What is the purpose of Christians gathering together? To hear a sermon? To turn around and greet one another for a few minutes on Sunday morning and be done with it? The writer of Hebrews gives us this most succinct and precise answer:
“Let us consider how to inspire EACH OTHER to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to GATHER TOGETHER as a community, as some have forgotten, but ENCOURAGING EACH OTHER, especially as the day of His return approaches.” (10:24-25).
The writer of Hebrews also desribes immature believers as those whose spiritual life is defined by their enjoyment of “being fed” by others (Heb. 5:12).
Thus on a typical Sunday, some 100 million Christians gather to “hear a sermon,” “to be fed” by another. They judge the service by the effectual preaching of the pastor – to meet their needs – to feed their understanding of spiritual things. If a group of these folks were told to gather in order to “encourage one another” how would they fare?
If we need more insight as to what we talk about when we gather, Paul of Tarsus leaves us with this:
“If you find any comfort from being in Christ, if His love brings you some encouragement, if you experience true companionship with the Spirit, if His tenderness and mercy fill your heart, then, brothers and sisters, there is one thing that would complete my joy–come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love.” Philippians 2:1-2
Notice, Paul doesn’t even tell them to gather to have a “bible study.” This is something higher. It is the mutual sharing of a person, Jesus Christ, one with another. It’s ALL ABOUT JESUS!
Thanks to Clark Wade
…if ALL prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is …judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, EVERY ONE OF YOU hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying…. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may ALL prophesy ONE BY ONE, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.”