“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing
in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”
(Acts 2:42 NLT)
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
(Acts 2:46-47 NLT)
“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 10:25 NKJV)
The book of Acts is the model for christian life. Notice in the passage above that it says ALL the believers devoted themselves to four things. The teaching of the word, fellowship, sharing meals including holy communion, and prayer. To be devoted means to give yourself to these matters. It means to structure your life in a way where these things come first and everything else in life follows behind. For this lesson, we are talking about the belief that has developed in the modern American church where people have the idea that staying at home to fellowship with two or three believers is a supplement for going to church. Notice in the passage above that they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship. What does this tell you? These things are distinctly separate. Where did they go to hear the apostles teaching? The text above reveals that they “worshiped in the temple” and they “met in homes for the Lord's supper.” You see the early church going to the temple and you have them separately fellowshipping in each other's homes. Why? Because the word “church” in the Bible (ekklesia) means:a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public space or assembly. Did they have the idea that “they were the church therefore church can be anywhere,” or that fellowshipping in homes was a supplement for church? Absolutely not. Fellowship is important, but it is never a supplement for coming out of your home to gather in a public assembly. Finally, notice the last passage above. Assembling together does not mean worship with your kids in the home or hot cocoa at mom's house. You cannot reinterpret this to justify your agenda. In context of the New Testament examples and inline with the word for church (ekklesia), this can only mean one thing. Do not forsake coming out of your homes to publicly assemble for corporate service. I challenge you today to live by this principle: me and my house will ALWAYS go to church.