Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that THOU mayest know how THOU oughtest to behave THYSELF in THE HOUSE OF GOD (A dwelling; a temple; a building), WHICH IS THE CHURCH of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
We are living in an age of lawlessness and a time period described in the Bible as perilous times. There are some professing Christians who have even gone so far as to say that there is no need to assemble together regularly, no need to be involved in the local church, that there is no need for pastor’s anymore, and all we need is a personal relationship with Jesus. They say things like, “We do not go to church; we are the church, so it does not matter if I attend church services.” Yes, we are the Church which is His Body wherever we are, but we are also the church, the “called out ones” who are to assemble together. First Timothy 3:15 calls the house of God (or meeting place) the Church. It also distinguishes the house of God (the meeting place) from individual believers and their behavior in it.
The local church was not a man’s idea that will fade away or be replaced by some so called “new thing” God is now doing. Do not be deceived. It is a part of the requirements found in Scripture for every person who calls Jesus their Lord and Savior. Consider the following overwhelming references and inferences to the local church:
1. The church is seen meeting together in one place, in one accord Acts 1:14; 2:1; 4:24; 5:12; 15:25.
2. The church was committed to be with one another Acts 2:42-47.
3. Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer Acts 3:1. Obviously this was an organized time of meeting together.
4. A gathering known as “one’s own company” is identified in Acts 4:23-33.
5. A gathering together in Solomon’s porch or in one place is noted Acts 5:12.
6. The disciples met regularly Acts 5:42.
7. When problems arose in certain ministry activities deacons were appointed to administer these activities Acts 6:1-7. There was organization, order, leadership, and authority.
8. Diligence was given to appoint proper leadership and oversight by men and the Holy Ghost Acts 1:23-26; 20:28; Titus 1:5.
9. The new churches they started were followed up on and given ordained elders Acts 14:21-23.
10. The church gathered together for prayer Acts 12:5, 12. Prayer was made without ceasing of the church.
11. Missionaries were sent forth from the church with official sanction Acts 13:1-3.
12. There was a place to go for settling issues of doctrine and practice Acts 15:1-35.
13. Local churches and elders are identified in Acts 20:17-31.
14. There are qualifications for local church leadership defined Acts 6:1-7; 20:28-35; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:1,17-25; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4
15. Local churches are mentioned as existing in various cities. Philippi- Acts 16:9-14; Philippians 1:1;Thessalonica -Acts 17:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Berea Acts 18:10-14; Athens – Acts 18:16-34;
Corinth – Acts 18:1-18; 1 Corinthians 1:1,2; Ephesus – Acts 19; 20; Ephesians 1:1; and many more.