May 5

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 12-13
     Psalms 49
     Isaiah 2
     Hebrews 10
''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 10:24- 25)
            The writer of Hebrews makes it very clear that there can be no mistake. When you've entered the new and living way by the blood of Jesus, you will instinctively be drawn to others in the Household of Faith with a desire to be with them, and to minister to them. A Christian without a desire to be involved in worship, ministry, and fellowship with other believers is a deficient and likely a counterfeit Christian.
            The ideas put forth in these verses from Hebrews 10 are those of stirring up one another and assembling ourselves together for the glory of our Savior. To live a distant, withdrawn, and secluded life is diametrically opposed to spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it.
I've often said, ''When a man has enough of Jesus to get him to Heaven, he has enough to get him to   church.'' How is it possible to love the Bridegroom and have no affection for the Bride? It is the natural tendency of the Child of God to be involved with the Body of Christ. When you carefully read the New Testament, you will discover that knowing Jesus and being a part of the church was inseparable.
            Augustine could not conceive of one being regenerated and consciously separate from the visible church. He said,
''the deserter of the church cannot be in Christ since he is not among Christ's members."
  Martin Luther said, ''Outside this Christian church, there is no salvation or forgiveness of sins, but everlasting death and damnation . . ."
            John Calvin said, ''those who neglect or despise the church want to be wiser than Christ. Woe to their pride."
Let's be honest- church hitchhikers, ecclesiastical wanderers, spiritual lone-rangers, Christians who disdain membership are aberrations in the history of the Christian church, and are in grievous error. The doctrine of the church ought to tell us that we are part of the grandest institution the universe has ever known, and that we are tragically diminished by non-participation in Christ's body. The church is diminished by non-participation as well. You and I need the church. That is why the writer of Hebrew s tells us we must not give up meeting together, as has become the habit of many. You will encourage other believers by sharing in the life of the church. Especially our generation must be faithful in this as we see the Day approaching.
  Soon the church will be taken up, and I will be a part of it then; it is instinctive that I be a part of it now.
There are about 3 million souls in the country of Oman. About 93% of them are Muslim. The great need in this country is that those who know the Lord Jesus, many of them secretly may grow and begin to meet with other believers. The challenge of reaching the Muslim population is awesome. Their ministry is difficult and the environment is hostile. Pray for this handful of believers for this awesome challenge today.
''Brethren, it is just so much humbug to be waiting for this, night after night, month after month, if we ourselves are not right with God. I must ask myself - 'Is my heart pure? Are my hands clean?''
Comment from the Hebrides' Revival