Hebrews 10:24 And let us constantly be giving careful attention to one another for the purpose of stimulating one another to divine and self-sacrificial love and good works, 25 not letting down on the assembling of ourselves together, even as the custom of certain is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you are seeing the day drawing near. (An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest )
Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
Every child of God is called into the fellowship of with the Lord personally and privately; but also with the Body of Christ, the local Church, publicly. Our responsibility for faithful fellowship is clearly stated in Hebrews 10:25. It is a command of God and 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. Yes, our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost 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. Yes, we are called to a Person, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9), but we are also called to a Local Body of Christ to assemble.
God has always had a PLACE of meeting where He could meet with man:
The Garden was a place Gen. 2:8.
Abraham, being called, obeyed to go out to a place Heb. 11:18.
Bethel was a place where God revealed Himself to Jacob Gen. 28:11, 16, 17, 19, 22.
God would choose a place to put His name in the Promised Land Deut. 12:11, 14, 16.
There is a place God plants us as trees of righteousness Psalm 92:12-14; Is. 61:3.
A place where as sheep we are in a flock or fold to be fed, increase, and be fruitful Jer. 23:1-4.
Early Church Believers had a place they could call their own company Acts 4:23-31.
The Local Church is place of the truth and it is called the House of God 1 Tim. 3:15.
Some Believers only have a commitment to the Universal Church, the spiritual Body of Christ they belong to by virtue of being saved. They draw feelings of belonging from their spiritual connection to the Universal Church but have no connection to the Local Church. Others with no commitment to a Local Church feel that they can go anywhere whenever and wherever they want on any given Sunday. I’d like to see a soldier in the military do that and just report to any base they want any time they want. I’d like to see that work for an athlete to just show up at different times, at any game, and play with any team, whenever they decide it fits their schedule.
Some say all you need is a relationship with Jesus but Jesus is the Head of a Body called the Church. To have that kind of fellowship there would have had to be a decapitation of some sort.
Some say we don’t go to church, we are the church but the Church is not one member but many; the church is the assembly of the many members. Yes, we are individual members of a Body called the Church but we are the “called out ones,” who are to assemble. There is a place God has for every believer. Find your place, get planted, and flourish. Where you are planted influences what grows in you and how you grow. Only planted things flourish and the place you are planted matters.