"...Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy cometh in the morning..." Psalm 30:5
Without a doubt, the establishment of Christendom’s local institutionalized church, epitomized by “ecclesiastical oversight and control," has become a mammoth institution. However, many of the adherents to this system are in great darkness, blinded to its corruption and abuse, sometimes through no fault of their own, but most times, deliberately and carefully overpowered by the depraved practices of the leadership who are relentless in demanding obedience and submission to their so-called “God ordained authority.”
Those calling themselves “Bible believing Christians” today, hardly know good from evil anymore, neither truth from error, or light from darkness, or God from Satan, or true men of God from deceivers coming in the Name of Jesus Christ. Many don’t even know what Christ’s Body is, or where or who it is.
This is because many of them are remaining mere followers of men and will always be so, unless the Lord Himself intervenes on their behalf.
Dressing up once a week to attend their three “services” on their assigned Sabbath, multitudes breath a sigh of relief, convinced that they are “strong Christians” for once again having fulfilled their “duties to God.”
But yet, the burning question must be asked: Why do you “go to church”? Are you in bondage to men and their teachings?
You might be quick to answer, “Absolutely not! I am not a follower of men. I go because of love for God, for His Church, and for hearing His Word preached.”
Oh really? That's a nice answer. Clean, methodical words; well trimmed and polished theology, though painted red to hide the dirt beneath the nails. Just like those who pretended to see the Emperor's new clothes, there are many who will parrot the same polished answer, all nodding their heads in unison, not having the slightest clue as to what they are saying, neither the mind to question its genuineness.
Is this really the reason? And is there a chapter and verse for such a response? I didn't think so.
Let's ask some questions and see if we can bare the bones and expose this dreaded orthodox monster.
Are there other reasons, (perhaps some of which that you would never even dream of asking) for going to church?
Are you afraid perhaps, that you will “grow cold” in your faith and even perish if you leave? That's what "your rulers" always tell you, isn’t it? But, if you are really afraid or think of the possibility of that happening, do you know what this actually means? It means that you are not carrying your own oil, let alone, possibly not even having any! A very telling and tragic sign indeed!
Or maybe you go there for some other wrong reasons such as:
a) social pleasure and enjoyment: (Ah. Another day away from my chores!")
b) sympathy: ("My husband/wife was mean to me the other day")
c) pressure: ("...you must attend all of the services unless providentially hindered...")
d) attention: ("Hmmm. I wonder if they will notice all the weight I lost?")
e) friendship: ("I enjoy finding and making new friends")
f) fear of man: (The Pastor says of himself, "...I am clothed with Divine Authority..")
g) receiving and/or dishing out the latest gossip: (Listen to this! You know what Sharon told me yesterday?)
h) dressing up: ("Honey. Will this color tie match my new shoes?")
i) updating your connections: ("Hey Bill. Do you think you can provide me with more business contacts?")
j) fear of being shunned: "Avoid all fellowship with Ron & Cindy. They have resigned from the Church.")
k) Hebrews 10:25: "The Bible says do not forsake going to church!"
How about it?? I can name many more, but I hope you get the point. None of these things has anything to do with love for God, His people, or hearing His Word preached.
Listen! Let’s get right down to brass tacks, as they say.
The truth of the matter is that when someone begins to touch and expose this corrupt system of religiosity, (nerve) the whole body quivers. People who remove themselves from this corrupt, unscriptural system, out of faithfulness to Christ and His Word will have a heavy price to pay, just as their Great Example did.
When you do, you will learn very fast just how little interest indeed many of your supposed Christians friends have in God’s Truth. You will be accused of heresy, of joining a cult, of abandoning your friends, and family. It will get plenty rough before it gets better.
Your choice to live by the Truth’s of God’s Word will reveal enemies and persecution from sources you never dreamed of! You will be mocked, lied about, slandered up and down, left and right, especially by those in so-called “positions of church leadership.”
Remember again that Jesus Christ, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the followers of Jesus Christ were hated and despised by most of the religious teachers and spiritual leaders in His day too. The cesspool of darkness and corruption that was evidenced amongst the religious leaders back then, is the very same cesspool of darkness and corruption that is evidenced amongst the religious leaders inside the local institutional church today…..with one exception.
Have the religious leaders changed? Yes indeed! They have gotten worse!
I don't know which false teachings are worse because they are all bad. Outright lies and false teachings enslave; they blind; they rob; they bind; they destroy; and they ultimately erode all of ones existence, and the deceptive teaching of “going to church” certainly does all of those things.
