The Greek term ἐκκλησία (pronounced ek-kan-noy-a), which is transliterated as "ecclesia", generally meant an "assembly", but in most English translations of the New Testament is usually translated as "church". This term appears in two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, twenty-four verses of the Acts of the Apostles, fifty-eight verses of the Pauline Epistles (including the earliest instances of its use in relation to a Christian body), two verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, one verse of the Epistle of James, three verses of the Third Epistle of John, and nineteen verses of the Book of Revelation. In total, ἐκκλησία appears in the New Testament text 114 times, although not every instance is a technical reference to the church.
In the New Testament, t
he term ἐκκλησία ("church" or "assembly") is used for local communities as well as in a universal sense to mean all believers. Traditionally, only orthodox believers are considered part of the true church, but convictions of what is orthodox vary.
The four traditional "notes of the Christian Church" or descriptors of the church, first expressed in the Nicene Creed are unity, holiness, catholicity (meaning Universal), and apostolicity.
It is true that God can and will hear you if you pray in your closet and you have heard me say this many times before. But the need for the church is necessary for reinforcement of our faith in a corporate manner. Are you not fortified for the week ahead and nourished when you attend church with other believers? I feel a physical filling in my chest when I attend church. We are nourished, educated and counselled when we hear the minister's message.
The Bible is called the "Living Bible" because it is ageless, it is applied to modern day just as it was in Bible times. The teens had the same problems, the people had to deal with the same kinds of sins, it has all been said and done before. So we have over 2000 yrs. of history and God's word in regard to the way we should conduct ourselves in all situations. The mighty Rome fell due to its lack of morals.
You no doubt have heard the saying, "you are known by the company you keep." Who are you hanging around with? Are your friends sinners that you try to ignore and overlook their shortcomings, sins, fowl language,drinking to excess, using the name of the Lord in vain, etc? Or do you try to impart the Word to them so that they might enjoy the joys of salvation? It is as simple as maybe just saying when observing their behavior, "I will pray for you."
Sometimes, people laugh at me when I say that to them. But sometimes, they think about their life and how they live it. I once said that to an employer, a doctor, and at Christmas time, his wife gave me a little gift and a thank you that said, Thank you for praying for ______. So you never know how powerful that setting a Christian example of behavior is, no matter how small.
So attend church whenever and as often as you can because the warmth and love of God and Jesus will keep your light burning until you meet again. Alone, your spark will go out without the support of others to keep the fire going...
Thank you for coming and I hope you take away a blessing with you today and come back again soon. God bless you and thanking God for all of you and for all the blessings He has given to me as I "hang out" with Him and the Son.
My Christian heart to yours...