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Being part of a local Church, and not many local churches, is very important to your spiritual growth.
The Word of God tells us to encourage one another. Hebrews 10:23-25 says:
So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and our acknowledgment of it, for He Who promised is reliable, sure and faithful to His Word.

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up, stimulate and incite, to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together, as believers, as is the habit of some people, but admonishing, warning, urging and encouraging, one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
The Apostle Paul is exhorting the Church, here, to hold fast their profession of faith without wavering; to hold fast to their confession and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.

The term "hold fast" means to hold down, to possess, to keep in memory, to take hold of. He is saying this with the thought of the possibility of one being careless about or lacking seriousness concerning their profession of Christ unto salvation.

He is saying here, that we need to embrace the "hope" of our salvation and never let it waver or let it wane or grow cold, because He Who promised us this "hope" is reliable and faithful to bring it to completion.

In this sense, completion means that we are now alive spiritually or born again, since we made Jesus our Savior and Lord; our minds are being renewed daily as we read God's Word and one day we will have a glorified body, just as Christ has, and a home in heaven to live in.

This will take place at the Rapture, which is the taking up of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ from the earth, as explained in 1 Corinthians 15:50-55. A similar account of the Rapture of the Church can also be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

In Hebrews 10:25, the Apostle Paul talks about "us seeing this day (the rapture of the Church) approaching" and because this is evident; because we can see or sense the closeness of this day approaching; he tells us to faithfully:
(a) give continuous and attentive care to watch over one another;
(b) consider how we can stimulate to stir and to incite one another to walk in love;
(c) encourage one another to do helpful deeds and activities; and
(d) abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Then he puts the icing on the cake. He says, 'Do not forsake or neglect the assembling of yourselves together, as believers, as is the habit of some people; but admonish, warn, urge and encourage one another, and all the more faithfully, as you see the day approaching."

Why is it so important that we do not neglect or forsake the assembling of ourselves together? Number one, the Word tells us to assemble together and if the Word of God says to, that's reason enough with out any questions being asked on our part.

You Need to Stay Connected
But why would the Holy Spirit give us these instructions? Because in the world there are many distractions. These distractions are constantly trying to pull you in their direction and cause you to forsake your call to the Body of Christ.

They are trying to entice you, to lure you in their direction and that's why the Word tells us to encourage one another and be stirred up in the faith and to be in church or to assemble together.

James 4:4b says, "Do you not know that being the world's friend or associate, is being God's enemy. So whoever chooses to be a friend or an associate of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God."

You say, "Well I'm in this world and I work in this world, so what can I do? Does that make me an enemy of God?" No, unless you are an associate or a friend of the world. Let's clarify what an associate is.

According to Webster's Dictionary, an associate is one who unites himself in a relationship with someone, to connect in mind or imagination, to join together to form a league or union, to keep company, a colleague, a companion, something that habitually accompanies or is associated with another.

Do you qualify in any of these areas? If not, then you are not a friend to the world or an enemy of God. The Bible says we are in the world but do not belong to the world (John 17:14-18).

Also, notice, Jesus sent His disciples out to minister in two's. It is much easier to attack a person when they are alone, and it is much easier to deceive a person who isolates himself from the rest of the Body of Christ. Jesus had the twelve disciples; then He had the three, Peter, James and John; and then He had the one, the Apostle John. He was always with His associates unless He was praying.

Your Local Church is Where You Grow
Being part of a local Church, and not many local churches, is very important to your spiritual growth. The local church is the place where you are instructed and taught the Word of God by your Pastor and the other ministry gifts that visit there, so you can become equipped to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:8-12).

It is a place where, iron sharpens iron, where you learn to work well with others as you practice being a doer of the Word. It is a place where you come together to assemble yourselves with other like-minded believers (Acts 4:23) to use your God-given talents and gifts, and it is a place where you will be encouraged and stirred up in your faith.

Your association with one local church will help you to be sensitive to the voice of God because of the Bible teaching you should be receiving there. Don't be a loner and forsake the assembling of yourself together with the rest of the Body of Christ. You make yourself prey to the enemy when you do this.

Ask God to direct you to a good Church where God's Word is taught without compromise and stay there. Trees can't grow if they are constantly being uprooted. Let your roots grow deep there and you will grow spiritually and become a mature Christian.

There are no perfect Churches because they are full of imperfect people, like you and me, but God's Word is perfect and it will help to change any imperfections present.

The Word of God tells us to stir up one another to continue in God's love and faith in Jesus Christ, and not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as we see the day approaching.

Being stirred up and staying stirred up is your responsibility. It is not the Pastor's responsibility nor is it your spouse's responsibility to keep you on fire for God. We need to encourage one another to stay stirred up and to be strong in the Lord, but to stay this way, you will have to do your own reading and praying and fellowshipping with the Father.

It takes commitment, but there is nothing else that can compare to being on fire for God. Encourage one another with these words, for the coming of the Lord is drawing nigh!

Abundant Grace Fellowship Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Anthony Storino
Web site: Abundant Grace Church
Pastor Anthony Storino was born in Newark, New Jersey in January 1949 and grew up in the Pine Beach and Toms River areas. He, along with his father and brothers, were local businessmen in Toms River since 1955. In 1982 Pastor Storino answered the call of God on his life to enter the ministry. He moved with his wife, Carol, and three sons, Anthony, Eddie, and Joseph, to Broken Arrow Oklahoma where he and his wife attended RHEMA Bible Training Center, Kenneth Hagin Ministries.

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