SOME THOUGHTS ON ‘GOING TO CHURCH’
Here is an excerpt from a letter to a Sister who wrote to me telling me that the voice of God was convicting her to ‘GET OUT’ of a compromised Church which she was attending –
Dear Sister, the nominal Christian is raised from his childhood with the idea that come Sunday he needs to ‘go to Church’!
And this, without even understanding what ‘the church’ actually means!
The ‘Church’ is not a building with a steeple on the top, nor is it a group of religious folks who attest to a creed, and have learnt to sing a few hymns and spiritual songs!
The Greek word used in the Bible for the Church is ‘Ecclesia’ which just simply means ‘called out ones’! Individuals sovereignly chosen and ‘called out’ by God the Father, supernaturally made alive by the Holy Spirit and have been made partakers of the mystical body of Christ!
So you cannot in any real sense ‘go to Church’ because if you are truly saved, you are part of the Church!
Oh but doesn’t the Scripture say, “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. [Heb 10:25]
It sure does!
But notice, it is the assembling of “OURSELVES”!
Who are those who constitute the “ourselves” which the Apostle speaks of? Well, it is those to whom the epistle is written to in the first place –
“Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” [Heb 3:1]
Hebrews 10:25 is not admonishing the Christian to go every Sunday and sit amongst a bunch of religious goats who have a ‘form of godliness but deny the power thereof’! The Apostle’s counsel concerning such is “from such TURN AWAY”! [2Tim 3:5]
Dear Sister, please understand that I am not against God’s children having a desire to find a true Church to fellowship with. But such Churches are VERY FEW in the world today and usually meet in very small numbers either in their homes or a rented shed. If God leads you to such a Church then you can praise God for it! If not, better to sit at home and worship God than to ‘attend’ a Church which has a form of religion without the power thereof. Even at this moment I personally know God’s precious children both in the USA and England who are without an official Church where they can attend!
And the reason is not far to seek, Sister! You see, we are living in a day when God’s sheep are an ‘endangered species’! Which means, there aren’t many of them left! You have more chances of running into a ‘Tasmanian Wolf’ in Australia than running into a true child of God in a large shopping mall or train station!
In Psalm 83:3 the Psalmist refers to the Lord’s people as “Thy hidden ones”. And I believe that that is a good description of God’s people in the day that we are now living in. First of all I guess you will agree that a Church is not a BUILDING. It is a collection of believers. How many believers does it take to constitute a Church? JUST TWO! The Lord said “where TWO or three are gathered together in My Name there am I in the midst of them”! I guess the Lord had a reason for limiting the number to two or three, because being the omniscient One He knew that the day would come (has come!) when in most parts of the world only two or three would come together in His Name.
Yes, if we can find other believers who love the truth and holiness and are against all that is erroneous like Free-Willism, Roman Catholicism, Christmas, and the Prosperity Gospel etc, then it will be our joy to join with such believers and break bread.
But I speak from 27 years of personal experience that such Churches are one in a thousand and they usually meet in homes. The Master called His sheep ‘little-flock’ (Lk 12:32) because compared to the multitudes that throng the nominal churches, they are VERY SMALL in number. If a true child of God is yet a member of one of these HUGE ‘churches’, it will not be long before the Spirit opens his eyes to the fact that he is sitting amongst goats.
In our day the Lord’s true sheep who love the truth are so few in number that for a preacher to be a FULLTIME SALARIED MINISTER he has to necessarily be an amuser of goats and an entertainer of religious hypocrites. Trust me, Sister; I do not say this lightly. I know what I am saying. If a preacher has gathered enough members to support him fulltime and build him a church building then 99% of those who are part of his ‘Church’ have to NECESSARILY be religious goats! I am sorry but this fact I have seen through my own bitter experience!
Incidentally, one does not have to ‘go to church’, or ‘go’ anywhere for that matter! If the Lord leads us to a group of true believers then great! We MUST make every effort to fellowship with them at every given opportunity and do our part to edify them.
But remember this – if whichever group we have decided to be a part of is growing to a number where we have to purchase or rent a building for our gathering, then chances are that the ‘pastor’ or ‘elders’ there are not preaching the WHOLE truth!
“Anything which is endured today in the religious world CANNOT be sound doctrine; anything which is approved of, well-attended, popular, is not sound ‘doctrine’. When God raises up His servant, equips him and sends him forth to preach, that servant will necessarily preach the WORD, and DENOUNCE all that is opposed to the world: hence his message is BOUND to be UNPOPULAR, in fact HATED by all who are not regenerated”. [A.W. Pink]
My dear Sister, I preach separation from false churches as IMPERATIVE! Ever since I left the Apostate Churches and started out independently, the Lord has gradually shown me little by little that the existing Christendom of our day is IRREMEDIABLY APOSTATE. We are living in a day when ‘Christians’ have no regard for sound doctrine or a hunger for true holiness. Even most who prate about their orthodoxy in sound doctrine do not demand holiness from the flock entrusted to them. Most preachers in our day desire to have a ‘ministry’ to show the world what they have accomplished for Christ.
But I know from EXPERIENCE that any preacher who faithfully preaches the WHOLE counsel of God, which means not just preaching the truth but exposing the lie (and the liars who masquerade in Jesus’ name), I believe such a preacher WILL be left WITHOUT A ‘MINISTRY’, for he will soon begin to see that the elect of God who sincerely seek to follow the Lamb by denying self, sin, and the world are only a mere HANDFUL. The Lord said “when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith upon the earth?” [Luk 18:8] Except for a few small groups of faithful disciples who gather in houses all over the world, THE WHOLE OF CHRISTENDOM WILL BE THOROUGHLY APOSTATE– which is why He says, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues”. [Rev 18:4]
But even if you cannot find an assembly of true believers to fellowship with, like I said earlier, there is no need to ‘go anywhere’ on Sunday! Just stay at home and spend the time reading God’s Word and in prayer!
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without (outside) the camp (of nominal Christianity), bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come”. [Hebrews 13:12-14]
“Those who are “poor in spirit” have nothing in common with the self-satisfied Laodiceans. And how “distressed” in soul are they over the worldliness that has come in like a flood, over the crowds of unregenerate members, over the utter absence of any scriptural discipline? And what is to be the attitude and actions of God’s grieved children toward those having nothing more than a form of godliness? This – “FROM SUCH TURN AWAY” (2 Timothy 3:5). Identify yourself with Christ on the outside; walk ALONE WITH HIM”! [A.W. Pink]
So basically that is my take on present day Christendom. The truly elect know what I am preaching is the truth. But even among the elect, methinks that there are those who do not want to make a complete break with the established religion. For they love the praise of men more than the praise of God! But they have their reward and I am not the one to judge them.