“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
We are encouraged throughout the scriptures to assemble ourselves together, even more so, as we see the day of the Lord approaching.
We need the strength, joy and faith other believers can impart. The days of 2020 have been dreary, overwhelming and long. It makes one wonder what 2021 might bring. Will they be as troublesome and hard to bear or will we see the dawning of a new era? We do not know and to project either way is to take tomorrow for granted.
We have one life to live and in due season it will fade as the flower of the field. If we have been born again by the blood of Christ, we can have the peace of God no matter what time holds. The wicked of this world perceive nothing of eternal bliss. To them the entire sum of life is to buy, sell and get gain. They dodge the thoughts of the hereafter. If the Spirit of God ministers to them, they either will hearken or they will push it aside and comfort themselves with vain illusions that life on this earth will last forever.
God has not appointed believers to be objects of His wrath as He has the unbeliever, but to be vessels of His everlasting mercy. As many as receive Christ has the promise guaranteed them that whether we live or die, we will always be with Him. It is as we assemble ourselves together that we are reminded of such promises. Our faith increases and our focus is shifted from despair and gloom to hope and joy.
Christ never intended that our Christian life should be lived out in isolation from other believers. The time that remains is short and the work that is to be done is huge. We can no longer afford to continue to do what we assume to be God’s will our way. Christ bids us to come to Him both in prayer and in the assembly. If we are burdened down and heavy laden, perhaps a good dose of fellowship might be all the medicine we need.
Many have presumed over the years, due to no lack of chaos in the church, that staying home is the best idea. Yet there is a special blessing in the fellowship of believers that we deny ourselves when we think this way.
James, the disciple and half-brother of Christ, reminds us in his writings that faith without works is dead. Then he challenges each of us, “Show me thy faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Show your faith to Christ by assembling together with other believers. After all, it’s not all about us. Perhaps someone needs our smile, our word of encouragement or the word of hope we have to offer.
“Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Sue West can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org