 5:11-13 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if
any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater,
or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to
eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye
judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from
among yourselves that wicked person.
We should not participate with religious folks who wrest the scriptures:
Rom 16:17,18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned;
and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own
belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the
simple.
It is a SHAME that people ‘are’ … or ‘were’ … more ATTENTIVE
to FALSE DOCTRINE and RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS —
than they are to the TRUTH of SOUND DOCTRINE:
2 Tim 3:13,14 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been
assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
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Those ‘things’ would be the ‘mystery message’ God committed to Paul.
We ought to SUPPORT ‘THAT’ TRUTH ….
with our presence …. with our time
— by faithfully attending the preaching of it
as we ‘study’ together:
2 Tim 2:15,16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more
ungodliness.
It is the SOUND DOCTRINE of ‘GRACE’ ….
that TEACHES us —
and that we should teach:
Tit 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to
all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
In conculsion, we should make both
a PERSONAL effort
and a CORPORATE effort
…. as the CHURCH we are ….
to give out the clear gospel that saves
and the understanding of right division.
This is David Dowell, saying, “Think about it!”
Copyright © 2007 The Magnified Word All rights reserved

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