Faith Column: Some assembly required
November 6, 2015
As a pastor, it is common to hear from Christians the reasons why it is not necessary for them to attend church regularly. I believe many if not most Christians have the wrong concept of the purpose and significance of gathering together.
We commonly hear the cry that we do not need to go to church to have a relationship with God, or to worship God. It is certainly true that we do not need to be standing in a church building in order to access and worship God. Jesus' blood on the cross has opened for each of us a way directly into the presence of God and He tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace.
This is a staggering privilege of the new covenant believer, and it is not geographically dependent. The Spirit of God in the book of Hebrews lays out the advantages of the new covenant over the old covenant. Afterward, in chapter 10 and verses 19 to 25, He says "therefore," and lists some important action points for new covenant believers.
He says 1) Let us draw near to God, 2) Let us hold fast to our confession, 3) Let us stir one another up to love and good works, and 4) Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together especially as you see the day approaching.
In God's mind assembling together as believers is not an option, but is a requirement. Did you ever order something from the store and it comes in a box that says "some assembly required." All the parts are there, but until they are properly assembled, the functionality of that thing will not be realized. This is true in God's concept of the church.
It is important to know that the church is not a building, but an assembly of people. The word translated church in the new testament is a Greek word that means a calling out from the home, a public assembly, or a popular meeting.
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In bible times it referred to an important city meeting called for the purpose of business. It was actually not a Hebrew concept, but Jesus used the word for the first time in Matt 16:18 when He said "I will build my church…" Jesus is saying that the church by definition is a calling out from the home, for an assembling, for the purpose of transacting His kingdom business.
By definition then, we could not "have church at home" because the word means a calling out from the home to assemble together for business. Of course, worship is a significant part of what we do when we gather together because it is always fitting to minister to the Lord before we begin to receive from Him.
Just as important as the assembling is the connection and the unity that allows every part to reach its potential and the entire body to receive synergistic power. It was God who said that one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand. There is multiplied power in agreement.
The purpose of the church can be like a military base because God has a mission and He has chosen to use people to carry it out. Of necessity, there is instruction, training, equipping, discipline, brotherhood, mission and much more.
Recent statistics are showing that even faithful churchgoers do not go to church every week anymore. Those that used to go every week now go once to twice a month. Our military would not be effective if they only met together once or twice a month. Our local sports teams meet to practice multiple times per week in order to come together and be organized and in unity upon the game plan.
You cannot really build anything significant in this earth with intermittent commitment. Now we can see why the church is losing ground in our culture and in our generation. In order to be trained, to be unified, to be strengthened to carry out God's plans, it is necessary to gather together regularly. Even with God, some assembly is required.
Did you ever see a picture of the earth at night taken from one of the satellites? You can see all of the major cities as lights scattered across the globe. From outer space you can see the major city's lights because there are so many of them in close proximity. Did you know that Jesus said the church is like a lamp stand. The purpose of a lamp stand is to shed light in the midst of the darkness.
Jason Haskell is the Sr. Pastor at New Creation Church in Craig.Jason Haskell is the Sr. Pastor at New Creation Church in Craig. Jason Haskell is the Sr. Pastor at New Creation Church in Craig.