Sean Scott's Blog

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Concerns regarding Out of Church Christians

with 24 comments

I’ve written a few posts in the past regarding the apostasy in many/most institutional churches and wanted to write a post or two regarding some of the concerns I have about those who are out of Church. The term “Out of Church Christian” has been given to those who no longer attend institutional churches. If people leave an institutional church because they see the apostasy found within it they are often called “Out of Church Christians.” Those who are out of church, or called by that title, would most likely affirm that though they are out of the institutional church, they are not outside of Christ or His universal church. For many who have come out of institutional churches I believe that to be a true statement. Having come out of an institutional church myself, I’ve had a lot of contact and fellowship with other believers who have also come out. I have seen the good and the bad that can happen when people institutional church. What people do when they come out of an institutional church really determines whether their coming out becomes a blessing or a delusion and a curse.

I know that for many who come out of institutional churches, finding real fellowship can be a challenge. I realize that is the reality for many people. However, with many who’ve come out of church I see something else. It’s not that they cannot find fellowship but they lack zeal in pursuing fellowship. If a believer is comfortable not having fellowship it should be a warning sign to them that something is not right. They are in a dangerous place. And for some who do not have this zeal to be around brethren it might just show they are actually false converts no matter what they claim to have come out of.

Anyone who is a child of God will naturally have a love for the body of Christ. It will be their desire to be around and to fellowship with other believers. The scriptures themselves teach over and over again that having a love for the brethren is a sign/fruit that follows one having received salvation. It is something that every believer is taught by God. There are several scriptures that clearly teach this. In the first chapter of 1st Thessalonians, Paul describes the conversion of the Thessalonians. He talks about how the word preached came with power, the Holy Spirit, and much assurance (v. 5); how the Thessalonians received the word with joy and much affliction (v.6); how they became examples to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia (v.7); how their faith was even spoken of beyond those places (v. 8); and how they had turned from idols to serve the living God (v. 9). Without a doubt, these were true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. As you continue reading the letter you find that one of the things God Himself taught these believers was to love the brethren. It says:

“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,” (I Thes 4:9-10)

If one is born again they are taught by God to love the brethren. When Christ lives inside someone this is the natural outflow of that relationship with God. The writer of Hebrews says something similar in his exhortation and comfort that he gives to those he’s writing. In Chapter 6, the apostle says:

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.” (Heb 6: 4-8)

The apostle warns of the severity of having tasted the “heavenly gift,” sharing in the Holy Spirit, tasting the goodness of God’s word and the powers of the age to come, and then falling away from the faith. He warns of the impossibility of these people being renewed unto repentance. No doubt, just as with any who have read this verse, it put a holy fear into those who were reading it. But then the apostle comforts the readers by saying:

“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb 6:9-12)

The apostle speaks of one of the signs that accompanies salvation, which is evident in these saints; and it is evident in every saint of God. He says they “ministered to the saints, and do minister.” In other words, they loved the saints. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be saved and not have a love for the brethren – as these verses in 1 John state:

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (1 John 3:14)

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)

By our having love for the brethren, we ASSURE our hearts before God that we are His:

“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;” (1 John 3:19)

Now, it’s not that you have to “make” yourself love the brethren, because it’s a natural outflow of having the life of God in you. It’s is one of the “things” that accompany salvation. If you are converted, then this “sign” most definitely followed your conversion and should be a present reality in your life. Do you remember when you were converted? Did you have a desire to be around God’s people? Did you have a love for the saints that was not there before you were converted? The scriptures are clear that a love for the brethren absolutely follows salvation in Jesus Christ and is a present reality in the lives of God’s people.

While there are many ways love for the brethren can be expressed, it is most clearly and frequently expressed by the regular gathering together of the saints to worship God and to edify each other. The local fellowship, the assembling of the saints together, is a central theme/practice regarding God’s kingdom. It is the primary place where the life and the truth of Christ is expressed and made manifest. The importance of the saints meeting together is a foundational truth regarding the kingdom of God. This is a place where I see many who are out of Church fall into error and compromise and settle into complacency. Again, I realize that for many who come out of institutional churches it can be difficult to find fellowship, especially at first. However, for those who have come out, it should be their continual desire, prayer, and effort to find other believers with whom they can regularly meet with and worship the Lord together.

