Why Congregate?
Shalom everyone
What’s so important about our local Assembly? At a time when there’s more Bible teaching than you could ever consume available through radio, television, and the Internet, why should it matter where and how you’re taking in God’s truth? What’s wrong with virtual, web-based congregations for the digital-age church? Why can’t your iPod be your worship leader, your tablet be your pastor, and your friends your fellowship and accountability?
The answer is simple: that’s not the way God designed it.
The Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of local assemblies. In fact, it was the pattern of Paul’s ministry to establish local congregations in the cities where he preached the gospel. Hebrews 10:24-25 commands every believer to be a part of such a local body and reveals why this is necessary.

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

I’ve hear many people saying… “I don’t congregate because of the “church” people…but I do love God and I do keep a relationship with him”…This is so contradicted in so many levels.
First, The Bible is so clear on this matter and clearly teaches that God made a distinction between His people and the world (Lev 13:46; Number 5:3; Deut. 7:3). Messiah says that entering the Kingdom of God means being bound to the Assembly of saints “on earth” (Matthew 16:16-19; 18:17-19). The Brit Chadashah (New Testament) refers to some people being inside the assembly and some people being outside of it (1 Cor. 5:12-13). The assembly of Corinth consisted of a definite number of believers, such that Rav Shaul (Paul) could speak of a punishment inflicted by the majority (2 Cor. 2:6). We don’t only have the witness of the Brit Chadashah in which speaks of the reality of assembly membership, but dozens of other passages in the Tanakh (Old Testament). Biblical assembly family is important, because the assembly presents God’s witness to Himself in the world, and displays His glory. In fact, non-believers should see in the lives of God’s changed people that God is holy and gracious and that His gospel is powerful for saving and transforming sinners.
Second, the Epistles were all written to local assemblies and the Torah was given to the entire mishpocha (family/assembly) of Israel…not to individuals or in private sectors or lone-ranger. A brief sampling of Paul’s epistles make this abundantly clear…
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-2,
  • 2 Corinthians 1:1-2
  • Philippians 1:1-2, Galatians 1:1-2
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2,
Third, Messiah saves believers to live in community with other believers. Messiah calls believers to local Assembly Family (Mishpocha) not just for our spiritual growth, but also so that they may use their spiritual gifts in the context of the local assembly.
Fourth, it was the model of the early assembly not only in the book of acts…but in ancient Israel. Some people think that meeting together with other believers is not important because the early Assembly only gathered in small groups in Acts 2:42-48. However, this view ignores history. As the assembly continued to grow, they gathered together in large gatherings. There were small group meetings, but there were also large gatherings. This is why in ancient Israel we had the temple and the Bet Midrash (house of studies) Regardless if the local assembly meets in a building or in a home it doesn’t matter. The Family of the Kingdom of God is comprised of people who have been regenerated by the work of the Spirit. The people of God are to gather to worship together in Spirit and Truth, to hear the Teachings of Torah and the redeemers Messiah, participate in communion, Mikvah (water immersions), and then scatter to spread the Great Commission in their families, neighborhoods, cities, and to the nations.
Finally, there is no lone-ranger version of Mishpocha; we are called to a community of believers. Those who object the loudest to this often think that they can be believers and not be in a local assembly. From even a cursory examination of the Scriptures, the lone-ranger view of being a believer is not biblical. Messiah saves believers to live in community with other believers. Messiah calls believers to membership in the local family’s (mishpocha) not only for their own spiritual growth but to use our spiritual gifts in the context of the local ekklesia.
Why does Messiah call believers to live in community with other believers?
  • Because it provides accountability and spiritual growth!
  • Because it is used to grow us in likeness to Yeshua Messiah!
  • Because it empowers believers to minister in and through their local assembly in order to reach one’s community, city, nation and the world with the Gospel!
Today, not all, but many of those who choose to stay at home it’s because of simple rebellion. They just got upset in the way something was probably handle in the local assembly, or maybe jealousy got in the middle, or may the because of the demands of holy living. While holiness can morph into legalism, it is also true that holiness is the by-product of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer. We are called to be holy (1 Pt. 1:16).
People leave the assembly also because the gospel way is truly narrow.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt. 7:13-14).

Why are we surprised when people decide not to enter the narrow way of salvation that leads to eternal life? To enter the narrow way means that we have to drop everything to follow Messiah…that includes our pride.
Messiah doesn’t save sinners so they will live in isolation or be lone-rangers—He saves them so that they will be in community with one another, speaking the truth in love to one another, “one anothering” each other, and displaying forth His character and glory to a watching world.
At the end I ask this question…
How can you have a relationship with God and not with his family? …Something like that apostle John mentions on his letters…

“If someone says, “I love God,” and detest his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

1 John 4:20

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