How often should saints assemble together to worship
the Lord? I know what the bible says: Hebr. 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I think twice a week is pretty good. I meet from 10:30 am to about 1 to 1:30 pm on Sunday and from 7:00 to 9:30 on Friday night. Wednesday or Thursday would probably be better. Anyway, we have the Old Testament example of one day a week dedicated to God and I think that we should at least meet that often, if possible. Twice a week is good because much Bible teaching is necessary for new saints and much thorough Bible teaching is necessary for all saints. I give thorough Bible teaching each time we meet. I always teach, whether in preaching mode or teaching mode. There is so much ignorance among all people today. It's hard to exhort one another and so much the more... if you don't meet with one another. But twice or three times a week for about three hours at a time is good. More than that is overdoing it as far as I'm concerned, at least at this stage in my life and ministry. I always teach that it is how you live outside of church service that is going to determine whether you make it to heaven or not. I have always noticed a considerable difference in the behaviour of many saints between being inside the four walls of a church building, and being outside those four walls at work, at home, and at leisure.
Church service is necessary for growth and godly fellowship, but it is not an end in and of itself. We are the lights of "the world," if you understand what I'm saying. If we rely too much on the help of one another, and not on God, and isolation from the world instead of arming ourselves individually with the whole armor of God, we may not be able to withstand the wiles of the Devil on an individual basis. Each and everyone of us has to be strong. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, Elijah, Samuel, John the baptist, and even Paul, to mention a few, didn't attend church services the way we do. But they all had a very strong, close, personal walk with the Lord. We need to be like them. There have been times when I have been isolated from regular fellowship with a church, but never from Jesus. We need to spend time alone with Jesus. As the song says, touching Jesus is all that really matters. I love the time I spend alone with Jesus more than anything else in this world. Being always in the company of other people can come between us and the Lord. We need to keep a balance of fellow shipping one with another, with the Lord individually, and living our lives with our families and working in the world. Balance is the key.
Also, how much time should be spent teaching vs.
acrobatics and such?
Seems like there are far too few Bible scholars these days. From my perspective this is due to lack of teaching AND the propensity for men to encourage people to lean on the ministry instead of God.
Only the truth can make us free and we are to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls. I guess I better get on the stick and start posting my Bible studies on the internet. I discuss many of the issues you bring up with Bible answers to them all.
When I have service, I do it the Bible way. We enter God's presence with singing, we enter into his gates with thanksgiving, we enter his courts with praise: We are thankful unto Jesus, and bless his name. Once we have invited the Lord into our service with prayer, praise, songs, and thanksgiving, we give testimonies to God and begin studying the Word of God. The Bible says Ps 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.
Many times I print out the scriptures that God has given me for the service, usually just before service. Thank God for computers and Bible software. The Lord gives me what he wants me to teach and preach on usually just a day, or even a few hours, before the service. I thank God that he blessed me in His word to remember so many verses. I can almost always come up with two or three witnesses to everything I teach, from memory. God gives me answers to everything I need to know. I am truly blessed. A lesson I brought forth back in July or August was, Ho 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Knowledge of God, of the Holy, of living for God, is absolutely essential. God and his word are inseparable, Jesus said he was the Word. If you love God, you love his word. Worshipping God in spirit and truth, talking to God, studying His Word, and living His Word. These are the foundation of every saint.
One final question. I recently heard that the pastor is going to offer the bride to Jesus Christ. I'm not sure I swallow that one but if it's in the scripture I'd like to see it. I do have an open mind and when I see it in the scripture I have to change my mind and believe it.
Ephesians 5;25-27, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused
you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
As you see from these verses, it is a joint effort. One sows, another waters, but God gives the increase. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Jesus is going to present the church unto himself through the use of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This is what the bible teaches. After all, we are the one's doing the baptizing, and teaching, etc. Jesus working in and through us.
Well, I hope I have answered some of your questions. May God continue to bless you and your family and give you a mind to search the scriptures.
You mentioned that there are far too few Bible scholars these days. If we want Bible scholarship, then we may need to be the scholars. Don't expect others to do it for you. When they do, fine, but each of us needs to be a Bible expert.
In the Love of Jesus,
Brother Charles and Family.