I often hear the expression, “Attend the church of your choice!”  This is such terrible advice.  The scriptures guide us as to who to gather to fellowship with.  So many people simply gather with those that make them feel like a part of the group.  That, in itself, is not a bad thing.  As believers, when someone comes into our meetings, we should welcome them with Christian love.  Many people gather with those who accept them as they are.  That can be a bad thing.  If we are living lives that are not in obedience to God’s Word, it is truly a loving thing to have that brought to our attention.  Ephesians 4:15 exhorts us that we should be, “speaking the truth in love…”  We should be bold to speak against those things that are contrary to the Word of God, but our words should reflect the love of God.

Let’s consider 2 Timothy 2:20-22, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  The ‘great house’ referred to here is the ‘professing church’ or those who claim to be saved, whether they truly are saved or not.  In this ‘great house’ of saved and unsaved alike, there are precious things (gold and silver) and valueless things (wood and earth).  Some in this ‘great house’ honor the Lord, some dishonor the Lord.  The instruction for the true believer who desires to be of service to the Lord is to “purge himself” from this mixture of saved and unsaved.  Separation from evil is so essential to the life of the believer, but that is not quite enough.  After separation from that which is evil, we are told to “follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, WITH THEM THAT CALL ON THE LORD OUT OF A PURE HEART.”  In other words, we are to seek out those who long to follow the truth given to us from God’s Word.  We may find these people already gathering with other believers in their homes, meeting in small, rented buildings, etc. 

We read in Jude 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH which was once delivered unto the saints.”  We should not have to compromise God’s truth in gathering with others.  We should constantly contend, or struggle to maintain the truth of God’s Word.  To allow even the slightest evil in among us in order to keep a gathering together is to open the door for constant error and harm among the assembly. 

Amos 3:3 asks this important question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  It is literally impossible to walk together with those who disagree or stand against the truth of God’s Word.  Where would be the ground of fellowship?  Where would be the “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1), that is the proper glue to hold us together? 

I am so encouraged by your desire to meet properly in true fellowship with fellow believers who are seeking to gather together in the truth of God’s Word.  I encourage you to pray constantly about this, asking the Lord to bring you together with those “call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  They are out there!  Your gathering may be small, but the Lord has given us a precious promise in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  (479.2)