However, what I often see are professing believers who seem content to live life without regular fellowship. If you are a professing believer and find yourself in that place today, you should be very concerned. The notion of living a Christian life apart from other believers in Christ is a concept that is foreign to the word of God. Again, I know there can be seasons in one’s life where finding fellowship can be difficult. I’m not speaking to that. I am speaking to those who have some sort of fellowship within their reach but are content to live without it and make excuses for why they don’t meet with other brethren. This is the actual reality of many who are Out of Church. They lack fellowship not because there isn’t any around but because they either don’t actually want it, they have become complacent and content to live without it, or they settle for other alternatives that really cannot be considered biblical fellowship. For instance, some brethren are unwilling to travel across town to meet other brethren for fellowship. They know brethren they can fellowship with but because it is inconvenient to travel they stay home without it. Yet often, the same people can travel across town to go shopping or for entertainment. Clearly, when this is the case, there is a lack of understanding of the importance of God’s kingdom and the necessity of meeting with brethren in Christ.

A few years ago, I went with a brother to Myanmar. This brother was holding a pastors conference there. Before the conference began, I was walking around saying hi to different people. In doing so, I met one man who had traveled 6 hours (on rocky, winding roads) on a scooter with his family of three just to attend the conference! He not only was there but he was there with joy on his face. Yet some believers can’t drive across town to fellowship with other saints!  Here in Rosarito, I’ve been spending time with a new believer. We spend time in the word together and he sometimes goes with me when I preach. He attends a local fellowship that is about 4 miles from his house. How does he get there?  He walks, 4 miles there and 4 miles back. He doesn’t complain because it’s a joy for him to be around other saints! I can even remember after my own conversion how my wife and I would drive almost 40 miles one way just to spend time every week with a couple that was discipling us. It was something we always looked forward to.

I don’t say these things to throw people under false condemnation but to hopefully help some believers realize that they do have fellowship within their reach if they are willing to spend as much time on it as they often do on other things. I find to be true that the more we actually want to do something, the less inconvenient it becomes. Many times, it just comes down to what one really desires and what one sees as important.

INTERNET FELLOWSHIP

In place of meeting personally with brethren, many who are out of church have turned to what is called “internet fellowship.” Internet fellowship can mean anything from staying in contact with believers through email, fellowshipping with believers on forums, or meeting other believers in a chat room for teaching, prayer, etc. All of these options can certainly be used to stay in contact with believers and to be edified. But they in no way fulfill or take the place of the type of fellowship we see in the scriptures. In the scriptures, you see believers meeting in a personal way in which they are able to share their lives with each other. This type of fellowship cannot be realized through internet fellowship. In my own experience, I have met people in person that I formerly only knew online. In meeting people in person, you often find out that those you meet are nothing like what they appear to be online. This is the reality of internet fellowship. I think this is why so many like the idea of internet fellowship too. It allows people to appear spiritual, to feel like they are meeting with brethren, AND ultimately live the lives that they want, a life that others cannot see, a closed life without any real accountability. To call this fellowship, in the biblical sense, is wrong and self-deceiving.

The scriptural pattern, if you will, is for believers to physically meet in a location for worship and edification, where believers can share their lives with each other and grow to maturity with other believers. Internet fellowship in no way fulfills the scriptural intention of fellowship. Now that’s not to say internet “fellowship” (for lack of a better term) can’t be beneficial to a degree, because it certainly can. Just as the Corinthians were edified by receiving a letter from Paul, I too can be edified by receiving letters or by having internet chats with other believers. But this is not to be mistaken for fellowship. And again, I know that for some who have come out of church, finding some internet “fellowship” has been a blessing. Like I said, it can be used in one’s life for edification. It just doesn’t replace the type of fellowship we see in the scripture that believers are to take part in. If you have settled for internet “fellowship,” know that you do not have fellowship in the biblical sense and should still be praying for and pursuing the opportunity to meet locally with other brethren.

