1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Every child of God is called into fellowship with the Lord personally and privately (1 Corinthians 1:9); but also with the Body of Christ, the local Church, publicly (Acts 2:42-47). In 1 Timothy 3:15, it calls the house of God (the physical meeting place), the Church. Here the house of God is distinguished from us as individuals and our behavior in it. Forsaking, deserting, or abandoning assembling with the Body as ones customary conduct is clearly warned against in 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.” Its warning is to not about an occasional missing a service but rather the total abandonment and desertion of assembling. That is becoming more and more the habit of some members today in the Body of Christ. When God says to not do something like “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together,” it is not a suggestion. God never suggests anything.
Yes, our mission starts when we leave the gathering place as God anoints our going with the power of the Holy Ghost and the Gospel. Yes, God can speak to us in a solitary private place like He did Jesus (Mark 1:35) but He still speaks to us in the assembly where the gifts Jesus has given to help us grow are (Ephesians 4:11, 12). Yes, our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and house of God but until the Tabernacle of God that comes down from heaven in the new Heaven and new Earth (Revelation 21:1-3), there will always be a local place of assembling and the Local Church.
God has always had a PLACE of meeting where He could meet with man:
The Garden was a place Genesis 2:8.
Abraham, being called, obeyed to go out to a place Hebrews 11:18.
Bethel was a place where God revealed Himself to Jacob Genesis 28:11, 16, 17, 19, 22.
God would choose a place to put His name in the Promised Land Deuteronomy 12:11, 14, 16.
There is a place God plants us as trees of righteousness Psalm 92:12-14; Isaiah 61:3.
A place where as sheep we are in a flock or fold to be fed, increase, and be fruitful Jeremiah 23:1-4.
A place we can call our own company Acts 4:23-31.
A place of the truth, the House of God 1 Timothy 3:15.
Some say the only commitment they need is a commitment to the Church universal which is the Body of believers everywhere. That is why they feel they can go wherever they want on any given Sunday if they even do that at all. I’d like to see a soldier in the military do that and just report to any base they want any time they want, anywhere they want. I’d like to see that work for an athlete to just show up at any game and play with any team anywhere only when they want to.
Some say all you need is fellowship with Jesus. That is not true. Jesus is the Head of a Body called the Church. Jesus, the Head, has a Body He is connected to. To have that kind of fellowship as some suggest, there would have had to be a decapitation of some sort. The church is not one member but many; the church is the assembly of the many members. My physical hand isn’t my body but a member of my body. It is not my body alone but only when connected.
Yes, we are individual members of a Body called the Church but we are also the “called out ones,” who are to assemble with the other members of the Body. There is a place God has for every believer and the place matters. Find your place, get planted, and flourish.