Are you missing out on fellowship? Fellowship is the assembly of fellow believers. The Bible tells us to not neglect assembly with fellow believers.
Are you missing out on fellowship?
What is fellowship
According to Merriam-Webster the simple meaning for fellowship is:
a friendly relationship among people
the relationship of people who share interests or feelings
a group of people who have similar interests
This gives the idea of assembling together. In this assembly, it is to help encourage, edify, correct and bring each other up. It is to bring each person closer to God, not away from God!
Fellowship comes from the Greek word koinōnia. #G2842 The term is used 20 times in 18 verses too. Strong’s usage is: partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:—(to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Church covenant states that we cannot neglect fellowship with fellow believers too. Most churches have a church covenant. It may vary in the text and wording. (Taken from New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Appendix to the 1833 Statement, which is the basis for the current Baptist Faith and Message)
“We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; tostrive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote itsprosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; tocontribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, therelief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
Iron sharpens iron
Besides iron sharpens iron. This is one of the best reasons we should be in fellowship with fellow believers. This is where we share the Word of God with each other and help encourage and edify each other. Bringing each other up and closer to God, not away from God. We must have our sword sharp! Our sword is the Word of God. This is the only defensive weapon in the Armor of God. This can help correct us in the Word of God and also strengthen our wisdom and knowledge in the Word of God too.
Not only does fellowship help sharpen iron, but it can help build godly relationships with your fellow believers. That leads to loving each other and leads praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ. It can help you encourage them too. Fellowship can help carry each others burdens. So when you neglect fellowship, you are saying I don’t love my fellow brothers and sisters. After all we all make up the body of Christ. If one part of the body is missing, it affects the whole body. Do note that in Hebrews 10:24, it states let us consider one another. That shows we must put the needs of others, even before our own. The acronym for Joy comes into play. Jesus, Others, Yourself. Fellowship helps bring joy and uplift your spirit. I know that if I miss due to sickness, I feel something is missing. Fellowship helps fuel you!
To Not Go to Church and Assemble
To not go to church and do other things says your priorities aren’t on the things of God, but on your own desires. We are told to put God first above everything else. One example is you see a family going to an amusement park, the fair or the circus instead of going to church. Yes, you can still go to those things, but when it comes to the appointed time to assemble, you need to be in assembly.
This includes our families. Something most people don’t want to hear. But if we put our families before God, we are saying that God isn’t important. We don’t answer to our family on judgement day, we answer to God! By putting God first before our families, than God will work out everything else. We must trust God.
When you are not in assembly, you are missing out! You miss out on the joys and concerns of the body. You miss out on being fed in the Word too. There is so much you miss out on when you are not in assembly. Plus, when we play hooky from assembly and take our children with us, we are showing them it is okay to neglect worship and assembly. We then are not truly bring up our children in the ways of the Lord. You also miss out on blessings too! Not to mention, God has a Word for you and you neglecting assembly, prevents you from hearing God’s Word! Of course, the missing out is endless!
Brings Us Away From God
If it brings us away from God than we shouldn’t be doing it! It’s that simple, but not so simple, since we live in the flesh and seek out things that satisfy our flesh. We are told to avoid evil things and remove hindrances. It is almost like people are taking a vacation from church. Sin separates us from God. Sin is anything that goes against the Word of God.
168 Hours a week
We may do it one time, then next thing we know we do it again. Before long we are doing it on a regular basis. We have to know that it is God’s time, not our time! It is all about Him and not about us! God gives us 168 hours a week. We are saying we can’t give him at least 3-8 hours a week? I believe if we are not in assembly with God, it can make one weak.
I do believe church discipline should be used to help keep its members accountable. The Bible tells us we must hold each other accountable and we are to use the Bible to edify and correct. Besides God corrects those who He loves. The church should correct those who the church loves. Just like a parent who withholds the rod to his child, hates his child. The same goes to the church. If the church withholds the rod to its members, it is saying it hates its members. If your church doesn’t do church discipline, you should seek out a church that does. If the church doesn’t discipline you, than God surely will.
He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Be In Assembly
So and be in assembly. Do not neglect your duty! Christ died for us! He didn’t come off the cross to go do other things. He went on to death to do the will of the Father and we must do the same. The Bible tells us that we cannot neglect fellowship and even the church covenant states that too. We as a body of Christ need to be held accountable!
Yes, there are legit things that can prevent you from assembly, such as sickness and illness. Even sometimes work, but when we are freely able to go, we must go! But things of pleasure should never take us away from fellowship.