There are many erroneous beliefs about the church today. Many believe that church should be several things to them and so when they feel that the particular thing is not or no longer forthcoming, they quit; and may even quit going to any other church altogether, thereby making a possible shipwreck of their faith.
Apostle Paul already warned the young pastor – Timothy about this close to two thousand years ago. It is still happening in our days today.
2 Tim. 4: 1-5 (ERV) Before God and Jesus Christ, I give you a command. Christ Jesus is the one who will judge all people—those who are living and those who have died. He is coming again to rule in his kingdom. So, I give you this command: Tell everyone God’s message. Be ready at all times to do whatever is needed. Tell people what they need to do, tell them when they are doing wrong, and encourage them. Do this with great patience and careful teaching. The time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching. But people will find more and more teachers who please them. They will find teachers who say what they want to hear. People will stop listening to the truth. They will begin to follow the teaching in false stories. But you should control yourself at all times. When troubles come, accept them. Do the work of telling the Good News. Do all the duties of a servant of God.
The church is not a social club; not an opera or film house; not a place to just come and feel good; not a supermarket or goody-goody store. It is not a place to come and find money, babies, spouse, investment, social media followers, etc. While it is possible for all those to be found in the church, it is not why we meet.
Below are a few reasons why the church exists:
Mt. 6: 33 – a place to find out more on how to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, so that other things might be added unto us.
Lk. 24:49 – a place to gather together to be endued with power from above.
Acts 1: 12-14 – a place to offer collective prayer and supplication to God.
Note below what happens when people gathered in the church for wrong reasons: they get flogged by God – Mt. 21: 10-13.
Biblical reasons for church
- God intends to use the church to demonstrate to the world His glory, power and wisdom (Eph. 3:8-11; Acts 4: 8-17).
- To come together in order to accomplish the will of God on Earth i.e. mission (Acts 13:1-3; Mt. 28:19-20: intercessors, missionaries, sponsors).
- For every believer to put their talent/gift to use (I Cor. 12: 1-31; Mt. 25: 14-30).
- To build each other up in the faith (Eph. 4: 11-14; Prov. 27:17).
- To encourage one another (Heb. 10: 24-25; Acts 4: 23-31).
- To disciple new converts (Acts 2: 36-41).
- To give collective and wholesome praise to God (Acts 3:1; 2 Chro. 5:11-14).
- To help and support the needy and less privileged (Acts 2: 44-45; 4: 32).
- To make a positive impact on the community we live (Mt. 5: 13-16).
- To raise godly seed for the next generation (2 Tim. 1:5). Timothy’s father was a Gentile, but his grandma and mother raised him in church.
What is House Fellowship?
House Fellowship can be defined as a meeting in a house, an office, a marketplace, etc; where believers, unbelievers and people at different levels of spiritual maturity gather at an agreed time and a particular day of the week to share the Word of God.
What is the biblical basis for House Fellowship?
Acts 2:46 New King James Version (NKJV) So, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Acts 5:42 New King James Version (NKJV) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Acts 20:20 New King James Version (NKJV) how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
Romans 16:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV) – House Fellowships Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.
Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
Importance of House Fellowship
It is essentially not a social group or where needs will be met. Even though that can happen. It will be a reward for being a part of the group; not a reason for joining.
- Provide opportunities for close friendships
- Opportunities to start using one’s spiritual gifts first from a smaller gathering (Rom. 12: 4-).
- Focus on evangelism in its locality to grow the main church (I Cor. 14: 24-34).
- Develop a friendship with like-minded Christians through interaction.
- An avenue to demonstrate Christian love through serving one another e.g. Dorcas.
- Opportunity to grow spiritually through the scripture, prayers, worship, testimonies and accountability (I Cor. 14: 26).
- Avenue to equip and disciple members.
- Forum to identify new leaders.
- Avenue to establish decrees and exercise power in the prayer of agreement (Acts 12: 1-17; Mt. 18:19).
- Avenue to provide encouragement and motivation (Heb. 10:24-25).
What happens at House Fellowship?
Praise and worship
Points to note as touching the importance of church participation in fulfilling the work of the kingdom.
Luke 10:40-42 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
But her sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice, and it will never be taken away from her.”
Joshua 1:8 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Always remember what is written in that book of the law. Speak about that book and study it day and night. Then you can be sure to obey what is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything you do.
John 20:24-29 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Thomas (called Didymus) was one of the twelve, but he was not with the other followers when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We saw the Lord.” Thomas said, “That’s hard to believe. I will have to see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side. Only then will I believe it.” 26 A week later the followers were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand here in my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “You believe because you see me. Great blessings belong to the people who believe without seeing me!”
Luke 18:6-8 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) The Lord said, “Listen, there is meaning in what the bad judge said. 7 God’s people shout to him night and day, and he will always give them what is right. He will not be slow to answer them. 8 I tell you; God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find people on earth who believe in him?
Matthew 26:40-41 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Then he went back to his followers and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Could you men not stay awake with me for one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right, but your body is weak.”
Hosea 4:5-6 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) You priests will fall in the daytime. And at night the prophet will also fall with you. I will also destroy your mother. “My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children.
Romans 8:16 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) And the Spirit himself speaks to our spirits and makes us sure that we are God’s children.
Matthew 18:20 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Yes, if two or three people are together believing in me, I am there with them.”
Matthew 5:6 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Great blessings belong to those who want to do right more than anything else. God will fully satisfy them.
Matthew 24:13 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Remember this: There are some terrible times coming in the last days.
People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud and boast about themselves. They will abuse others with insults. They will not obey their parents. They will be ungrateful and against all that is pleasing to God.
They will have no love for others and will refuse to forgive anyone. They will talk about others to hurt them and will have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
People will turn against their friends. They will do foolish things without thinking and will be so proud of themselves. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure.
They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live. Stay away from these people!
The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 9, 2020.