Text: Acts 4:23 (KJV)

“And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.”

Peter and John preached the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. A lame man was healed; he began walking, then leaping and praising God. Peter and John were arrested and placed in prison (or holding). They were questioned the next day for the miracle of a lame man being healed through the Name of Jesus, and finally they were released and “returned to their own company.” [1]

Notice that from the very beginning it has been the plan of God that each believer has his own company or church he is connected with.  God never intended for a believer to go through life alone.  Remember, the disciples were sent out two by two.[2] Peter stood up to preach with the “other eleven.”[3] Psalms 133 vividly declares that there is a blessing that falls upon individuals as they are able to be united and teamed up with other believers.  God’s intent was that each believer had his own company, his own gathering, or his own church which in the Greek language is called the EKKLESIA” in the New Testament.

F.J.A. Hort clearly explains the meaning of the Greek word, EKKLESIA. He says it means “a body of people who have been “summoned out” of their homes to come and meet with God.”[4] (Barclay, 70) He notes the emphasis is being placed primarily on the action of God.  God is literally summoning, calling believers and the “whosoever wills” to a meeting with Himself.  The EKKLESIA (the church) is being summoned to a place to meet God personally in all His power and all His presence.  The local church was to be a place where God would talk to His people, instruct them and guide them into green pastures (Read Psalms 23).

Consider this: It is early Sunday morning and the sun is just beginning to rise. The phone rings and you pick up the receiver.  A gentle voice says,

“This is God. I am summoning you to awake, get dressed and go meet with the EKKLESIA at your local church.  Expect Me to talk with you there. Expect Me to meet you personally there and expect good things to happen to you.  This special time is being set aside for Me to have an appointment with you and for you to meet with other believers.  Encourage each other, share your wisdom, gifts, and talents with each other and enjoy one another’s presence.”

Now, if we really believed God was calling us from heaven we would be up and running to church faster than we have ever run.  The truth is, however, that God is calling us and we are being summoned to the local church. “Let him who has an ear to hear, hear what God is saying (See Matthew 11:15 & Revelation 2:29).”

I can hear some of you saying, “I need not go to a building to hear God speak to me.  I need not go to a building to meet with God personally.”  This is very true and obvious. However, God said in His word that the local church is the ground and pillar of truth in the earth.  God saw fit to establish a location or meeting place in each community that would be a road sign, telling others that there God will instruct you, God will help you and God will favor you.  Travel the world and take a look. There are churches all over the world, holding out as the ground and pillar of truth.  If the church is God’s plan and original design, we should ask ourselves how important is it to us?

How important is the local church to you? What value do you place on it?  How important are the people in your “own company”?  Do you even have a company of believers you are divinely connected with?  The EKKLESIA is not a television preacher or an internet ministry.  As William Barclay says so beautifully in his book New Testament Words,

“The Church, the EKKLESIA is a body of people, not so much assembling because they have chosen to come together but assembling because God has called them to Himself; not so much assembling to share their own thoughts and opinions, but assembling to listen to the voice of God (Barclay,70).”

If there was ever a time in history that believers need to hear the voice of God, it is now. The Maker of the universe has wisdom to give us and instructions for assignments He needs us to do here on the earth. Don’t you think it is time for all of us to get connected to a local church?

His,

Pastor Scott Stanek

[1] Acts 4:23

[2] Luke 10:1

[3] Acts 2:14

[4] Barclay, William.  New Testament Words.  Kentucky:  Westminster John Knox Press,  1974.  Print.

 

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