BUT THERE ARE NO ELDERS?

Ideally, the best option is to have a local fellowship of believers of which one can be a part, a fellowship where there are elders and where body ministry is encouraged and facilitated. However, in the day and age in which we live, an established body like this is not always easy to find. Yet even if you cannot find an established fellowship (with elders, etc.), that should not prevent you from finding other likeminded brethren with whom you can fellowship with on a weekly basis. Having appointed elders is not a prerequisite for having biblical fellowship. If you look at Paul’s instructions to Titus, you will find that elders were to be appointed among believers who were “already” in fellowship (Titus was doing what was left “undone“). Were these fellowshipping believers any less a “body” before elders were appointed? Absolutely not. They belonged to the Lord and were in fellowship with each other. It was from within the fellowship of believers that elders were appointed. I say all this because I know some will say that if you are meeting with other believers and there are not appointed elders then you are in error. Many who say this do so as a means to get you to go back into an institutional church with elders. I’m not suggesting that by any means. What I am trying to say is that if you don’t see an established fellowship that you can be part of, don’t let that be an excuse for not finding local brethren, that may be in the same situation that you are in, to fellowship with. Active participation in the body of Christ is an essential truth in the Christian life. It’s not only/simply a truth to be followed; it’s the desire of those who have been born of God and taught of God to love the brethren. Being connected to Christ’s body in a personal way is essential to life in God’s Kingdom.

So if you find yourself out of church and without fellowship, I’m encouraging you to check your motives. Examine yourself to see if fellowship is what you really want. Ask yourself if you’ve made efforts to find believers to fellowship with (even as much as you’ve pursued other things). Have you settled for something called fellowship that is actually not fellowship (i.e. internet fellowship)? If you do find yourself in that place, I would encourage you to go read the New Testament scriptures on the body of Christ. Allow the Lord to show you how important and glorious His body is. And remember, the scriptures know nothing of believers who live their lives independent of regular fellowship with other believers. It’s just not there.

Written by Sean Scott

February 11, 2011 at 2:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

24 Responses

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  1. I have been very grieved tonight because I see that, in the future, Christians will not survive [either long or well], if they remain in isolation.

    Isolation is culturally ingrained in Americans: both from the ‘independent, American spirit’ perspective and also from the ‘so busy trying to survive’ perspective.

    The world just seems to force people apart these days.

    Over the years, God has put together a number [at least 3] groups for fellowship that I have enjoyed. All of them disbanded eventually, primarily because we live in a high-transit area and the people moved away. [Even though God was the worker, He used me to encourage the development of these gatherings.]

    Later, I found some other groups that met regularly in homes or public locations. I ran into all of the following problems:

    1) A woman ran the group and didn’t want my and I to return anymore.

    2) It was just a ‘church split’ meeting in homes.

    3) It was a ‘traditional church’ mentality, only meeting in a public place.

    Alternately, my wife and I have returned to the traditional church setting, starving for at least some semblance of fellowship.

    The following problems arose:

    1) the interim pastor did not seem to know the Lord [no joke]

    2) the Sunday school teacher told the group we were in that the Holy Spirit only speaks through the bible [not personally, as in giving informal, personal direction]

    3) a lot of people really liked the small group I was leading [by serving as needed and encouraging all to minister, as led by God] and it grew: then some of the ‘important’ church folk there told me that I didn’t need to bring my bible to church anymore [which made my wife angry!] and put a woman in charge of our group and people began to shun us

    4) another pastor refused to accept one of our child’s request for baptism [which was a rejection of his confession of salvation]

    Currently, I meet with an older couple, a family in town, a family in the country, and [as God leads] others who I know and am known by over time in the community. All of these [but one] attend traditional churches.

