You cannot be the church by yourself. After all, you are only one part of the body and the body has many parts. All of those parts are required in order to have a perfectly functioning body.
In order to have a church that is effective in carrying out the mission that God has given it, each member must be playing their part.
If you want to see the church function at its best, then you need to be willing to do your part. You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect others to do all the work. The body of Christ needs every member to work together in order for it to be effective.
You cannot be the church alone. Therefore, you need to gather with other Christians. They are all members of the body of Christ. Fellowship with them and make the body stronger.
1 Corinthians 12:27
1 Corinthians 15:33
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thanks for being here. Today we are in the middle of a sermon series about the importance of following Jesus and being the church. So how do we do that?
Well, the first week we talked about following Jesus, not religion, and making sure that whatever religion or church or building you are affiliated with is following Jesus, not man-made traditions. Then the next week we spoke about how it is important for you to be the church. Church is not a building, it is a people.
If you have not seen those, check them out in a card or navigate to our YouTube channel where you can find the playlist for this sermon series. Now if this is your first time and you are just catching us right in the middle of the series, do not worry, keep watching, you can go back later and catch up on the others. But I really appreciate it if you would subscribe to the channel, follow us on social media, etc.
If you are a returning visitor hopefully you have shared some of our videos on your social media to keep helping us reach other people. After all, that is our mission here at Social Media Ministries. It is to reach other people, bring them the gospel of Christ through the use of social media, and also to help them understand and interpret the Bible. You can check all of that out on our YouTube channel. All of our descriptions have some details about us in them as well.
So let’s continue on. Today we are talking about gathering with Christians. Now this is again the third part in our sermon series, we have one more to go so stay tuned, come back next week for that. It is going to be great, a good conclusion to this sermon series.
I am going to kind of recap a little bit about what we have talked about, a little bit more than I already did, to kind of bring us into the topic of today. Remember we have to follow Jesus, not religion and what does that look like? What does following Jesus look like? Well, it looks like the Bible.
We read the New Testament and we see what Jesus did and we see how He lived. During the period of His ministry of three years, during that period we take all of that that we can and we try to internalize it and talk about it with others, externalize it, and meditate on it day and night.
Read the Bible. Understand the scriptures. Then from there, you can start to turn all of that information, all of that knowledge into action. We do that by doing what Jesus did, loving others, serving, living on faith, being calm, being level-headed even when people were trying to kill Him. He still spoke in love. That is the main backbone of that, it is to live in love. All right so you can write that down, that is a great point, live in love.
The next week we spoke about being the church. What does that mean? It means the church is you, you are the church and all of the people who are your fellow Christians are also members of the church. The church is the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the church. So you have to be the church. What does that look like? Well, that means that you need to communicate with others. You need to affiliate with them, you need to be with them, you need fellowship, you need to, of course, be reading the Bible, talking to God, you have to be what Christ wants you to be. That is being the church.
We are going to tie into that today in our topic of gathering with Christians. Even though I say that you have to follow Jesus and not religion and that you have to be the church, you cannot be the church if you are by yourself. Remember a body has many parts. You are only one part of that body. You are still important but you need others to perfect that body. That is where today’s message comes in.
Do not feel like this sermon series is against religion or against going to church, no that is very very important. That is what we are talking about, we are talking about making sure that wherever you attend, making sure that it follows the Bible, follows the right practices, that it follows Jesus, not man-made tradition. That they teach that the church is not just this building, you are the church, the congregation is the church, the body of Christ. Once you do that you start living in love, you are following Jesus.
It is very very important for you to gather with Christians. Jesus says in Matthew, ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.’ What does that mean? It means that if you are by yourself, you say all right, follow Jesus, not man-made religion. Church is a religion. Am I my own church? Well, that is not right. Then Jesus is not always with you. Where two or three gather in the name of Jesus, there He is with them. That is in Matthew 18:20.
By the way, you can read everything, the references will be in the description below, so you can check all those out. Read the context. This is only one verse and if you read before and after you will get a better picture of what was going on and why He said that. I encourage you to do that.
The point is Jesus wants you to associate with other believers because then you guys have fellowship. Two people can build each other up. In Proverbs Solomon says a cord of three strands is not easily broken, but if you have one you can break it. Or one stick you can break it, but if you put a bundle of sticks together they are very hard to break. Why would you isolate yourself and be the one, when you could be part of a bundle and you are stronger together? Gather with Christians.
