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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : NOT FORSAKING

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Onesimus4God
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Joined: 2006/1/16
Posts: 329
Pinson, Alabama, USA

 NOT FORSAKING

NOT FORSAKING

And now, the ever famous……..

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.

A few days ago, I was in a brief dialog with my old friend Kevin Smith, and the discussion was this verse above. He said something to the effect of “what are we assembling” when we come together. This just grabbed a hold of my mind and thoughts began to roll around. They have not subsided. So I’m finally giving in and jotting some down.

So a congregation needs a place to congregate or assemble. Question is, what are you assembling? When the assembly is complete what can you expect to see? What is the purpose of the assembly, as a whole functioning unit?

I think he mentioned something about a jig saw puzzle when we were dialoging. That got my wheels turning. Jigsaw puzzles usually come in a box. Inside are the pieces. If there are 150 pieces to the puzzle, you except them all to be in the box when you get it. How annoying when you get to the end the assembly, and you find there are 3 pieces missing.
On each piece there is a different part of the puzzle picture printed on it. All the pieces must be on hand and properly fit together for others to see the completed picture, once properly assembled. No two pieces fit the same space. Outside the box is the picture. The picture of what the pieces are to look like once assembled. If there is no picture, then the task of assembly is much more difficult.
So the person(s) putting the puzzle together need a large table to put the puzzle together on. Large enough so they can dump all the pieces out on it, turn them all printed side up, and then the process begins. This process, is the hard part. Finding where each part fits in, with all the rest of the pieces. If all the pieces stay in the box, you have a box with lots of pieces, but from a distance, it looks like a pile of rubble. With patience and time, one fits the pieces together, piece by piece. Small areas of the puzzle (congregations of properly fitted pieces) begin to emerge in fit together. Some find it easy to start with the corner pieces, and work from there. Or the edge pieces, and form the outline. It is exciting and gratifying, each time one finds a piece that fits perfectly together with another piece. To the passer by, it may not look like much. But the those putting it together, it is a work in progress.
Finally the big day arrives and all the pieces are in the picture, fit together perfectly, and the whole thing can be viewed and appreciated.

So, then I began to wonder, what would happen if someone took some pieces from some other puzzle whose pieces were about the same size, and put them in the box of pieces, that were NOT part of the puzzle? What a mess that would be. Oh they might think it amusing, but the person(s) trying to get things assembled, would be quite distressed, and their sense of accomplishment disturbed by such espionage.
If you get to the end of the puzzle, and find one piece missing, the person(s) working on completing it will turn on lights and get down on the floor etc, and search for the missing piece. Oh the glee when the missing piece is found and inserted into it’s unique place completing the puzzle. If the puzzle piece is lost, the hole that is left, just cannot be filled by any other puzzle piece from any other puzzle. The disappointment by the assembler(s) cannot be contained.

Churches are like that somewhat. They are a collection of unique pieces in a box. But if they remain in the box, others do not get to see what the completed picture looks like. The community never really gets a view of what HIS BODY looks like, unless someone is able to spread the pieces out, and find the unique void that each piece is created to fill, and assign that piece where it fits in with all the others. Remember, before you get started, if you have a picture of what the completed work looks like, you are at a great advantage. The picture of completeness and fullness is JESUS CHRIST. As the parts begin to fit together, each one adding value to the other, an image begins to emerge and others began to recognize it. The more pieces assembled in their proper place, the more of the image is recognized and appreciated. Let one piece try to be any other piece and the image is marred. Yikes.

The thing is, no matter the competence of the person(s) assembling the church; if there are pieces MISSING, their success is hindered, if not crippled.

Which piece in the puzzle box is non-essential to the overall grandeur of the completed image? Not one. And so it is with the Body of CHRIST. When you’re not present…….well, it’s just not what it could be.

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 call is to come together, and let the HOLY SPIRIT guide you to your particular place in the body that ONLY YOU can fill. You’re one of a kind. Calling someone to assemble a 500 piece puzzle, and you only give them 14 pieces, and you’ve assigned them an impossible task. You, as a puzzle piece, are either part of their success, or part of their futility. Which will you be? There are a lot of empty spaces these days in assemblies. But there is only one spot in HIS Body where you will fit. You must be present, or you may miss HIS Body altogether. Don’t let that be you………

Lahry Sibley 7-25-21


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Lahry Sibley

 2021/7/25 10:14Profile
Onesimus4God
Member



Joined: 2006/1/16
Posts: 329
Pinson, Alabama, USA

 Re: NOT FORSAKING

Just ran across this one.....