    My wife usually doesn’t go with me. She has a good sister in the Lord that she meets with. She doesn’t feel comfortable around a few of my friends in the Lord, and can’t go with me at the times I meet with the others.

    We are trying to find a traditional church around here that we can attend [without any ‘freak show’ activities going on in it, which is hard].

    I am willing to fellowship with anybody right away; my wife is more ‘traditional’ and has been wounded a lot.

    The worst problem I run into is this: I’m not into ‘face time’ [artificially contrived and spiritually empty associations] with people who don’t really value fellowship.

    I like the verses you quoted, especially 1 John 3:17-18. It corresponds with Acts 2:42-47.

    I notice that, in Acts 2, they had “all things in common.”

    The problem today is that Christians don’t define family the way that Jesus did: “he who does my Father’s will is my mother, brother, and sister [paraphrase].”

    We are supposed to live together as a family.

    I would like to do this, see the need for it, and am still working to achieve it [in some fashion at least] where I am. My wife doesn’t believe it is possible until things get much worse: because she doesn’t have faith that people will commit to and trust one another. Plus, she doesn’t seem to want to give up some of the things she has to give up in order to do it right now.

    This isn’t an indictment of her. She’s been through a lot.

    As for me, I am absolutely convinced that living together in community is the #1 MOST VITAL thing that we must be doing right now to prepare for what is coming.

    It is also pleasing to the Lord in its own right.

    Pray for us that we can become better Christians and walk in these truths.

    Peace

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    February 11, 2011 at 5:23 am

    • Yea brother. I know in this day and age it can be difficult to find genuine brethren who want to fellowship. I know a few brothers who are in the same situation..they actively seek it but are unable to find it. It’s not an easy road and can be discouraging at times. We just have to make sure that even if we find ourselves in that sort of place for a season that we don’t get comfortable with it. Over time it can happen.

      Sean Scott

      February 14, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      • What the Lord has shown me is that … fellowship is the ministry–with Christ–and one another.

        Every spiritual work is simply an extension of the fellowship we already have.

        On top of the fact that it’s hard enough finding sincere people to fellowship with, my wife is very ‘picky’ about who she fellowships with.

        Imagine how frustrating that is for someone who desires all the things that you do?

        Imagine how I am called to honor, respect, and love her patiently, while also fulfilling the commands of God.

        The traditional churches will continue to get worse and worse until the anti-christ appears.

        My wife has been betrayed and wounded by so many church folk over the years that she is very hesitant to trust any longer.

        Perhaps, the reason that we have experienced so much adversity is because we have refused to bow to man instead of God [those manipulating, controlling types that usually run things in the traditional setting]: AND I have continually fostered and encouraged all of the things that you write about and believe in so much about assembling in Jesus’ name.

        I’m doing everything I know how to do.

        Mark

        February 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

  2. P.S. In explanation of why my wife doesn’t feel comfortable around some of my friends in the Lord: my standard for fellowship is that the others sincerely love the Lord Jesus. I find that, many today who are most sincere, also enjoy some human peculiarities. I don’t think that personality differences is an acceptable means for division. As an example, I have one brother whom I fellowship with that can get a little ‘carried away’ sometimes [lack self-restraint in his fervor for what he believes is right]. I ‘encourage’ him, and he calms down and becomes real humble and quiet.

    I just find that God doesn’t reject a lot of people that men do ….

    Peace

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    February 11, 2011 at 5:28 am

  3. ‘quiet’ meaning ‘peaceable’

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    February 11, 2011 at 5:29 am

  4. RE: “Having appointed elders is not a prerequisite for having biblical fellowship. If you look at Paul’s instructions to Titus, you will find that elders were to be appointed among believers who were “already” in fellowship (Titus was doing what was left “undone“). Were these fellowshipping believers any less a “body” before elders were appointed? Absolutely not. They belonged to the Lord and were in fellowship with each other. It was from within the fellowship of believers that elders were appointed. I say all this because I know some will say that if you are meeting with other believers and there are not appointed elders then you are in error. ”
    *
    *
    *
    That’s a very good observation, brother : They were already fellowshiping together before the elders were ordained. The fact that they were willing to serve the believers in the Word without being recognized as elders, actually qualified them to be recognized as elders. An interesting twist. If they had not been willing to do that, that is, function without any recognition, then they would have not been qualified to be ordained as elders.

    ian vincent

    February 11, 2011 at 8:09 am

    • That was edifying. Thanks for posting it here.