Where can you do that? Well, you can start doing small groups. You could start doing Bible studies. You could have people in your home. You could go to a building. A great building to gather is your local church. We are going to talk about that next week, the importance of going to church as a weekly task, a weekly thing. Most people do it on Sunday. We just need to remember that you have to pick the right church and that is also very important.
Jesus wants you to associate with other believers, not only does He want you to associate with them though, He wants you to gather with them. He wants you not only to gather but to gather in His name, to gather together. You see how those words kind of push themselves together like that very nice in His name.
That does not mean you guys just all go and hang out and whatever. No, you are doing it in the name of Jesus. What does that look like? Well, it looks like going there and making sure that even if you guys are just going to have a pizza together or you are going to go play football or something like that, you do it in His name. That means getting together, hey everyone the reason we are here is because God has blessed us with all of this and you talk about it, turn it into a teachable moment.
Pray over your time together and then go do your thing, whether it is a Bible study, whether you are seeing a movie, whether you are playing a sport or whatever you are doing at an arcade, go have fun, go do your thing. Then at the end, everybody comes together again and you guys can talk a little bit how cool it was and then pray together over any needs that you may have or your life and then go on your own separate ways.
But the point is that you do it in Jesus’ name. Now of course, if that looks like the whole time for you is studying the Bible or it might be outreach or a community service project, all of that as well, but remember you could still go have fun in Jesus’ name. He has a great sense of humor, He is all about fun, He wants us to enjoy ourselves as long as it is not of sinful nature. The purpose of you guys being together, as long as you keep that focus on Jesus, you are good to go.
Let’s check out a verse. I got John chapter 14 verses 13 and 14. Jesus says this, ‘And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the son may bring glory to the father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.’
Now this verse could be taken out of context quite often because Jesus is saying directly ask me for anything in my name and I will do it. So does that mean right now if I say Jesus give me one million dollars in cash right here on this stand in your name, is He gonna do it? No, He is not gonna do it. Why, the Bible just said in Jesus’ words that if you do anything in my name I will do it?
Okay, well let’s take a little break down for that. James helps us out, he says in James that when you pray, you ask and you do not receive it is because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Now if I say I need that, I want that million dollars or even let’s say I do it a little more modestly and say hey this ministry needs eight thousand dollars to pay off everything and start over at zero and start building in Jesus’ name. Put it right here.
Is He gonna put it right here? No. Even though that is not spending on my pleasures, He is not just gonna give you every single thing you ask for because it is with wrong motives. Now there may be somebody watching that says wow I just won eight thousand dollars, I am gonna send it in. That is great. Maybe it will be another humorous moment.
I have got a humorous moment for you. There is a professor at a school, atheist and he obviously did not believe that God existed, so he took a piece of chalk and he was showing his class. He said if God exists this piece of chalk is going to not break when it hits the floor when I drop it.
He accidentally dropped it and the chalk went down his sleeve down his coat pocket and then rolled down his pant leg and off of his cuff and did not break at all. The class kind of laughed and he said oh that did not count, I was not ready. But it counted, it fell and it did not break. God exists. So He has got a sense of humor.
Jesus wants you to have fun. He wants you to enjoy life. Ask for things in His name but make sure you are asking according to what is good for you and according to His will. His purpose is not yours. That is really what is important.
If you are just going to keep asking for you it is probably not going to happen. Why are you asking if you are going to say hey I need money, please give me money? You are asking incorrectly. Hey please give me the skills and the desire to go work to get the money that I need to pay for whatever you have to pay for.
Jesus wants to make you better. He wants to give you character. If your child says Dad I need a hundred dollars or mom I need a hundred dollars, you say what for and even if it is for a noble cause are you just gonna give it to them? You might say okay I will tell you what, I will give you a hundred dollars over the next month if you do this, this, this, this, and this and a couple extra things without being told and the kid says okay.
Now what did you do there? You were a great parent, you did not just give them something because giving it to them would not teach them anything. You turned it into a teachable moment. You made them receive good work ethic, character, quality, manners, whatever you gave them, skill sets for life, and then you rewarded them with what they wanted, the hundred dollars.
