Friday, July 6, 2012
“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 KJV).
As grace believers who understand what God is doing today in this the Dispensation of Grace, we go to church….
- To fellowship with God’s people (1 Corinthians 11:33).
- To study the Holy Bible (King James Bible) (1 Timothy 4:13,15,16).
- Not to gain God’s blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
- Not to be entertained (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
- Not to keep the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16).
- Not to obtain salvation (Titus 3:5).
- Not to “be in God’s presence/house” (2 Corinthians 6:16; cf. Acts 17:24).
According to Paul’s epistles, “going to church” is not assembling in some million-dollar auditorium, where wheelbarrows are pushed around as “collection plates.” Neither is “church” a place where we go to feel “emotional highs” and to enjoy “ear-tickling motivational sermons.” Nor is “church” a time where we crank up loud music in order to appeal to the world. Yes, that is today’s average (so-called) “‘Bible-believing’” (!) church, but God’s definition is otherwise.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy regarding the local assembly of the Body of Christ: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:15,16).
As people who have trusted in Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we are one body, the Body of Christ. We are united forever because of the eternal life we all now have in Christ. We gather in local assemblies to study God’s Word rightly divided (dispensationally), so we can then scatter throughout the region and share with others sound Bible doctrine (the Gospel of Grace to the lost, and Pauline dispensationalism to the saved).