Gathering to be where Christ is already

Posted: October 3, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Spurgeon, The Christian Life

“The way to be gathered together is to be gathered by him and to him.  If all press to the center, they all press to one another.  If each man’s aim be personal fellowship with Christ, personal knowledge of Christ, personal trust in Christ, personal adoration of Christ, personal service to Christ, and the getting of a personal likeness to Christ, then we are all coming together.  While our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ, we also have fellowship with all the saints.  This should be the great object of all our gatherings, to be brought more fully into Christ; and all of us must meanwhile believe that Jesus is in the midst and we must come together unto him. . . .

You do well to come where you have found Christ before, and you do well to stay away from any gathering wherein you have not found Christ.  Some, as they go out of the place where they usually worship, are sadly compelled to cry, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’  Do not go where Jesus is not present; and if distinctly you are obliged to say, ‘I have heard sermon after sermon almost without mention of his name; I have gone for months together, and I have not had a sweet thought of heavenly fellowship arising out of the service,’ then do not go there again.  Do not go to any church or meeting-house merely because you have been in the habit of going.  If your father used to live in Islington, but has now removed, you do not think it needful to go and call at his empty house, do you?  Go where the Lord has met with you, and where you may expect that he will meet with you again.  Sabbaths are too precious to be thrown away by sitting still to be starved.  Even a cow does not care to be tied up in an empty stall, and a horse does not run to an empty manger.  Seek the Lord Jesus, and do not rest till you find him.  We must gather into his name and get closer and closer to it, or else the Lord’s day will run to waste, and barrenness will devour our souls.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Lord with Two or Three.”

and

. . . there am I among them.  Matthew 18:20

There am I, not only I will be there, but I am there; as if he came first, is ready before them, they shall find him there.”

Matthew Henry, Commentary (McLean, n.d.), V:262.  Italics original.

The Lord isn’t saying, “If you show up, so will I.”  He is saying, “If you gather to be with me, I’m already there.  I will so not withhold myself from my seeking friends.”

 

(HT:Ray Ortlund)

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