In the same way, God our Father is not going to simply give us whatever we want. We are getting on another topic here, but that is a great point in this, we are going to talk about it another time in another sermon. So yes Jesus will do whatever you ask in His name, but it might not be what you have in mind, it might not be instant, it is definitely not going to be instant gratification because that is not good for us.
In the world of today we are getting further and further from God with all this instant gratification of all these streaming things, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, all the pluses out there, the Disney, Paramount, all the stuff, all the instant streaming. You can watch anything you want.
You no longer have to get the TV Guide in the paper. You say what, who has that, what is that? The kids are saying what is a TV Guide? A thing in the paper told you what was on for the next week and you had to look at it and you could circle what you wanted to watch and then you wrote the time on the calendar and then you tuned into the channel and you had to wait for it. It was not instant gratification like it is today.
Different world. Cell phones, everything you need. To look something up you had to go to the library. Now punch it right up. Instant gratification has changed this. But again another topic. The point is Jesus will do anything in His name that you ask for, as long as it is according to His plan. How do you know His plan? Get to know your Bible, talk to Him, He will tell you.
So make every effort you can to gather with other Christians. Remember you are created to be a social being. We like to talk to people, we like the reassurance, we like the communication. Some people just like to go and complain, but then they really need to talk to other people, to learn how not to complain. Remember to do everything without complaining, grumbling, or arguing. You are the church.
Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 12 that tells us once again you are the church, the body is a unit, about one body. We read that before, we are not going to get into it for time’s sake, but read that one again. The body is made up of many parts. Remember you are the church, but you need other parts to be complete.
Let’s jump up to 12:27. ‘Now you are the body of Christ. Remember the body is made up of many parts and each one of you is a part of it.’ That means you need more people. You cannot just be a church of one or a church of two, you have many parts, so you need to have brothers and sisters in Christ that are with you. They are your family, they are your family. It is good for you to visit with them on occasion.
Of course, make sure they are Godly people though. You might have people in your immediate family or your extended family that do not believe what you believe, should you be gathering with them on a regular basis? Definitely not. You say wait a minute are not we supposed to reach the lost? Yes, you are but gather with them on occasion so that you do not get pulled astray. Gather with them on occasion. If they are not Godly and you are with them all the time, they will pull you down.
But Jesus gathered with tax collectors and sinners. He was perfect, you are not. You still need to reach the lost, definitely reach the lost, but you cannot make your main association with the lost and you can never go to the lost by yourself. Make sure you have a brother or sister in Christ with you if you are going to engage in saving the lost.
Of course, if you are just out and about in public or with your family and they are unbelievers and you are not talking about being saved or anything, then you are probably not going to get into any type of a problem or an issue unless they start bringing it up.
But it is always a good idea anytime you are with someone who is an adversary, an unbeliever, someone who is a child of the world, a child of the devil, that you be with another believer anytime you are with those people. That way if they start attacking you, two are stronger than one, remember Solomon says if one falls down the other can help him. They are called. Two can keep warm, one cannot. Two is better than one. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs or in groups, not one at a time or they would get killed. Remember that bad company corrupts good characters, so if you are always associating with bad company your character is going to be corrupted. That is biblical. 1 Corinthians 15:33, let’s go there.
‘Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.’ Right there in the Bible. Keep reading a little bit more, it is great, that whole passage is excellent. If you start associating with non-Christians you will be corrupted. Associate with Christians, gather with Christians, with people who are part of the same body of Christ, people who are also part of the church.
You need others around you to help build you up and strengthen you. If you have a problem and you go to somebody who is not of the Bible, they are going to tell you worldly ways to fix the problem. Here is some medication, here is a prescription, I want you to try this, I want you to try this whatever they are practicing.
You go to someone who is a believer, whether it is your pastor, whether you are a counselor, whatever you call it, someone who is also a believer in Jesus Christ and they will give you heavenly solutions to your problem straight from the Bible. Guess what, they are gonna work. It is a big big deal.
You need people around you to help strengthen you up. Solomon knew this, I have mentioned Proverbs several times kind of off the cuff, I did not even have them prepared or anything like that but they all fit.
If you have not read Proverbs, you need to read Proverbs. Read one chapter every day of the month, there are 31 chapters. On the days of the month that there are only 30 or 28 days, you read extra, do it every single day for the next two years. I challenge you. It will change your life. I am not kidding, it will change your life. Every day, two years, big ask but you can do it. It is not that much, ten minutes, five minutes.
