“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. “ So spake the Psalmist, David, in his gladness to be in God’s house, and with God’s people. (Psalm 122:1).He also said,” How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts….” “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord.”….”For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to sit in the tents of wickedness.”(Psalm 84:1, 4, 10). Again, David proclaimed: “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.” (Psalm 116:18, 19).
The Hebrew writer said: “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 10:25). This is a commandment of God, that we should not willfully stay away from church services, but should encourage one another more and more.
The early disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread,(partake of the Lord’s Supper), and the Apostle Paul preached to them: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7).The early disciples left a good example for their assembling together, to us today. We must assemble together upon the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s Supper, to give of our means as God has prospered us, and to worship God in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; to petition God in prayer through His Son, Jesus Christ; and to be builded up in the faith through a minister of the Gospel, proclaiming God’s Word. We are, therefore, to worship God in spirit and in truth: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24).
The Psalmist declared: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). But how can brethren dwell together unified, if some of them do not even assemble with the saints?
In the Old Testament we read of the people of Israel coming together,” as one man,” seeking to hear, and understand the law of God, which Moses gave them. The people listened attentively to the words which Ezra, the priest, read to them, and worshipped God with heads bowed in humbleness. They were read unto by Levites and others who gave the “sense” of the reading, and caused the people to understand the reading of God’s law. This was a momentous occasion for Israel; how then could all these things have happened if the people had not first assembled themselves together,” as one man,” and then to listen attentively, through much of the day, the reading, and explaining of God’s law? (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
How important, and profound was the Day of Pentecost, A.D.33, when Jews and proselytes from many nations had assembled together to observe Pentecost. We can only imagine all the great and wondrous things that took place that day: The twelve Apostles received the outpouring of the Holy Ghost through a miracle, and spoke in other tongues, and declared the wonderful works of God to the people there in their own tongue, and performed many wonders and signs before all the people. A great and powerful sermon was preached that day by the Apostle Peter, convicting the House of Israel of the crucifixion of the Son of God, and causing them to repent and be baptized in His name, and for the remission of their sins. As a result, three thousand souls were added to the Lord that day. That day was a fulfillment of Isaiah 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-4, and Joel 2:28-32. The church of the Lord was established on that day; it was the first day of the week, and the resurrection day; God’s plan of salvation was established for all future generations, and that day was the culmination of all things written about Christ and His kingdom, in the Old Testament, and their coming to fruition in the New Testament. Christians today come together to observe the Lord’s Supper, to study from the Bible, to sing, and pray, and give as they have been prospered, and worship God, upon the first day of the week. Thus, we see what an historical day this was, and how important the assembly was.
The church is referred to as “the general assembly and church of the firstborn”…. (Hebrews12:23). The word “assembly” implies that the members of the church are all assembled together as the church. However, if there are those who do not assemble together with the saints because of willful neglect, lack of love for the Lord, indifference, or because of cares of the world, how then can they be part of the general assembly, and church of the firstborn? They cannot.
We have the commandment to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure”…. (II Peter 1:10). This command includes being faithful in our coming together for Bible study, and worship service at each appointed time. There are exceptions, of course, which prevents us from assembling, such as sickness.
When parents bring their children with them to Bible class, and worship service, they are not only setting a good example to their children, but to other brethren, to other children, and to outsiders in the world. It has been said that when others around us see us with a Bible under our arms, and on the way to church service, we have preached a sermon unto them.
We remember the commandment, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). And again, God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). Are we diligently seeking God through our assembling together? If not, then let us resolve to do so.
Patrick Chaddick April 4, 2009
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