Yeah local church, forsake not the fellowship

Those who attend local churches are always so quick to instruct those who do not. They are more than happy to quote the following verse to show the error of those who choose to stay away from the local body of believers.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,[1]

When I am confronted by those who so dogmatically instruct me in the better way, I always ask them to quote the entire scripture.  As of yet no one has been able to get past the little sound bite they so easily regurgitate, and be able to quote me the whole of the scripture.

Did you know there is a second half of the verse that every Christian tardy officer quotes, but they don’t realize they only have half the picture?  They are more interested in a legalism birthed in the local church than what scripture teaches us.  There is no interest in what makes a fellowship of believers, that being two or more, or what we are to do in that fellowship.  Rather they think this scripture is about a head count.

In order to make sure we actually have the right kind of fellowship when we come together, scripture has surrounded this verse of incrimination to those who do not attend the local church, with the purpose of that fellowship. 

In the verse before we have this statement.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.[2]

Then the verse in question actually finishes by saying.

but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.[3]

It isn’t the pastor’s job of doing the fellowshipping.  It is the job of every member of the body of Christ.  Everyone is to be spurring one another and encouraging one another with our hope found in scripture.  Not the pastor.

Which brings me to a sad state of affairs.  In every body of adult believers I have attended we talk job, sports, hunting, real estate, movies, anything but scripture.  And this while attending the church.  And in the believers home it is no different.

When I was confronted by those long time church associates about my tardiness from the local assembly, by the half a verse in question, I would ask them the last time we talk the book.  They came to realize it was never, it was always something else, but never the book.

So what of it local church?  You have a large head count, but no one is spurring or encouraging one another as scripture has told us to do.  Every individual who reads scripture should know what we are instructed to do when we come together.  Oh, maybe that is it.  This fact is evident only to those who read scripture.

You have heard it said.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.[4]

But we say.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.

How about next time someone wants to play the trump card on the believer who has “forsaken the fellowship”, how about them asking themselves if they have encouraged with scripture those they fellowship with towards love and good deeds in Christ.  Or how about encouraging with scripture those they fellowships with concerning the approaching day of our Lord.

Sitting in a large gathering of believers listening and leaving is not fellowshipping.  Nor is coming and going without individuals using the word of God to encourage and spur each other on.  So what of it local church, quit forsaking the fellowship!

[1] Hebrews 10:25a

[2] Hebrews 10:24

[3] Hebrews 10:25b

[4] Hebrews 10:24-25

8 thoughts on “Yeah local church, forsake not the fellowship

  1. Great insight. There are usually bigger issues at hand when someone habitually misses. It could be the problem of the person who is absent or it could be that no one was moving them towards love when they were there.

    • Reform Theology

      I don’t know if you read my post from the day before called “forsake not the fellowship”. I am one of those who habitually miss church and have no desire to attend. This blog is part of my effort to explain why. The reason I do not attend a church is because I have concluded that the church preaches a different gospel that what we have in scripture. Every post and my Book section to my short stories is trying to point to the gospel I see in scripture.

      You may find these comments odd, but I challenge you, if your up to it to read my post and my book and ask yourself, who preaches that?

      Thank you for your time.

      • The term church has been redefined incorrectly. Church isn’t a meeting at specific times and locations, but it is the gathering of believers who are gifted by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission. If you say that you are active in doing this, you don’t have any problem. Most Christians (using the term loosely) “go to church” while forsaking the assembling together.

        I’ve only had time to scan through some of your content. Is there a any preacher on iTunes you would say is close to your view?

  2. The Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Temple of God….is about nothing but ‘holiness.’ It is about dying to self and sin…and finding new life IN and BY Christ. FELLOWSHIP, COMMUNICATION, and ‘KNOWING’ Christ is necessary for being transformed and renewed daily by way of the Holy Spirit. A large brick building is NOT the House of God…the individual believer who knows Christ…is a House of God. We do NOT go to a building to WORSHIP. Worship happens through service…through a broken and contrite spirit…humbled by encounter with the living Saviour. But I do not speak against the tradition….even though it is terribly lacking. It does have many benefits. Only God can show a person…who is seeking Truth…the meaning of His church. Only God can give wisdom and understanding in those things….as He has given it to you and to me. The only thing which will change them is the living EXAMPLE of the Glorified Christ working through us…in service to others. Words don’t matter.

  3. Reform Theology,

    I do not know of anyone that believes or contends for the gospel I read in scripture. The best way to show a short version of what I believe is the gospel is my post “The gospel According to the gospel”

    Here there are three basic nutshell points about our gospel:
    1. It was Abraham who was given the covenant of imputed righteousness, not those in the gospels. This was for Him and his descendants. Through Christ we are grafted into this imputed righteousness.

    2. Our gospel was first preached at Mt. Sinai, not in the gospels. The Old Testament saints had our gospel and either lived it or didn’t like believers today. Out gospel is nothing new.

    3. We are not saved, rather we have a hope of salvation. The New Testament teaches our God speaks things that are not as if they were and He does so in our gospel when it speaks of our salvation. Yet we know we have to endure, abide, remain in order to be saved. The church doesn’t understand this and makes up the three tenses of salvation when Paul clearly teaches, who hope for what he has?

    That’s the nutshell of the gospel of Paul, Peter, John, Hebrews, Jesus, Jude etc. that I find in scripture. This nutshell doesn’t speak of the implications etc. but is meant to introduce you to the gospel.

    If this is all true then you have to ask the question, why the cross? The answer is really fascinating.

    Imagine what The Gospel According to the Gospel does with the debate over once saved always saved.

    I would really like your opinion on what I have written. Let me know if you think I have represented the gospel properly and maybe there will be two of us.

  4. Dave,
    Your post is somewhat ironic in that what you are really saying here is that the church has left the church to form their own church. Let me explain. The true church is Jesus Christ whom we have left to form a separate body which we still call church. The local church has left the responsibilities and the duties of Christ’s church to establish man made practices and follow man-made canons. In this we have departed from the faith.

Give me a piece of your mind, let me know what you thought.

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