To have regular fellowship with other saints is necessary for all Christians (Acts 2:42-47). It is the command of the LORD (Hebrews 10:24-25). Yet, as the Spirit of God foretold in His Word, deceivers who hold places of leadership abound in this late hour (Matthew 24:3-5, 11, 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:13, etc.). God be praised for those godly under-shepherds. If you have one who oversees you, you are blessed and should submit to and honor that man or men as you grow to love Jesus Christ more and more (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Yet, we often hear the church system folks – those steeped in a system, not the Savior – used the words “plugged in” or “connected.” But, just who are we plugged in to? Being plugged into or connected in fellowship with Jesus is most important and without which all other fellowship is in vain. When we know and love Him then we will obey Him in fellowshiping with others and that may not always be in a traditional Sunday morning and Wednesday night format.
“For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16
Are you wasting God’s time? Walking with God is not about our little local church. While gathering with other believers is essential, in so many cases, leaders have hi-jacked the modern church world. The King of His eternal kingdom died to save and has the whole world around us in mind and not simply a little church social gathering over in the corner. He never instructed any person to go join a church, be a good church member, tell everyone how wonderful the pastor or church is, or give to building funds (Acts 2:44-45; 4:24-25). Perhaps we should re-evaluate where our hearts are and what we are doing in our lives – whether we are truly following Jesus or are we just a religious person that is furthering the cause of an organization of mere men? Jesus says simply to “Follow me.” When we do, He will join us to other believers to worship Him with and serve one another.
Does our pastor have nail-scarred hands and feet?
Who laid down His life and gave His own blood to rescue your eternal soul from certain damnation?
Paul the apostle set the order of priority when he said “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and (then) unto us by the will of God.” (2 Corinthians 8:5)
When we truly lay down our lives, the LORD will begin enlightening the eyes of our understanding, stealing us away from the hirelings who once had us bound up in lies, exploiting us for their own bidding and pleasure (Jeremiah 23). Some reading this have already been through this deliverance or are going through it now.
Paul and the other apostles of our LORD often warned us to “beware of false prophets” and that “many” of them had gone out into the world (1 John 4:1-3).
“(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” Philippians 3:18-19
Regrettably, in many cases, modern day church leaders want people “connected” and “plugged in” for their own benefit and at the expense of the sheep. Wolves use sheep to get what they want which may include accolades, the sense of accomplishment, money, status, a platform to be seen, etc.
A close friend testifies that when the LORD saved him, in the early days of his walk, he joined a local church and soon, in the flow of substance-less activities, lost his “first love.” (Revelation 2:4-5) He backslid and had to break it off from that system in order to regain his walk with Jesus.
Walking with the LORD is a direct relationship and should not be centered around a local body or pastor (Mark 15:38). No, that relationship begins between the LORD and the individual. This is why it’s important to make sure we are not simply following along with a church program but are experiencing the life of Christ as we abide in Him daily (John 15:1-16). It’s about the nail-scarred risen Savior who bled on a cross, was buried, and rose again to save those precious souls all around you. The reason why some aren’t reaching the lost is due to all their energy, time, and resources being tied up with perpetuating the existence of a local church that is not fulfilling a New Testament purpose (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20). Is it high time we awake? Litmus Test: Jesus says “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Read these words of Jesus again and begin meditating upon what the Son of God told us here. You see, if I am truly following Jesus, I am becoming a fisher or soul winner of men. Hello!
As foretold of this last hour, the great apostasy is in our very midst (Acts 20:27-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 10-12). Satan actually targets the sanctuary (Psalms 74:4, 7). The great falling away from the faith is coming at the hands of false shepherds who are hirelings that satan has set in place to do his bidding as they serve themselves and not Christ and His flock (Isaiah 9:16). Read Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel and gain an education of this severe threat of wolves who wear sheep’s clothing and feign to be representing Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:!2-14).
True under-shepherds serve in humility and exclusively teach God’s written Word, the daily cross, and discernment (Ezekiel 44:23; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 1 Peter 4:11, etc.). To the contrary, the hireling is not walking or teaching the daily cross and not making disciples unto Christ but rather unto self and/or an organization of mere men.
Finding a disciple or more than one saint is a gift of God and surely a prayer He desires to answer. “Ask and ye shall receive …” (Matthew 7:7)