I'm usually met with a blank stare, or an uncomfortable smile. That wasn't the answer they were expecting ... or wanted. I suppose it would have been a more pleasant exchange if I had claimed a particular denomination, or affirmed my attendance at an "established" branch of the Church. But here is what I wish everyone who doesn't understand my choice to comprehend ... I have spent the last twenty-five years of my life as a Christian in the "accepted" form of the Christian Church. Whether attending a mega-church or a small community church in the many Texas cities in which I've lived, God has pushed me towards this basic and foundational way to worship Him.
The God I meet in my Bible studies, and with Whom our little assembly communes, demands repentance and righteousness from His followers. Yet I have rarely heard the call for either from the pulpit. Rarely is there even a mention of hell and the eternal consequences of our sinful nature.
Neither do I hear any teaching on the power and authority we have in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit to conduct spiritual warfare in His Name -- even though our Lord clearly tells us in Scripture that He has given us such. Yet I cannot tell you the number of people I have met who openly declare they have been battling demonic spirits. Isn't it the directive of the Church and the pastors of Jesus's flock to help educate His people and equip them to battle Satan and his demons? Why is it that our little ekklesia knows more about the full armor of God than any major church I've come in contact with?
I also would like to ask, why are those who shepherd the flocks in the church buildings so afraid of the Biblical concept of prophecy? It is an important part of the Bible and God sent His prophets to instruct us and warn us. Why do they not preach the whole counsel of God? Again, I cannot explain how much I've grown in my relationship with the Triune God through our home church's studies of the Book of Revelation and Daniel. They have led me to even deeper studies and connections that I've never seen before, and I am continually amazed at the Sovereignty of the God I serve. It has sent me in search of greater understanding of who the Bride of Christ is, who will attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the Hebrew roots of my faith and the Lord's Feasts, as well as the rewards and crowns that will be part of the Millennial Kingdom.
Finally, as it relates to this time in history ... how many people are sitting in church buildings either afraid of what they see coming on the world, or blissfully ignorant that the time on this world's clock is winding down? Are either group being prepared to stand for Christ in the hour when "men's hearts will fail them for fear?" I will admit that it was not easy for our faithful group of Followers to face what the Bible was revealing to us; but through the last few years, we have strengthened our faith (and each other) as we continue to trust in the Word of God and the ultimate deliverance it promises. Our fellowship finds us sharing in the joy and wisdom we have acquired by worshipping God as the First Century Believers did ... people who met in their homes with an earnest desire to serve their Savior as He had taught; those who learned at the feet of those who walked with Christ; and those who wanted to separate themselves from the world and study the Prophets and the Law and the fulfillment of both in Jesus Christ ... so they could teach others.
If you have paid close attention to my explanation, you may have noticed some words and concepts that stood out ... seeking greater understanding; hungry for more; educating and equipping for spiritual battle; amazement at the Sovereignty of God; strengthening our faith; sharing joy and wisdom through our fellowship. These are among the blessings that I have received from listening to, and following, the guidance of the Holy Spirit to worship God in this historical way.
So, I hope that those who have dismissed my worship as "failing to assemble together", will see that it is Biblical, rewarding, and bringing me closer to God than ever before. And our homes are always open to those who wish to join us....
Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."
Acts 2:42: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."