Do not neglect your church prayer assembly
Praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. Grant us by your Holy Spirit true friendship and fraternity with all those who love you and believe in you. Cause it that we always encourage each other to genuinely love God and do every good work that gives him honour. Amen.
With the advent of social media, it’s possible to gain knowledge of various Christian teachings online. I see many good websites, blogs etc that freely and without any reservation, help people to become wiser in the will of God. Thanks be to God for them.
Now, I also see that certain people have not taken such things in the right way. This means that they mistake regular or weekend viewing of a Christian site as their church attendance. As result they skip their church prayer assembly. There are times one can pray to the Lord God alone (refer Matthew 6:6) but there are also times we need to pray as a group. This group need not be even too big, even two are sufficient. Jesus himself said “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20).
So since Christ himself is in favour of people of God gathering together in him name, should a true Christian object to such a holy assembly? Definitely not!
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25, ESV)
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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. (Hebrews 10:24-15, KJV)
You might notice that I used the words “church prayer assembly” instead of Sabbath day, Saturday or Sunday. And also that I didn’t use the words ‘church building’. The reason I did this because I don’t want people to assume that a mere one or two hours in a physical structure, that too only once a week, is the only valid meeting together of Christians. There is nothing in the Bible that says that you need to pray only in a church building with another believer. By this I do not mean that you stop visiting your church building, at times called as the church. The Church of Christ is never a building but rather its all true believers in God combined as a single unit. The functions of the church building are to an extent, to provide a dedicated place of worship which has true sanctity in it and a clean and safe environment to preach and hear the Word of God.
The purpose of assembly rather the physical structure for the assembly is more important. What’s the use of having a church building where the people are busy typing messages on their ‘smartphones’ instead of praying and where the preacher is scared of preaching the Gospel? Nothing good at all. The focus must in fact be; not obligation but glorification. I’m not talking about glorifying oneself but rather this is about glorifying Christ. We can glorify the Lord by doing good works and praising him in spirit and in truth. What best way to be encouraged to honour the Lord than by his own people? Obviously, this has an element of responsibility on those who gather together in the name of Christ, that they actually are there for nothing else, no hidden agendas but only to love and serve the Lord and help his people.
Hospitals, fire rescue departments and childcare welfare institutions may remind their workers and visitors that we must care for others in trouble. But do most business organizations, political lobby groups and sport clubs tell their people to be helpful like the former three groups? Definitely not. I do admit that only a few of the latter groups ever rescue troubled people. My point is you cannot always expect associations outside the Church to encourage you to do good works. Even if they do tell you to do good works, they won’t be mentioning the purpose of glorifying the Lord God. That’s where the Church takes the lead. And that’s one of the reasons you need to attend times of prayers with others who love and respect the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ be with you!