[Guest blog post by Pastor Mark White]
Proverbs 18:1 “One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound wisdom.”(CSB)
There is a prevailing attitude with “Christians” to isolate themselves from church and actually blame the church or its people. Usually pointing out imperfections. But since Christ said, “…I will build My church…”(Mat 16:18), He takes full ownership of “I” and “My”, which does include His people whom He died for (Rom 5:8). Pointing a finger at “His Church” or “His people” is pointing a finger at Him, which is very serious. Remember, “…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”(Eph 5:25). That “love” is agape (Greek), and is unconditional love, no complaints allowed. Should we not love the same?
When Jesus ascended into heaven after the resurrection the response of His disciples was, “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continuallyin the temple praising and blessing God, Amen.”(Luke 24:52–53) Please notice the actions (continually) and motive of going to the temple/church was to praise and bless God. It wasn’t about what they could get, but what they could give God. Let’s face it, neither the church, its pastors, nor it’s people are perfect and that is why we need each other.
Isolation is negative and can be sinful. As noted above, isolation is a personal choice, “isolates himself”. The motive is very clear, he “pursues selfish desires”. Why is it negative? Because sound wisdom encourages the opposite. The primary meaning of wisdom is the ability to bring continued advancement or success. That is why a church assembly is so important. In the New Testament “one another” is used 81 times, love one another, encourage, rebuke… Hebrews 10:25 gives us a command, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the moreas you see the Day approaching.”You see, we need each other especially as we see the Day of our Lord coming back to get us, His Church, approaching.
Obviously, if you are disabled or sick and cannot make it to church that is totally different and that is why we broadcast Sunday’s message on our website, www.newvision.city.
For further meditation:
Psalm 26:8“Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.”
Psalm 35:18“I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.”
Psalm 61:4“I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah”
Psalm 92:13“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
Psalm 107:32“Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.”