      Sean Scott

      February 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

  5. I pretty much don’t link to any blogs on my blog because sometimes things appear on blogs that I don’t condone.

    I link to one couple who I have much agreement with about witnessing house-to-house: I don’t always agree with them on their views in some other areas, but their evangelistic practice is so excellent that I am willing to link to them.

    I also link to you [and actually your wife’s blog] and Ian’s.

    I’ve never seen you write anything that I consider remotely harmful to the brethren [which encourages me by the way].

    A brother who reads here wrote me and asked me a question about my opinion that “living together in community is the #1 most vital thing we should be doing as believers.”

    He wanted to know if I have seen it, or is it a desire of my heart. My reply is as follows:

    “With God, all things are possible.

    Yet, due to our cultural training and the vast harm the traditional church system has done to many Christians by 1) teaching them that a tiny bit of artificially contrived ‘face time’ in a highly controlled [as opposed to free but orderly] setting where little or no authentic dialogue takes place and 2) wounding them by surrounding them with false converts who manipulate and feed on the flock [instead of feeding and caring for them, as commanded]: it is probably not possible without increased affliction and/or persecution.

    It will happen, however: for God has ordained a bride without spot or blemish that is holy before Him.

    It is a desire of my heart, and I don’t really see the down-side of trying: after all, if we fail through no fault of our own [i.e. we remain repentant], will we not learn and increase our chances of living as God commanded before we die?

    I think living together in community means those involved make corporate investments and care for one another as a family. In Acts 2, as you note, they had all things in common, which I view as the apostolic standard. [All I can say to detractors is … it’s in the Bible.]

    The trick is that spiritual giving is a cheerful choice, not a burden imposed by man: so legalism and a heavy sense of obligation would destroy a community, spiritually [will worship is not pleasing to God, being only a show of wisdom (but not the actual thing), according to Colossians 2:23].

    Certainly, we can agree that seeking the approval of man rather than God has destroyed much in traditional assemblies.

    So, start with some common commitment that is doable … encourage those involved to exercise their personal conscience in the sight of God … and let the Lord grow it [Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain–Psalm 127:1].”

    I am interested in others’ views ….

    Peace,

    Mark

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    February 17, 2011 at 4:33 am

    • Mark, that was a really well crafted reply. I relate to much of what you have said between the lines. I suppose all of us who have left the harlot church have, at one time or another, been wounded by her broken and misguided ways. Thanks for holding His Word high, keeping it as the standard, and encouraging all of us to do the same. May He bless you & your efforts.

      Braden

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

  6. I think living as community is the best way to fulfill our witness to the world, by the way, in accordance with Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene:

    Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    –Words of Jesus, John 17:20-21

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    February 17, 2011 at 4:37 am

  7. I’ve seen at least one person trying to put together a Christian community. At first he talked of wanting all kinds of infrastructure with a water tower, buildings and so on. After some years, he has backed off from that I think and now points to the book of Acts as the example to follow. I have agreed with this position, but I’ve also recognized that after some time of the Saints in Jerusalem living as they were, they were scattered through persecution. The purpose was so that the Gospel would be preached throughout the known world at the time. Examining where I am at in my walk, I don’t know if I would be ready to walk so closely with others in a communal setting. Maybe more of a close knit community. Yet I still must defer to The Lord. I was reading in Ezekiel last week, Ezekiel 37:3 comes to mind. “Can these bones live?” The answer is yes, Praise God. Transformations of men happen by the Spirit of Christ and not by the power of men.

