For close to two THOUSAND years, Jesus followers (Christians) have come together to praise God, pray, help each other and take the Lord’s supper (communion) remembering the innocent sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Through war and peace, persecution and prosperity, Jesus followers have faithfully come together without fail every first day of the week (Sunday).
Has there ever been a time in known Christian history where Jesus followers did not meet together? Never. Even in the Roman times of extreme persecution and death for Jesus followers, they still met illegally, underground (literally) in the catacombs of Rome. They put the lives of themselves and their families in danger by being Jesus followers and meeting together! Was that irresponsible? Was that foolish? Did that make logical sense? Didn’t they, of anyone, have a good reason NOT to meet in person?
Today, Christians in China and other places in the world, are persecuted to the point of death of themselves and their families for following Jesus. They meet every week, many times in secret so that they can praise God, pray, encourage and help one another and remember the sacrifice of Jesus (the Lords supper/communion) and it could cost them their lives and many times does!
Due to recent events of the coronavirus in our area, the country is about to close everything except grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals. They have told us we can not leave our homes, we must stay away from people. We must close the assemblies of Jesus followers (the church) and go home!
I want to clarify that the church is not the building, the church is the Body of Christ, Jesus followers assembling together and changing the world through their love and good works! In a way, it has been a blessing from God that church buildings have been closed because it has forced Christians to leave the building and re-evaluate what the church actually is. The church is US!
The recent decision to imprison people in their homes and isolate them from one another has forced me to consider how important I believe it is that Jesus followers come together every Sunday. Surely God would not want me to put others in danger if I was a carrier of a virus right? Surely He would want me to stay in my house for weeks, even months, away from my Christian brothers and sisters? Have we really lost track of how powerful God is? Will we choose to believe and follow man over God?
The following verses describe what a Jesus Follower is and what the church (or assembling together of Jesus followers) looked like from the beginning of Christianity…
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” – Acts 2:37-47
Will you stop your Christian assembly at this time when Christians, meeting, helping and encouraging each other and being a light, is needed more than ever? I would encourage you to honestly consider why you are not assembling together as Christians have done since Jesus died and rose again. When would I put my life on the line for Jesus? When would you put your life on the line for Jesus?
Jesus said it best…”Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” – Matthew 16:24-27
This is a very trying time for all of us. It’s a time when our faith in a REAL God and His Son Jesus Christ is tested. I welcome this time of testing but I also am confronted with the fact of whether I believe in God at all, whether I have faith at all! Now is the time, and it’s such a blessing, to “draw close to God and He will draw close to You!” – James 4:8
“And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:18-20
Joshua, Peter, and John were challenged to either obey what man said or God said. They chose God!
When it comes to tough decisions that may cost me my life or my families life, I hope I can boldy say, as for me and my household, we will boldly and unashamedly serve the Lord!
What has it cost you to be a Jesus follower? For me, it has not cost enough, and I pray God will use me more every day to glorify Him and tell the world about His Son Jesus Christ…even if it takes losing my life to do it!
Prayer, encouraging each other to good works and loving like Jesus is what we all need to be focused on! May God increase your faith and mine that we could be a light in the darkness!
For those of you interested, we are still having house church should you want to meet with us as Jesus followers faithfully have done for close to two THOUSAND years! For details please direct message me since I could be arrested or deported for being a Jesus follower and practicing my faith in action.
For those of you who are unable to make it due to distance, I would encourage you to meet together in YOUR home with other Christians and praise God, pray, help each other and remember Jesus sacrifice through the Lords supper just like the very first assembly of Jesus followers did.
If you have mobility issues or other things preventing you from attending I will also be broadcasting the service online on Facebook Live. Please message me if you want more details.