The New Testament church gathered for the communion. (Acts 20:7) Regarding that gathering together Paul commands in Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” This command is clear and our duty in obeying it is obvious. New Testament corporate worship is congregational in nature. The observance of the communion is a function of the congregation 1 Cor 11:20-30 . The structure of the local church is detailed for us in the Bible. Elders, deacons, and all members working together for the good of the cause of Christ, and worshipping together on the Lord’s day in spirit and truth. In Matt 6:33 Jesus teaches us that the Kingdom must be first in our lives. Nothing should come before it, or our obligations to it. When things do, that is evidence that our priorities are out of order. The question is this: should I make my plans (vacations, business trips, etc.) fit the arrangements of God, or should I bend His arrangements to fit my plans? It is the belief of this writer that when I plan a trip, knowing that on the Lord’s day I cannot be with a church to worship, and I seek to do my duty by having communion in a motel room or by the side of the road, I have in effect tried to fit the Kingdom of God into my plan rather than making my plans fit God’s schedule. If I can meet by the side of the road in a far away place, where there is no church on one Sunday, why not every Sunday? How many miles from a church does it have to be before such a practice would be right? Is it wrong to stay at the lake on Sunday and have communion if there is a church ten miles away, but all right if the nearest church is several hundred miles away? Does the distance make the difference? I submit to you that it does not. The right thing to do is obey the scripture and “not forsake the assembly.” The right thing to do is always make your plans so that you can be at the assembly. The wrong thing to do is go where you know you cannot worship. Carrying the Lord along in a suitcase, so to speak, as a matter of convenience, will not get the job done in heaven’s sight.
Published in the OPA July 1, 1999