Fellowshipping and Worshiping together has always been a part of the Christian faith. After the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the disciples and new believers met together every day in the temple courts.
Acts 2:46 KJV And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Following the Lord's commands to meet together and wait was why they were together on the day of Pentecost, when they received the Holy Spirit UPON them. (Acts 2) Paul provided details instructions for holding orderly corporate worship services in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40.
The Bible instructs Christians to continue fellowshipping and worshiping together. While there is a time and place for worshiping and praying in solitude (Luke 6:12), the Bible also instructs us to worship together as a community. In Hebrews 10:25, the Bible says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing."
With this I must say that as believers "We Do Not GO To Church."
As believers, "We ARE the church going somewhere for corporate fellowship and training."
The fellowship, worship and training time does not have to be a "Church" building, it can be in a home or a room in a town business. AND....The fellowship, worship, training time DOES NOT have to be on a Sunday. I know, old mindsets are hard to break.
When I was living in Germany I met many American's who claimed to be believers but did not fellowship together in a corporate setting. They said that they were "RESTING" from "church life" but still had their private devotions. I actually had guys tell me they were on a 3 year vacation from church and God. Can we expect God to bless and accept the sacrifice of a good discipline (like private fellowship and worship) when we neglect to offer obedience in another discipline (like public corporate fellowship and worship)?
Then there are those believers who are so scholarly, so holy, so knowledgeable, so far above all other believers and Pastors in the town that they can't find a church to attend that they can agree with. If they could record their statements when they are speaking these great, glorious words of piety and replay them back, maybe they can hear the pride and pharisaical self-righteousness that the rest of us hear. These folks need to go ahead and realize they don't have it all together and their main issue is the spirit of pride and rebellion that keeps them from submitting to pastoral authority.
As a Pastor for over 42 years I have learn one disturbing truth. Christians will do what is right in their own eyes and have a justification for it that sounds righteous to them. Find a place of corporate fellowship and worship and honor the Lord.
The key: Find a group that are true believers and are hungry for the things of God, no matter where they meet. Make sure they place the Word of God has the highest source of authority. Make sure that someone in the group is called to be a spiritual leader and has been equipped by God to lead, instruct in righteousness. (To many Bible studies both in the homes and in the churches are nothing more than shared ignorance or denominational creeds). Make sure that in the group our Lord Jesus Christ is being lifted up and not a person, personality, or belief system..
SO, YOU WANT TO DO "ALL THINGS"?
That we might have joy (1 John 1:4):
This 1 John 1:4 verse is the only use of the word “joy” in John’s Epistles. However the blessing of joy is seen throughout his letter. Joy is a result of walking in a close place of fellowship or communion with our Lord. We as believers quote Philippians 4:13 often.
Philippians 4:13 ESV I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Sometimes we get the caboose before the train engine. We know that according to John in his Epistle that walking in communion or fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ brings about JOY.
We know that according to Nehemiah 8:10 that the JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH.
Nehemiah 8:10 ESV Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
We know that fellowship brings about joy, and joy brings about strength, and according to Philippians 4:13 that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Then I can reason that the “all things” must start with fellowship or communion with our Lord. Fellowship produces joy, joy produces strength, and strength produces all things.
True change will never be a change until we have changed.
Have you been around Christians who spend a lot of time trying to convince you how mature they are, how much they love God, or how much they have repented from "the stuff" in their lives? Our Lord Jesus Christ said...
True maturity, true love, true repentance is birthed from time with the Father.
John 7:28 ESV So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know.
John 8:28-29 ESV So Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. (29) And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."
In these Scriptures our Lord Jesus Christ revealed both His deity and that He was taught from the heavenly Father. He was also showing the importance of us having quality time with the Father, and that the Father is the source of our identity. “He spoke what the Father taught Him.” We learn through teaching or observation.
This type of learning requires interaction or quality fellowship. Quality fellowship is more than shaking someone's hand on Sunday morning in a quick greeting. Men, if you have been married for any amount of time you may have heard your wife share that she needed not just time in the living room where everyone was staring at a TV, but she desires face-to-face quality time. The same is true with the Father. He wants more than a group of Christians in a room together staring at whoever is on the platform. True quality fellowship takes face-to-face quality time.
FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER:
When a believer takes time to fellowship with his heavenly Father, he will find his identity confirmed and endorsed in the Father. There will be a new confidence and boldness.
A Christian in deep fellowship with God will never stay the same. There will always be a change towards Christ-likeness in word, deed, and thought. When we change, we don't need to go about telling people we have changed - People will notice that themselves.
Though change may mean different things to different people, when embraced, it will always give glory to God. True change will never be a change until we change.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.