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Do Not Forsake the Gathering

If you look at many in the Church today, it's fairly easy to see that many people who say they love Jesus (And likely, by their own definitions of love, do) but don't do what He says. Jesus told His disciples (John 14:15, and throughout the chapter) "If you love me, you'll keep my commandments." This was not a suggestion. There is much debate in the Bible as to what is literal, and what is figurative, but there are more verses that are explicit as to what pleases God, and what does not. If we believe Jesus, we must take Him at His word. And, what is more, we must, then stand upon the Word of God, and cast aside our opinions, or what is socially acceptable. During the times in which we live, the world is going to try and lull us away from doing that, either by pleasures or with fear. In times of fear, the world says "look after yourself! You can hide! Stop being so selfish, and fall in line," and yet we find, even if we obey these commands, we can't stop pain, war, hunger, sickness, or death. This is why, especially in times of crisis, we need to stand together on Christ's word as His church. Hebrews 10:23-25 states: "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." We can't have one another if we're divided! In a men's group the other day (We've been meeting via zoom, and are in different parts of the world), the speaker reminded us that, when the lions attack, the antelope or gazelles gather in a circle around the most vulnerable, and stand firm, facing outward with their horns down, causing the lions to retreat from their charge. It is usually the gazelle that is alone, apart from the herd that gets devoured. Is it any wonder that we're reminded "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 We need one another. The Great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, but also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus gave the New Commandment, that we love one another so that the world would know we are His disciples. We cannot do this if we forsake the gathering. John 13:31-35 "When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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