    Al

    February 20, 2011 at 12:55 am

  8. I wanted to add also in relation to what Scott was saying that there are edifying things to be found on the internet, but it doesn’t minister to those without internet. If we who are technologically capable aren’t also a witness to those outside of cyberspace, then where is the power of Christ? No where.

    Al

    February 20, 2011 at 2:44 am

  9. I think God always starts small: first 2 families have close fellowship, then 3, then….

    It may never grow beyond a few families, or it may grow to 50 or 100 families, according to the purpose of the LORD.

    2 or 3 families in one accord, working together in the gospel, is zillions better than none. eh.

    I think the gelling point is where the initial 2 or 3 families realize that GOD is in this, and they get a taste of His pleasure in it, and a Holy contentment settles in where they won’t be attracted to anything less again. They won’t go off searching for a “better” church.

    Gidday Al, Mark, Sean.

    ian vincent

    February 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    • Interesting.

      I’ll meditate on that ….

      Mark

      February 21, 2011 at 12:20 am

    • Amen! I’m in the “two-family” stage, pretty much. It’s just me and the Scotts. But it is a blessing!

      Braden

      February 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

  10. Al, in my experience, honesty/transparency is always found in conjunction with sincerity, which is a willingness to do the will of the Lord.

    But as you say, the Lord must build the house.

    Mark

    February 21, 2011 at 12:19 am

  11. Seeking the Lord out about the idea of the body of Christ, how we are knit together.

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not AGAPE LOVE, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not AGAPE LOVE, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not AGAPE LOVE, it profits me nothing.
    4 AGAPE LOVE suffers long and is kind; AGAPE LOVE does not envy; AGAPE LOVE does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    8 AGAPE LOVE never fails. (ICOR 13:1-8)

    Emphasis mine. Agape is the Greek word used in the original and means a deep admiring kind of love. I think this is the only thing required beyond a move of the Holy Spirit to begin to knit people together. In the letters to the churches in Revelations, a couple churches were admonished for clinging to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. This was a practice of placing some in worldly leadership over others. It has become a practice of a priesthood and a laity. But we are all called as priests unto the Lord and we are all called to various gifts according to the same Spirit in the one body of Christ, not to division of a professional priest and pew sitting laity.

    I think this Agape Love is also supplied by the Lord. It’s part of the glue that holds us together.

    Ian, I think you’re on to something.
    Mark, Honesty and transparency is crucial. I think trust is something that needs to be established in the forefront as well. Depending on the people involved, it can be a delicate matter or at the other end a leap of faith. Maybe it depends on a how deeply folks are walking in the Spirit.

    God Bless, Al

    Al

    February 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    • I agree, Al. No man can love another with AGAPE love unless the flame of Christ is ablaze within their own heart. We can only receive this kind of love from the Father. If we don’t have it, the best we can hope to pass on to others is the best we have to offer: PHILEO love.

      Braden

      February 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm

  12. Sean-

    Great article brother, hope I can add a little bit. A few years ago we had a bigger home fellowship. We would see brethren several days a week. Sometimes for study, or prayer, or homeless ministry or street preaching, sometimes just hanging out (I use that term loosely because just hanging out with brethren is nothing like how the world hangs out). That was a special time for sure and one thing that really sticks out to me is how nothing was really forced, it was natural. I loved that.

    Now that brethren have moved far away, and others were scattered when some questionable new people came into the flock, we are pretty much in a two family stage also. I want to learn to be faithful with that instead of being discontent but I still long to see a close knit group of local believers gathered to care for, strengthen, and encourage each other though.

    So I agree with Ians thoughts on starting small and naturally, though we have definately thought and prayed about community living, like what Mark shared. That could be wonderful if it was done right in the Lord.

