“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” vs9-12
We were made to fellowship, which is why God has given us the church. He ordains that we be together, so He gives rules to His house, whereby we may strengthen each other. He says, “I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).”
Alone, we’re troubled, but with brethren, we’re strengthened by what every member provides (1 Cor 12:7). Like a pot luck, everyone brings something, and our little part helps the whole. You need the preaching, the fellowship of the saints, and the blessing of God’s presence in the assembly. He’s given us one another for good.
1 Often, we think, “I can stand alone. I don’t need anyone else.” This shows how far you’ve fallen. Surely, if God were in your heart, He’d give you a desire to serve the church: you could not be fulfilled unless you were ministering to others. 1 John 5:1, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him.” He gives you gifts for the profiting of many, and He will not fill you up to sit idle.
Use your gifts in the church, and you’ll see them grow. Your joy will be full (1 John 1:4). Christianity is not an isolated religion, but it is GETTING THE GOSPEL IN, so we can POUR IT OUT. It is the greatest fellowship as we minister what’s been ministered to us. Being healed, we share the Source of our joy with others (2 Kings 7:10).
2 Don’t think that you can be happy forsaking the assembly. You cannot because you’re not doing what God has said. He’s pointed to the way of comfort, but you refuse it, so His comfort is lacking. He says, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works (Heb 10:24).”
The saints will encourage you, instruct you by their behavior, and they will be happy for your part in the gospel feast. Like the soup where everyone brings an ingredient, the end result is delicious. This is God’s ordained way, whether you’re shy or outgoing, social or solitary. Find a place where truth is preached, or labor with a few others that one might be established (Titus 1:5).
3 This fellowship is in the gospel! It is NOT true that God accepts our sincerity. It is not true that we can believe false gospels. If there is no repentance, then there’s no salvation. If there’s not the truth, then there’s no true faith. Paul says, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him (Gal 1:8)!”
Get an assembly of saints under the gospel, and do not compromise it for anything. Free will works religion is not grace, signs and wonders are lying spirits, and the testimony of the gospel must be believed. He’s not saying, “Gather with murderers and sexually immoral people for worship.” He’s teaching us to meet with saints under gospel truth, and make every sacrifice for the message. He says, “Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving together with the faith of the gospel (Phil 1:27).” Do not lessen it for fellowship, but lift it up, and your fellowship will be pleasing to Christ and sincere.
It will do you good because it pleases God, and everything else is a false unity that’s not worth having. Pay no attention to false gospels for any reason, gather where He’s preached, and advance the gospel around the world.
Brothers, are you united with God’s people, laboring together? Do you use the means that He’s appointed?