Lessons From Home: The Assembly

By April 1, 2020Blog

Since all of us are going to be home for the next couple of weeks (at least those from Sunrise Bible Church in Minnesota and Wisconsin!), I thought I would share a few lessons that I have learned so far during this time where we are not able to meet. I plan to share one a day for the next few days. Each of them is worth a long write-up in and of themselves, but I plan to make them short as a brief encouragement for your soul.

Today’s lesson is simple: being a part of a local church is a gloriously joyous privilege.

I have always known that to be true. I have been a member of one church or another for nearly 30 years. I grew up in a Christian home, trusted Jesus as my savior at a young age, was baptized, and joined my church. My whole life has been spent Sunday after Sunday in a church and most of my life as a member at that.

Not only have I been taught sound doctrine and teaching from wonderful pastors for many years, I have also been trained in a Bible-centered university and in a Christ-exalting seminary. Whether in my local church or in the various Christian institutions I have been a part of, I learned that the local church and being part of it was a precious gift from God.

I have always known that this is true. I have even felt it true at times. But I have not felt it nearly so deeply then over the past few weeks. Saturday night was particularly acute. Everyone in my house was in bed. I had just finished one book and started reading another. After a bit more reading I put that book down and thought about Sunday – the Lord’s day. I thought about how much I missed the people of my church. I shed tears. Not just a few either.

A local church consists of born again believers who have covenanted together for the worship of God and the celebration of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper. Nobody enters a local church as a perfect person. Rather, the church is a collection of saved sinners. We gather together week by week to celebrate how Jesus has forgiven our sins and given us a place in His eternal kingdom which will be filled with His redeemed people. Each week, the local church is a tiny, albeit imperfect, glimpse into the glory of that kingdom. We call each other “brother” and “sister” because we have been made part of the family of God – joint heirs with Jesus Christ and His glorious kingdom.

Missing that gathering is like missing a glimpse of heaven each week. That glimpse far exceeds the sometimes hellish realties of the world around us. Being a part of a church that points my affections to that heavenly kingdom is the highlight of the week for my soul. If you are reading this and are not a born again Christian, I cannot adequately explain that to you. But I can tell you that it is true. In Jesus Christ, a thousand times ten thousand joys are found. We, who are His redeemed followers, taste and see those joys in the gathering of the saints week by week.

All of this I knew already. I now feel it deeply.

Lord Jesus, come quickly!

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