What Would It Take?
October 29, 2013 • By Ed Wrather
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 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. - Hebrews 10:23-25 NKJV.
…Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. - Ephesians 5:23b NKJV.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. - Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV.
Casey Wagner is thankful that he is still alive after being hit twice by lightning. It occurred while he was at an off-road racing event at Saint Jo, Texas. Casey was under a tree when he was struck, which knocked him to his knees; then he was struck a second time. Casey says, “It dropped me to my knees and then it hit me again. When I got hit, it was just two big ol' flashes and then sparks went everywhere.” Casey says he could feel the electricity shoot through his body from his right foot out through his arms. He did lose feeling in his right leg and left arm for a time but had no other significant injuries other than his heart skipping a beat. Casey says now, “I've got all the feeling back. It's just like my whole body is waking up from… like if your arm falls asleep, that's how my whole body feels.” Casey does believe that it was God that protected him keeping him alive. And…Casey plans on going to church more now. (FoxNews 10.28.13; CBS 10.28.13; New York Post 10.28.13)
In past devotionals when I have mentioned attending church services I have always received comments from some saying that they believe in God; but want no part of organized religion. So what is a church? W. A. Criswell, a great Bible scholar, writes “A ‘church’ (ekklesia, Gk.) is a group of people who, having been called out of sin and unbelief to faith in Christ, have given witness to that faith through believer’s baptism and have banded themselves into a voluntary fellowship. The church is made up of all those who have been regenerated by faith in the atoning work of Christ.” Criswell also writes that ekklesia means literally, “…the called out ones.” Criswell also says, “The word itself implies no more than simply “assembly.” Criswell writes further, “The universal Church is manifested in the world by a series of individual local churches, each of which is to be a microcosm of the whole, with N.T. Christians under the leadership of the Holy spirit banding themselves into local independent assemblies and operating democratically under the sovereign rule of the Holy spirit to carry on the ministry in that particular locality.”
From this passage in Ephesians 5:23 we see how the work (Matthew 28:18-20) of Christ upon this Earth is to be done is through the “ekklesia”, the “assembly” i.e. the church. The “head”, the leader of this “church” is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Church, assembling together with other believers, is God’s idea and His command.
What would it take for you to be obedient to God’s command for you to be faithful in assembling with other believers? For Casey Wagner, it took being struck by lightning twice…. What about you? What will it take in your life?