Summary: True we are called by Christ to the church worldwide (of which all of us are a part of), but we are also called by Christ to an individual local church TOO!
“The local church is it necessary in the life of the Christian”
True we are called by Christ to the church worldwide (of which all of us are a part of), but we are also called by Christ to an individual local church TOO!
What I mean by a local church (Gk. Ekklesia) is not a building, but a group of Christian believers gathered together in a physical location (and it does not have to be a building, it might even be in a home - Acts 16:5, Philemon 1:2) under God ordained leadership.
Scriptural truths regarding the local church:
1. As you read the New Testament you will find that many of the Epistles were letters to a local church or local churches (Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, Thessalonica).
2. Seven churches were addressed in Revelation chapters 2 & 3 (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea).
4. Church was a group gathered together in one place - I Cor. 14:23
5. We are not to forsake the local assembling together of the Church - Heb. 10:25
The above scriptures lay down a basic scriptural foundation for the local church, now I would like to take a little time here to share my heart with you all on this subject. I have been wanting to write on this subject for quite some time, but wanted to lay a clear Biblical base, and though a more in-depth study would be a good thing, I felt the Lord wanted me to address this now! My concern (though not voiced often enough by Christians) is this that we need the physical local church in our Christian lives. We look at the early church and they are a body of believers who gathered together, whether in public buildings or in homes, but the point is they did gather together physically, and they did have leaders over them, and church guidelines, and accountability, etc. These are all important things that can ONLY happen at a certain level on the INTERNET, thus we all must recognize that as great and powerful a tool as the INTERNET is (and believe me I believe in it or there would be no BibleFood) it is NOT to replace the local church (anymore than Tele-Evangelist, or TV ministries are NOT to replace the local church).
Approximately 5 months ago I heard on Christian radio that younger Christians (teens, early 20’s) are the group that most believes that the Internet is an acceptable replacement for the local church, that grieved me, as I know how wrong that is! I hope none of our teens, 20’s crowd believe that! I hope none of you, whatever your age, believe that! I will say that I am very thankful for all you hungry Christians and especially for those we can help and encourage who are restricted to the home due to an ailment, or some other legitimate physical reason, but even in that case I would hope you would know a local Church that would come and visit you. Also while I’m at it, if you have had a BAD Church experience, though I feel for you, and I know many of you have, that is no excuse for not being part of a local church. In obedience to the Word of God and to be blessed and be a blessing, PLEASE FIND A LOCAL CHURCH!