Hebrews 10:25, “forsake not the assembling,” is the most popular verse used to defend this false doctrine, and it is used as though it spoke plainly on the issue, which it does not, but only as interpreted and twisted by men building their own kingdoms and seeking social benefits and pleasures rather than God.
The Scripture quoted in Hebrews doesn't say that it is sinful not to go to church Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night. The word “church” isn’t even in the passage!
It is nowhere to be found or even remotely alluded to! When you read the verses preceding, it is crystal clear that the Spirit of God is not trying to get us to be more faithful to attend church services! In fact, when this was written, Christians did not even have "church services" or even church buildings, for that matter.
It is MEN who teach this false doctrine of “going to church” because they want you there for them.
Notice how important “numbers” and “membership” and “impressive buildings” are to the flesh. The leaders of these groups will take all that you have, even your very soul itself if they can, and enlist your services to build up their works. It is all lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life and, be not deceived, God is nowhere to be found; supposed fellowship, love, and preaching notwithstanding.
YOU are God's church; not once a week, meeting for a “worship service,” but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You become a member of His church when you receive His Spirit and are baptized into His body by the Spirit of God. You have come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, (who is with you, and you with Him 24/7!)
If your spiritual health and well-being depended on fellowship and “going to church,” then many of our Bible brethren would never had made it through.
Abraham could never have made it to be our father of faith. Paul, the great apostle, spent some serious time alone with the Holy Spirit separated from the big apostles in Jerusalem. David spent considerable time living in caves and among the heathen separated from Israel. Moses spent forty years separated from His people before He was prepared to lead them out of Egypt. Joseph languished in prison for years. John the Baptist stood alone in the wilderness for God, because no one wanted to stand with him. Daniel ended up in the lion's den alone, because he was the only one who cared enough about God to pray.
According to some people, all of these brethren would have been snatched up by the evil one because they forsook church and fellowship.
A Christian’s responsibility is to be found faithful with what He has given us to do during our short stay on this earth.
What did Jesus say would happen when you turn your back on this worldly religious system?
Today’s ministerial strongmen would have us believe that unless we belong to some "local institutional church,” we will fall prey to Satan who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But as usually is the case with these false teachers, the very opposite turns out to be true. And it is none other than Christ Himself who has promised us differently!
This is what Christ has promised us would happen. He has promised us that if we are faithful to Him and His teaching, we would be put out of their synagogues!
Just the opposite! We would NOT be welcomed and we would NOT be received into fellowship!
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he is doing God service." John 16:2
Christ Himself was rejected by the religious rulers of His day, and we are to be "as He is... in this world."
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." 1John 4:17
When we refuse to "come out of Babylon The Great" and stand with Christ and His Words, but prefer instead to be accepted by our friends and the rulers of the ecclesiastical system, we are simply denying the Lord who was put out of the synagogue for His teachings. Luke 4
Just dare to stand on Christ's Words, and you will soon come to know the meaning of this verse of scripture:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19
If Jesus were to return today, you and I both know that there is not one church on the face of the earth who would dare hire Him to be their “Pastor,” not one!
Be not deceived. The church that killed Christ two thousand years ago is the church, to this very day, that would without delay, kill Christ all over again if He were here today teaching us:
“…YET IT WILL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant…”
Being faithful to Him and to His Word should be our first priority.
This is why we are all given the following exhortations. It is not I who forsakes the assembling of ourselves together, but those who belong to the local institutional church!
As it says,
"And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? For we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4
As said before, thinking and acting for one self will come with a price.
Christ is our only Master and He will not play second fiddle to anything or anyone in our lives. Count the cost, because it requires our life. But if we are granted the privilege to follow in His steps and endure the trials, the rewards will be well worth it. We "will be hated of all men" for sure, but our names will be in His "book of remembrance" and His "book of life," and that is worth far more than being well spoken of by all men.
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1Corinthians 2:9-10
God does indeed have a membership, but that membership is UNTO HIM, not to some corporate, institutional structure that people can arrive at once a week for a so-called “worship service!” Such activities are contrived by the defiled minds and hands of men.
Can you just imagine Christ going to the state to seek papers of incorporation and a tax free status?
No such entity recognizes "the voice of the True Shepherd" who alone is the Head of His own unincorporated body.
May the Lord Himself grant unto us ears to hear His Voice and may He grant to us the courage and strength to face the battle which must be waged by everyone who is granted the privilege to follow Him.
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