MARK 4:16-17

"[Some people who hear the message of Christ are] like seed sown on rocky places, [they] hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away..."

Vital points to remember after becoming a Christian—Uniting Bible believing Christians worldwide
You'll never make a more important decision than to devote your life to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Clearly, the rewards for remaining obedient to Christ during our lives are tremendous and everlasting.

But failure is not an option, since the consequences thereof are utterly devastating. That's because failing to submit to your Creator will result not only in the loss of everything you have in this world (which everyone loses at death)—but also of your most valuable possession by far: your eternal soul.

And here's something else to keep in mind. Jesus said:
"[Some people who hear the message of Christ are] like seed sown on rocky places, [they] hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away..."
(Mark 4:16-17)
As you can see, many Christians will never make it past the initial stages. This means it's imperative that we actively and aggressively commit ourselves to growing in Christ—right from the very start!

If you fail to incorporate the habits and routines that will build a strong, steadfast, unwavering faith—you'll probably become either: (a) An inactive, unspiritual, unsaved "Christian" (the Bible calls this being "lukewarm," meaning lacking proper zeal), or, (b) An individual who has clearly fallen from grace. (Revelation 3:14-22)

Since neither of those options is acceptable, it's crucial that you understand the basics of God's will for your Christian life, and immediately set about making them habitual.

(Please click here for part 1 of this series.)

The Christian "family"

When you commit to Christ, you become part of a "family" of believers.

The Bible commonly refers to Christians as "brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers." (James 2:1; 1 Timothy 5:1-2) And like any functional family, we do not merely assemble together.

We must also strive to become spiritually close to God and to one another. We discuss and study the Bible with one another—not just in the assembly but outside the assembly as well—because it is always on our minds. We help one another when there are needs. We visit one another when we're sick, assisting when we can. And we continually encourage one another to stay true to the faith of Christ.

Many Christians assemble at Christian churches, but never develop a close spiritual relationship with their brothers and sisters—either because they feel it's unnecessary, or because there is no mutual desire to do so among the other assembling Christians (a very common scenario these days). Often, such Christians are quick to support non-spiritual activities (cook-outs, volleyball games, etc), but slow to support gatherings where Christians will be discussing the Bible.

Churches like this are very similar to college classes, where students assemble together but never get to know one another.

Such churches may indeed be worshiping "in truth," but do not understand God's full will regarding inter-Christian relationships.

Obviously, it is critical that you do not pattern your life after unspiritual Christians! Strive instead to be like Mary (who was more interested in listening to and discussing the words of Christ), rather than Martha (who was too consumed in material activities—Luke 10:38-42).

"Do I need to go to church?"

It's usually understood that when you sign up for school, you need to go to class. When you join a team, you need to attend meetings and practices. That is, if you plan to be successful.

Similarly, when one becomes a Christian, assembling with other like-minded Christians is one of the requirements God places on us—for our good.

I know, I know. Many people who wear the label "Christian" today don't feel the need to assemble.

But God made it clear that He expects habitual assembly of all saints in each geographic area into "congregations." (Hebrews 10:25) The need to assemble was never an issue among true Christians in the Bible like it is today.

Why the need to assemble?

There are several good reasons why you are commanded to assemble with other Christians.

One reason is to worship. To "worship" means to glorify, honor, and praise. God and Christ deserve glory and honor and praise for all they have done to forgive our sins and give us true hope of resurrection from the dead. Therefore, worshiping God and Christ is an understandable requirement.

There are two ways of worshiping God and Christ: privately and publicly. Christians should certainly worship God and Christ privately (in prayer, meditation, Bible reading, etc), but we're also commanded to worship together publicly (Hebrews 10:25).

Another reason God gives for assembling is to encourage one another. Note that you are to assemble not just to be encouraged, but also to encourage other Christians (again, Hebrews 10:25). This new relationship among "brothers and sisters" is what helps us all grow mutually in the faith and strength of Christ. In other words, you have a responsibility to spiritually encourage your brothers and sisters, and they have a responsibility to encourage you.

So, both public and private worship are required and deserved by God.

When should Christians assemble?

In the Bible, Christians met at various times for spiritual purposes. However, they met every first day of the week for public worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 11:18-34). This is also when they communed and "tithed" (as it is sometimes called), which were also done every first day of the week.

Would you like to know how important regular assembly was to 1st Century Christians (many of whom were tutored under the direction of the inspired apostles themselves)?

It was so important to them that they continued to worship even after it was outlawed by the Roman government—under the threat of death in the Roman Coliseum.

This drove our dear brothers and sisters into the catacombs below the city of Rome, which you can still visit today.


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