In our day, each of the sects and denominations of Christendom bears a title to distinguish it from other groups. Some take their name from a founder, and so there are Wesleyans and Lutherans etc. Others are identified by their form of church government, and so there are Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Some are known by a particular doctrine or practice that they hold, and so there are Baptists and Pentecostals. To willingly take any name that does not include all believers is to be
Many people refer to a religious building as a church, but in the New Testament, buildings were never called churches. In fact, there are verses which show that buildings accommodated churches, so obviously, the building itself was not the church. For example, churches met in the homes of Philemon, and Aquila, Philemon 1:2; Romans 16:5. The church was the congregation of people who met in these homes, so the church was made up ofRead More
Paul is a great example of the attitude we should have. He loved the gospel. He gave up his life to spread it around the world. He also loved the saints and the local gatherings of Christians. He gave his life for God’s saints and God’s assemblies.
Value what God values. What is God doing today? Through His gospel people are being saved from all nations. What is God doing with these saved people? They are gathered together around Christ in local churches, and have the privilege to be part of the work He is doing. Value the gospel and the assemblies.
So Paul valued what God valued. He knew and loved Christians. He greets them by name and speaks kind words to them. He saw himself as a partner with saints in the Lord’s work.
And look at the example of these saints! Phoebe serves a local assembly, helping many including Paul. Prisca and Aquila risk their neck for Paul and the assemblies, and have a groupRead More
Our dear brother in the Lord, Boushra Riad Mikhael, passed into the presence of His Savior this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was an encouragement to God’s people throughout North America and other continents.
He wrote many articles on the Scriptures for COUNSEL Magazine and other publications. He also authored 2 books, one of which has yet to be published. The other, Dining with the Master, surveys scenes where the Lord Jesus is eating with people in the New Testament. His itinerant Bible teaching was analytical and edifying. He held to the authority of the Word of God as supreme in all things and sought to exaltRead More
Scripture: Romans 12:1-13
In desiring God’s will, realize you need other saints! Romans 12:3-8
As you seek to find out God’s will, realize that God has not given every spiritual ability to you. You were saved by God’s grace. You still need to depend on God’s grace.
Be careful not to think to highly of yourself. You are not the solution to every problem. God has chosen to given special, unique grace to each saint. So you need other brothers and sistersRead More
Crawford already hit a couple of solid reasons why a church needs a website and you can go give his post a gander—especially if you want to learn how to be effective with the website. But in this post, I wanted to give a top ten list of reasons why your church needs a website.Read More
According to Facebook’s own statistics there are more than 800,000,000 active Facebook users! 50% of whom log on at least once a day. Furthermore, Facebook’s reach is truly global with more than 75% of active users from outside of the United States! Officially Facebook supports more than 70 different languages! Amazing! The mission field has come to YOUR living room!
How we can we use this unprecedented opportunity to spread the message of the gospel? Here are five quick tips for sharing your faith on Facebook:Read More
“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. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries”. Hebrews 10:23-27
We have all heard the verse “forsake not the assembling of thyselves together” (KJV) or “not neglecting to meet together” (ESV). The writer to the Hebrews exhorts the recipients to not neglect meeting together. Pretty straight forward, correct? Let’s think about the context of the passage.
The writer of Hebrews is concerned about the spiritual well-being of Christians who have left the Jewish faith after believing. The argument presents various aspects of the Jewish faith and compares these aspects to the Lord Jesus. In each comparison, Jesus Christ is found to be far superior, complete, perfect, eternal, substantial, and real in contrast to that which is incomplete, imperfect, temporal, symbolic, and temporary.
Within that context, we get to Chapter 10. In Chapter 10, Lord Jesus Christ is compared to the priests of old and their sacrifices. The conclusion is that Christ’s priestly work is far superior and that His sacrifice, which was Himself, is far superior!
There are some very practical benefits that result from His sacrifice. The Holy Spirit draws our attention to these by repeating a phrase “Let us” followed by something we should make real in our life. It is within this context that we come across the phrase we are discussing – “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together…”
We are directed to invest in each other’s lives by “stirring up one another to love and good works” as a result of and because of the Lord’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross! Immediately following that exhortation is the directive which reminds us that meeting together as believers is a responsibility, not an option. The two exhortations are linked by the Holy Spirit and should be linked in our lives as well. While we certainly have modern conveniences that may allow us to “stir up one another to love and good works” via social media, email, and telephone, God’s Word would have us accomplish this primarily by attending meetings of the local assembly.
When is the last time you attended a meeting of the local assembly because you wanted to impact someone else’s life? According to the Word, it seems to be one of the main reasons we should gather (worship, prayer, and receive teaching are others). Acts 2:42 indicates that the early church continued steadfastly in fellowship!
Continuing steadfastly has the essence of purposefulness at the cost of other things. Sadly, many Christians today feel like their attendance at most of the meetings of the assembly is no more important than whether they attend a sporting event or other social event. Some believers have fallen into the habit of attending meeting when it is convenient to them or when they themselves benefit from the meeting. The Word of God would correct both of those attitudes if believers would allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to our lives!
As believers who desire to follow New Testament principles, one of those principles is the regular, consistent, purposeful, selfless attendance at the meetings of the local assembly so that you can be useful in stirring up other believers to love and good works.
Digital Sojourner would like to thank Mike Stoudt for writing this guest post. Mike fellowships with the saints who gather at Grace Gospel Chapel in Allentown, PA. Mike is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of Stoudt Financial Services and serves as the General Manager of Greenwood Hills Camp & Conference Center.Read More
Our good friends over at the mySonlight Blog have an excellent post today regarding the effective use of prayer chains. While technology has greatly impacted the way prayer requests are disseminated, we shouldn’t lose sight of the basic concepts that make a prayer chain effective.
In her post, Sherri Jason gives us six key principles of an effective Prayer Chain:
Sherri also reminds us that every church is unique, depending on the dynamics of those in fellowship. Therefore it is important to keep the system as simple and efficient as possible.
You can read the entire post here.
photo: Flickr/pratantiRead More
Ministers can proclaim anything in a stained-glass voice at 11:30 on Sunday morning following the singing of hymns. Yet when they fail to preach the Scriptures, they abandon their authority. No longer do they confront their hearers with a word from God. That is why most modern preaching evokes little more than a wide yawn. God is not in it.
Haddon W. Robinson (2001). Biblical Preaching, 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. Page 20. In many churches today professionally choreographed performances have replaced the authentic, albeit homespun, church meetings of our grandparents. Such stage driven “worship” is considered by many to be progress; a refreshing (or at least entertaining) change from the past. With all of this change, it seems the emphasis our grandparent’s churches put on God’s Word has also gone to the wayside. Verse by verse expository preaching has been replaced with an entertaining, religious form of modivational speaches. As Haddon Robinson said, when we fail to preach the Scriptures God is not in it.Read More