Page 9 - January 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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used to convey the concept of God’s pres-  and added to the fellowship, which is
        ence, realized and enjoyed by His people   formed by glad adherence to the apostles’
        in worship, obedience, honor and respect.   doctrine. They will display the headship
        The universal Church is characterized as   of Christ in God’s order (1Cor 11:2-16).
        a growing temple (Eph 2:21-22). However,   The Lord’s Supper is kept once a week
        this Church has never been together in   (Acts 20:7), and calls to remembrance that
        one place, as it comprises every saint of   He was once here but He has now gone.
        this dispensation from Pentecost until the   Elders are recognized and respected for
        Rapture. Differences in history, time and   their godly maturity, approachability
        location have precluded such a coming   and wisdom in guiding and leading the
        together. Its first gathering together will be   company. The gatherings are marked by
        when we set eyes on Him for the first time   a simple obedience to Scripture and the
        in our glorified bodies, when “we all gather   absence of additional religious trappings
        home in the morning” and we gladly meet   not found in the apostles’ teaching. We live
        Him in the air (1Thes 4:17). Ephesians and   in a day when extra-biblical ideas found in
        Hebrews teach us that now our place of   the evangelical world seem to have more
        worship is in Christ in the heavens, where   appeal than the plain provisions of Scrip-
        Christ sits on the right hand of God (Eph   ture. The local assembly belongs to God
        1:20; 2:18; Heb 10:19-22).           and carries the character of God’s house.
          The believer’s body is described as a   His authority, His order of administration,
        temple (1Cor 6:19). Again, the principles   and His awesome presence are realities in
        of worshiping and honoring God in our   the place that provides accommodation
        behavior and lifestyle should govern us   for Him on His terms. We are not free to
        in all that we do and wherever we are. We   imitate the sophisticated arrangements and
        are not free to use our bodies for our own   “tech savvy” programming that often are
        pursuit of pleasure. If we belong to the   franchised across the evangelical world
        Lord and we are to enjoy His presence in   and labeled as worship. It is always a
        our souls from day to day, we will walk   cause for sadness when simple assembly
        “trying to learn what is pleasing to the   practice is given up for more liberal “man-
        Lord” (Eph 5:10 NASB).               centered” forms of gathering. May Christ
          The term “church of God” is always a NT   always have the preeminence among His
        assembly of Christians in a locality (Acts   people as we gather in His Name and seek
        20:28; 1Cor 1:2). Simply stated, it is God’s   to honor Him as Lord in all we do.
        pattern for collective gathering today. It   Ultimately, our place of worship will
        too is a temple of God (1Cor 3:16-17). The   be in the New Jerusalem, that heavenly
        Greek word used (naos) equates with the   city of which John heard, “Behold, the
        Holy of Holies of the tabernacle and the   tabernacle of God is with men, and he
        temple. It is God Himself dwelling among   will dwell with them, and they shall be
        His people who willingly, reverently and   his people, and God himself shall be with
        lovingly display obedience, honor and   them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3 KJV).
        respect towards Him, which is His due.   Our eternal occupation will be worship. As
           Scripture details the conditions that   we anticipate the radiant glory of heaven,
        please Him and should be found in such   we say, like John, “Amen, even so come
        comings together. Believers are baptized   Lord Jesus.”

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