What About That New Testament Commandment?

What shall we do?

Hi, Pastors and Fellow Leaders.

Of course, I’m using familiar signals for emergency medical teams.  Yes, Sector C is the Church.  Please be careful using such language with your members, it could through them into cardiac arrest.  But you are mature leaders, and this is appropriate to inform us of the danger to which we need to respond.  When key parts of a body become dysfunctional, not only the health of that organism is jeopardized, but its very existence may cease if something is not done immediately.  The Church has a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus and needs help from the Blue Response Team, STAT.  You are that Team.

Continuing from the topic of yesterday’s blog regarding “love one another”, I want to stay in that theme with something that is challenging us very much right now.  We are approaching the annual celebration of the Lord’s Supper, some of you know I am open to celebrating it more often than annually and sometimes do.  But for the moment we are challenged to be able to assemble in this celebration of holy communion with our Lord and one another.  Thankfully, many of you have already offered alternatives for that and most know how they will participate or postpone participation in the Lord’s Supper ordinance.  While including that urgency, this blog is more about the need to address the Church’s SARS virus, the difficulty it is experiencing in spiritual rejuvenation (breathing).  There is a warning in Hebrews that we should be mindful of our holy fellowship for worship, edification, and consolation.  It is practically a commandment.

Heb 10:19-25, KJV

  1. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

  2. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

  3. And having an high priest over the house of God;

  4. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

  5. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

  6. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

  7. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

How shall we respond to this text?  Shall we contend it was meant for other times and places?  Or, perhaps it is an ideal and we must allow that it is not always reachable?  Shall we declare that we follow the practice that “circumstances alter cases”?  Wait a minute, that last one must be coupled with the phrase “but principles remain the same”.  If the principle, dare I say New Testament commandment, is to assemble together so much the more as we see the day approaching, and the Church is in a time when physical assembly is not permitted, how do we consider it?  An example in Church history is that when the people could no longer assemble in the synagogue nor even house to house safely, they went underground.  Now, let me be perfectly clear about something.  I am not suggesting we defy the proven wisdom of mandates for social distancing.  I am saying, like the Church of old, we must find ways to continue our fellowship one with another, so much the more as we see the day approaching.

Yes, it may require more work on our part.  But it will be worth it and the production of fruit in spiritual maturity and numerical church growth should be evident.  There are numerous options for online social interaction, some free and others with a cost.  What works best for you, your congregation, and your leadership teams of Ministry Partners?  The SWD Ministerial Representative is using a software app called ZOOM.  But may I recommend something?  Don’t trust the materials of this world to hold your leadership vessel with one mooring line.  Use more than one.  It might be a Facebook or YouTube Bible Story reading, ZOOM or something like it for Bible Studies, group worship, prayer, and visiting, or email, blogs or vblogs, Uber, twitter (I confess, I don’t know how to tweet), Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and a dozen or so others, perhaps not as well known.

Satan would keep us separated if he could.  Will we yield to Satan?  Or, will we defy him and find ways to keep the common practices of the Church alive, worship, fellowship (celebrations, sorrows, victories, failures and even financial flow of tithes and offerings), restoration, evangelism, and discipleship?

You are a group of great leaders.  As the Holy Spirit guides you do the work before you, find new ways, share your successes and failures, encourage your fellow disciples to be strong in the faith, the victory is here.  What are we to do?  The Apostle Paul shares some solid instruction with the Romans.


Romans 12:15-21, KJV

  1. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

  2. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

  3. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

  4. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

  5. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

  6. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

  7. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Since we are quoting the Apostle Paul I share his farewell with you.

2 Corinthians 13:11-14, KJV

  1. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

  2. Greet one another with an holy kiss.

  3. All the saints salute you.

  4. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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