“What Our Gathering Together Is & What it is Not”
Staunch defenders of churchanity are quick to point to Paul’s exhortation to “Forsake not the gathering of ourselves together” when defending their claim that believers must go to a church, faithfully attend a church or belong to a church. They see this verse as a divine imperative and habitually refer to it as an infallible proof-text in support of their position. But their habitual use of this “go to” verse emphasizing the importance they place upon church commitment conveniently overlooks several serious errors.
1. First on all, it does not specify where this gathering together is supposed to take place. Since the early church for the first 300 years didn’t meet in church buildings or in temples made with hands, just where were the saints supposed to gather together? We know that they met in houses and in the open-air colonnade called “Solomon’s Porch” surrounding the outer walls of the temple complex for teaching but nothing is said or implied that it was to be a meeting in a temple, synagogue, cathedral or officially designated church structure. So, trying to defend the mandatory necessity to gather in a church building is little more than a house of cards. Our “gathering” could be in a home, the marketplace, a coffee-shop, a garage or by the seashore for that matter.
2. Secondly, this verse says nothing about what we should be doing when we gather together. Those who staunchly defend the building-oriented model of the church would have you believe that our gathering together would generally include an opening prayer, a staged worship service, church announcements, taking up a tithe offering, a lecture style sermon to a passive audience and occasionally an altar call or communion service. But none of this is found in the N.T. as church service requirements. I won’t even get into all the manmade liturgies and religious rituals we have added on over the centuries. In fact, if early Christians were to attend one of our typical services, they would be dumbfounded about what we called church.
Acts 2:42 & 46 is the seminal verse describing the nature of that gathering together; “And they continued steadfastly together in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in breaking of bread (eating meals together), and in prayers….So they continued in the temple (“Solomon’s Porch” - not the temple building itself because it was strictly off limits to anyone but the Levitical Priesthood), and breaking bread from house to house…” Their meeting seemed to be organic and fluid and not restricted to a set place at a set time on a set day. Rather than being a weekly, staged spectator event, the early church was largely spontaneous, interactive and participatory. (See I Cor. 14:26) It was about quality not quantity.
As I have said before, nowhere in the Bible does God describe the New Testament church as: “God’s holy people going to a holy building for a holy length of time on a holy day at a holy hour to act holy by participating in holy rituals during a holy service with a holy schedule and give a holy amount of money to pay a holy salary to a holy man to perform holy duties and God is orchestrating it all from His holy headquarters every Sunday.”
3. The third major flaw with this verse concerns the actual number of those who are gathering together. Just how many people have to gather together to constitute a true, authentic, bona fide church gathering? Those who try to use this verse as a proof-text to establish our need to attend a church building packed with people are in error. Are we to gather in the 1,000’s, 100’s, or 20’s to constitute a legitimate gathering together? Would 250 be enough? How about 100? Would 50 make the cut? How about 37, 23, 14, 0r 7? The only place I can find where a number is used in conjunction with our gathering together is when Jesus stated, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” - (Matt. 13:20) Our gathering together doesn’t get any better than that whether it includes only 2 or 3 or 34.
4. Scripturally speaking, the church is a “state of being” not a place where we go. The word “church” (Gr. ekklésia) in the New Testament never refers to a building or physical location. It fundamentally means “assembly, gathering, meeting or congregation”. Nowhere in the New Testament is the church referred to as a building we go to or an address we look for. Early Christians knew no such thing as a designated place being “church.” This would have been a completely foreign concept to early Christians.
Church was never meant to be a building we go to on a set day in order to be “in” church. I don’t have to go to a specific location to be “in church” No more than I go to a specific place at a specific time to be, Bill Kimball. I am Bill Kimball 24/7, not just for a few artificial hours during the week when I cloister myself in a holy room removed from society. We were meant to be the church each day, every day, everywhere we went because “WE ARE THE CHURCH!”.
More at "The Watchman's Word" www.thewatchmansword.com


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Lahry Sibley

 2021/8/3 15:31Profile





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