Training for Reigning - 23 - Why can't we go there?

NANCY IS A CLEVER Christian girl who has a problem that is bothering her a good deal. She has attended Assembly meetings all her life because her parents are in Assembly fellowship in their town. But Nancy has some friends in High School who have joined a certain church, lately. They like to tell her what a wonderful place their church is, and about all the things they do there that no one could do in the Gospel Hall. Besides, all the people in that church are saved. They have missionaries away in the foreign field telling out the Gospel. Their pastor preaches about the Second Coming of the Lord, too. And there are lots of young people there . . . and social gatherings for them also. Nancy can’t see a single thing the matter with them
Why, they even say they gather together in the Lord’s Name; and nobody can belong to their church who hasn’t been baptized;. . . and, well, WHY CAN’T WE GO THERE SOMETIMES? is one problem that perplexes her considerably these days. She feels no one ever seems to explain much about it.
Now it may be that some of our young readers have been wondering about the same things; and that they might be interested in knowing why it is that we must keep separate from the church fellowship of such dear Christian people - hence the following: the main reason is that God calls every child of His, wh9 is willing to own the Lordship of Christ, unto a fellowship that belongs to His Son. (See 1 Corinthians 1: 9, noting the Possessive Genitive Case; Gk. Likely the expression is inclusive, referring to every feature of the Son’s fellowship, therefore certainly including that of the local Assembly - the particular theme before the Apostle’s mind in that chapter).
Probably there were many fellowships in Corinth of one kind or another. But there was only one form of a material "fellowship of His Son,"- the Assembly of God.
Now, if an Assembly is to be a "fellowship of His Son," it will have to be like the fellowship described in Acts 2: 41-42. For it was the first such fellowship in the world, and was brought into being under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. He started it: He started it the way, and after the order, that God desired; and He has never changed His mind about its purpose, form, composition, or order since then. ("Selah"). Compare 2 John 6.
There are other passages, also, in the New Testament (in addition to Matt. 18: 20) that tell us more about what a fellowship has to be if it is to be a true fellowship of His Son. By making comparison, then, with that which is written, we soon discover that NO DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH EVER CAN BE A FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SON. To explain why this is so, let me tell you a bit about what such churches are.
1. (a) A "church" is a company of Christians gathered under, and distinguished by, a denominational name.
(b) The building In which they gather is usually called a "church," also.
2. Such a church is held together by:
(a) Agreement to a set of Bible teachings known as a "Creed";
(b) Membership in the church organization;
(c) Vows to abide faithfully by the rules of the church as outlined in its "constitution."
3. Such churches are presided over by a clergyman, who
(a) Is called "reverend";
(b) Presides over the worship;
(c) Administers the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
(d) Has sole rights in the pulpit;
(e) And is paid a salary for his services.
4. Thus these churches are divided into "clergy" and "laity."
And since there is usually only one man to serve as minister, he
becomes, in reality, a priest, acting as a go-between between
God and His people. (This is "one-man ministry").
5. Such churches are supported, financially, by an unrestricted collection plate, money being accepted from saved and unsaved, alike.
More might be mentioned; but if you are at all familiar with your Bible you will see at once that THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE ITEM MENTIONED IN THAT LIST THAT IS NOT CONTRARY TO THE WORD OF GOD . . . No, not one!
And when you have thought about it, you will realize, also, that such a church could never be counted a fellowship of His Son. For the Son never could own a church, as a sharing-in- common, a partnership, belonging to Himself that completely sets aside the plain teachings of the Bible.
Moreover, you will understand, as well, that YOU MUST MAKE A CHOICE YOURSELF (something like the time when you were saved) respecting the question:
"Am I willing to accept the Word of God as my sole guide respecting my Assembly fellowship? Or, shall I refuse the Lord’s call ‘unto a fellowship of His Son,’ and join, instead, a company of Christians whose fellowship is organized under, and governed by, man-made rules and regulations?"
And while you are considering the matter, remember Hebrews 13: 13, won’t you? . . . then, in the next chapter, if the Lord will, we shall seek to learn "What saith the Scriptures?" re the five ideas about which you have just been reading.