Solomon knew this. He says as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another, that is Proverbs 27:17. That means if you are laying there by yourself or you are going through life by yourself, people are going to be banging on you, attacking you, that you are going to get in trouble, you are going to be torn down, you are gonna be brought down, you are gonna have your character corrupted. Your piece of iron, your sword is what he was referencing. It is gonna have nicks and chips and it will be dinged up and bent and there is no one to help you sharpen that. It is going to be scarred.
But if you have someone else around, another piece of iron and you can rub them like this together, they can both maintain that nice edge. They will both be sharp. But remember there is going to be some friction there, iron sharpening iron. That is not like a painless easy process. No, there is going to be a little bit of challenge in your group, they are going to challenge you and that is good. They are going to get rid of your rough edges. They are going to help you out. You guys are going to grow together.
Make every effort to gather with two or three at least other believers in the name of Jesus. That is why small groups in a church are so important. You can go to church and you got the big thing and the sermon, or you can watch this, but if you do not do anything after that, you are missing the boat.
If you watch this with a few other people then you guys need to talk about it, you need to comment down below here and engage in the discussion, you got to use this as fuel and feed and keep going. Meditate on it day and night, gather with people, let that number grow.
Start your own small group, start your own Bible study, you could even start a Bible study and pick a clip. It does not have to be this whole sermon, you could pick that clip that I said that was off the cuff on asking for things and not getting them, or you could pick whatever. You could pick any of those clips for two minutes, five minutes, watch that section, talk about it with your group, watch the whole thing, and talk about it with your group. But the point is whatever you do, you need to be doing it with others, talking about it, engaging, internalizing the information, then externalizing it with others. Then get out there and do and apply it.
Hebrews 10:24-25, let’s read this, is the last verse for us today. ‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. Do not stop meeting with other people, but encourage each other.
Covid was a major blow to our world, our faith, it was a blow, an attack of the world of the evil one on Christianity, on faith. He said Covid is here, we are going to shut down, you cannot meet. We will still meet. A lot of people went online and still can meet. I encourage you, I really really do, get out there and meet with others, you need this.
You may not think you do. You may say but I am tired, you may say but it is too late, you might say but it is too far away. Hey try it, just try it. Start small though. You go to a big meeting, you can go to church but then if you went to like some big group you are going to feel lost. Start small. Get a group of 10 or 12 people, find a group, go there.
If you need to call someone, meet with your pastor, and say hey I need a group of 10 or 12 people, where do I need to go? They will find it for you. They want you to get plugged in. Even if it is going for coffee a couple times a week or once a month or whatever, it may be with a couple other people. Do it in the name of Jesus and meditate on this.
Let’s pray. Lord thank you for this time together. Thank you for the inspirational extra messages and points you brought in. I ask that they would hit home to people and that they would not act as a distraction but rather that they would be an extra reinforcement to their faith and to their walk.
Lord that they would remember that they can ask anything in your name and that you will do it for them as long as it is according to your will and they are asking with the right motive. Lord, I ask that they would be able to find those right motives, that they would know what you want in their life, and that they would seek you each and every day.
That they would do that by gathering with others because through talking with other people we start to learn more, we really open our eyes, we open our hearts, we open our minds and we can really understand different perspectives of what you are trying to do in our lives.
Lord, I pray that they would really really grasp the importance of meeting together with other believers and that they would reach the lost, but not engage and be among the lost. That they would associate with Christians and gather with them. That they would not associate with those of bad morals and let their character be corrupted. But that they would just be with others in groups.
Three strands, a bundle of sticks, that they would go out and reach the lost, but more importantly Lord that before they do that, that they need to get strong in their faith, that they need to gather with other Christians and I ask that you would give them an opportunity to do that. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
So if you do not know you got to gather with other Christians. If you do not want to leave your house, that is fine, do it online. Down below there is a comment section, you can comment there your thoughts, your opinions. Be polite, be respectful, comment with questions, prayer requests, anything like that. Comment below and we can reply, we can engage in discussion with you, I can reply, I will reply. We will engage in discussion.
Hopefully, you can get other people in as well. We can have two or three or five or ten or a hundred people talking down there. So read the comments, engage in that discussion, and you do not have to leave your home, but I do encourage you to gather with those around you. God bless.