Jesus was killed outside the gates of Jerusalem (the camp) and that is where He will be found, today.Inside the camp, are all the world systems and Jesus has nothing to do with the political, religious, commercial or military systems of the world. He is not found in them for they do not bow down to the King of Heaven. Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
1) Is it necessary for believers to gather in local churches with others in local assemblies? Is this commanded in the scriptures? Is this considered the normal christian life and assumed to be so by the apostles and early church fathers? Please provide backup if you can.2) If believers choose to not do this or make no effort to do this what are they really missing out on, if anything? In other words, what difference does it make?3) Is a christian wrong or disobedient or deceived or in rebellion or any such thing when they state that it is not necessary to "go to church" to be a healthy, Christ honoring christian?4) If they are wrong in stating such things then why are they wrong, or again, does it really matter?5) Can a christian be just as vital and healthy in their walk with Christ by having no regular real life contact with other believers in a mutually submissive and mutually accountable "local church" lifestyle?
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
That is true Greg. Godly relationships are more important than sermons without relationships.
Agreed J. Our Walk With Jesus is one of relationship. Our walk with one another should be one of relationship. Thiugh it remains to the Holy Spirit to work that out in our lives.
It sure does, Bear. It does not always work out that way, but then we always have Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.
"Theologically, the church does not need temples. Church buildings are not essential to the true nature of the church. For the meaning of the tabernacle is God's habitation, and God already dwells within the human community of Christian believers. The people are the temple and the tabernacle... Thus, theologically church buildings are superfluous. They are not needed for priestly functions because all believers are priests and all have direct access, at whatever time and place, to the one great high priest. A church building cannot properly be "the Lord's house" because in the new covenant this title is reserved for the church as people (Eph. 2; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 10:21). A church building cannot be a "holy place" in any special sense, for holy places no longer exist. Christianity has no holy places, only holy people." Howard A. Snyder, The Problem of Wineskins, Chapter 4"Amen
Amen! Stain glass windows have no power over the powers of darkness.
This is true the people are Gods tabernacle...so what does that look like exactly? God will dwell individually within a new born believer but how can that believer experience the same corporate filling of the new covenant tabernacle (the church) if a believer is not part of a local church (regardless of what kind of buildings they meet in)?And if a gathering in a house is better than in a traditional building, why aren't people rushing to start and fill house churches everywhere? Why aren't all wholehearted believers a part of active and vibrant house churches? Are they ALL going through solo seasons? For years? Really? We are talking about tens of millions of people who love the Lord and are no longer regularly attending a local church of ANY description.Something other than merely a change of containers (a house) is needed if we are serious about getting back to what Jesus had in mind when He said that He would build His church, against which the gates of hell would have no affect. Tens of millions of disenfranchised christians, all with some kind of reason why they are that way. Something is very, very wrong with this picture brothers and sisters. And what is equally disturbing is that so few even think this matters. I rarely if ever read about this on social media or forums, it just doesn't seem to be that important.Perhaps the biggest issue is that the love of many has grown cold. People just don't want the hassle anymore, the hassle of being made uncomfortable by getting involved and loving one another in a way that often becomes messy and can hurt. There is no other way. If we want to become active and vibrant members of His body, then it will involve great sacrifice and getting over ourselves and learning to love others regardless of how different they are and what they believe. Love covers a multitude of sins (faults) and so it is reasonable to suggest that if I am unwilling to form real life relationships with other believers in regular, ongoing fellowship, then perhaps it is because I just do not know how to get along with others (read: always getting offended and/or always wanting my own way and/or always wanting to be right or to be heard).So these are my thoughts for tonight. In a nutshell I sense that the great departure of saints from active church involvement is directly related to our love for one another growing deathly cold. In short, we need revival!!!
Awakened, good thoughts.House churches must be real koinonia fellowships or they are no better than brick and mortar church in a box. Just smaller boxes. When His people gather small, gather in homes, throwing off the yoke of what you call "traditional church", and living in Jesus' way and living out the NT life in the NT way, a change happens more deeply than the address. There is a quickening, a life-input from God. God is faithful to help His people in these meetings to be patient and merciful about those believers who do not yet or will never see.
Brethren A.W. Tozer wrote a classic article entitled, "The Saint Must Walk Alone". Whereas Christian Fellowship is desirable. It is even encouraged. In the religious structure and environment of our day, Christ centered fellowship is often an impossibility for those of us that walk in the wilderness. Oftentimes fellowship is grabbed with fellow believers as you walk with them through the wilderness. Such Fellowship maybe for a Time. But it is welcome and it is a blessing. Such Tozer described in his classic article.If I remember in my readings of Pilgrims Progress, Christian often got his fellowship with those he met along the journey. Primarily with the brother faithful. For many of us that travel in the wilderness. Our fellowship does come with those ones and twos we meet along the way.Simply my thoughts.Brother Blaine