    -Jim

    fleebabylon

    February 27, 2011 at 3:44 am

  13. PS – the two families that moved far away went off to the mission field…

    fleebabylon

    February 27, 2011 at 3:47 am

  14. Sean, I love your blog…the blogs hit the mark. I would like to comment – Where two or more are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them. There is some wonderful verses in Genesis 26 about, re-digging the wells. Me and a brother have been traveling around an hour to hour and a half radius where we live and preaching the gospel and it is amazing how many Christians are coming up and pulling together over the message being preached in the open air, re-digging the wells 🙂

    I am finding that I just don’t have peace in the traditional setting of “church”…I don’t want to argue with them or condemn them or anything else for that matter I just think that there is much more to how the people of God are to assemble…I don’t want to be in charge or take charge and all those other things…I just want to meet with brothers and sisters who want to worship Christ and not gather as a social outing once a week.

    Where I am at the moment is meeting with my brother (actual brother who became born again before me). We are fellowshiping at his house with my mum and dad who are also born again…My mum and dad have peace with worshiping also in the local methodist and anglican church. I am not going to say to them that they must leave…Jesus is the one who guides…for now I have peace in this fellowship. I also meat with my brother Andy who goes with me on the streets and preaches the gospel. This is the key – As Christians we preach the gospel and spread the good news…we can all do this…it doesn’t matter how big the fellowship is. (In Pauls final letters he was with a small number of brothers who were doing the work of God…many had abandoned him…food for thought).

    I want to encourage every born again believer to have some kind of ministry of spreading the good news…make sure its the pure Gospel of Christ – eternal life is the free gift of God and this life is in His Son Jesus Christ – John 3:16-18, 1 john 5:9-13, 1 corinthians 15…etc…study the bible, spread the word…Leave the growing to God. He is the one who is building the church. The sermon on the mount didn’t say we had to be part of a big fellowship to be saved…its about loving God and our neighbors as ourselves…stand on the word and leave the consequences to God. Love…if they call themselves brothers and sisters then know that it is your responsibility to build them up…tell them of their glaring sin and also edify them when they are doing a good work in Christ. If they are of the world then show them how peacable we are but don’t hold back on giving them the gospel…strive to make everyone know of Christ…Prayer….prayer…fellowship, worship, breaking of bread,..and so on…keep doing them…keep moving forward with what God is showing you…

    Stepping out and preaching the gospel in public can be nerve racking but there is also something so fulfilling with this that once you start you won’t know how to stop. In these last days lift up His name (not ours).

    Remember that there is a time for everything…Praying and singing to God is the best, but not when God wants us to be working. The same goes the other way round – working is good but not when God wants us to be worshiping Him…I am rambling again…but I just want to finish

    The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God unto salvation…This is absolutely know way for people to be saved except for a realization of Christ…which comes through preaching the gospel…

    re-dig the wells 🙂

    Colin Saxton

    April 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    • Thanks for commenting Colin, and for sharing about what the Lord is doing in you and burdening you with. Very encouraging. I can remember the first time I went open air preaching in the ghetto’s. I was terrified, but 5 min into the preaching the Spirit of the Lord filled me and I was a different man. It was such a blessing. I sometimes preach in the open air in the mornings outside some of the government buildings here. And, as I type this, I just got back from going door to door evangelizing with a brother in the area around where I live. I always come back encouraged!

      I hear what you’re saying about the traditional church setting. The Lord led me and my family out of it around 7 years ago. Though there are many genuine believers in these places, the Lord has led my family to fellowship in our home with other believers where we can be free to practice the instructions and admonitions that we see in 1 Corinthian’s for the gathering of the Saints. I’m truly thankful for the brethren the Lord has put into my life and for the fellowship we all enjoy in the Lord together.

      Praying and singing to God is the best, but not when God wants us to be working. The same goes the other way round – working is good but not when God wants us to be worshiping Him

      That’s a good admonition brother. We need to know the mind and will of God! May we all stay in the place where that is what we always seek.

      May the Lord bless you…

      IN Christ,

      Sean

      Sean Scott

      April 23, 2013 at 12:09 am


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