WHERE SHALL WE GATHER?:
No-one would doubt that fellowship is important for the followers of God's Word. That is quite evident by the thousands of differing Christian churches in the world today. But by what measure do we decide which type of church to fellowship with?
Some claim that if you are not a part of "A CHURCH", then you are not a part of the Body of Christ. They believe that "A CHURCH" is one that remains in the Body. However "A CHURCH" is not "the church". "The church" is not defined by the size of a group, or by where they meet. For example "the church" in China may often exist without any buildings, two or three huddled around a wrinkled up Bible always in fear of persecution. They may only be a few, but in the Body of Christ they are "the church". They belong to no institution, they have nothing but Scripture defining what Scripture means. They study, discuss and with the help of the Holy Spirit search diligently for the truth.
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Act 17:11).
"A CHURCH" can be a dangerous place for God's people, as "A CHURCH" will have a set of beliefs that members must adhere to.
"A CHURCH" will take their understanding of Scripture and hold their members to it's beliefs, some even making their members vow an oath before God, that they will obey the commands of "A CHURCH". Much like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, they often add to the Commandments of God with their own traditions. If however the Holy Spirit was to lead a member of "A CHURCH" into new truth, that differs from "A CHURCH" and that may impact on other members; "A CHURCH" will either bring them back into line or persuade that member to leave.
The truth will set you free...
Yes, the truth will often set you free. Free of your friends, Free of your family and most often Free of "A CHURCH" and its members. Much like the Prophets of old, the truth can be a narrow and sometimes lonely path. Many people these days are leaving "A CHURCH" as the Holy Spirit leads them. Sometimes they find themselves JOINING the membership of "A CHURCH" that is no different from the last.
To avoid such a situation, as you study, discuss with others and with the help of the Holy Spirit search diligently for the truth, and you will find yourself gathering together with like minded people, who are also searching and doing as the apostles did;
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house (Col 4:15).
Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house... (Rom 16:3-5).
No matter where you fellowship, the important issue is that you test all things against Scripture (Gal 1:8), and follow Christ, not "A CHURCH".
There may be people in your communities that are searching as you are. If you would like to meet with them and fellowship, send us your e-mail address and where you live, and we will send you a list of anyone in your area that has also done the same: firstname.lastname@example.org
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