What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 2 / No. 25”

What The Bible Says

Vol. II - No. 25 / May 10, 2020

"FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER... I AM IN THE MIDST OF  THEM"

    The title comes from Matthew 18:20 where Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This verse has been used for some time by Christians to justify their being elsewhere on Sunday besides the local church. If there are two or three family members who are Christians they feel they can partake of the Lord’s supper either on the side of the road, in their motel room, or in their boat on the lake and it will be acceptable unto God because of this verse.

    Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many churches have altered their services. Some have completely cancelled all services. Some, like the church at East Albertville, have conducted a parking lot service where the church can meet to fulfill the commandments to observe the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-31) and to lay by in store as we’ve been prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1,2) on the first day of the week. Some of the churches which have cancelled the assembly on the first day of the week have members who are ‘worshipping at home’. Again, Matthew 18:20 is often being used to justify Christians remaining at home and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Does this verse justify such action?

    Let us look at the context of verse 20. Back in verse 18 and going through verse 20 here is what’s stated: “18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Jesus gave ‘binding’ and ‘loosing’ authority only to the apostles. We know this from Jesus’ statement to Peter in Matthew 16:19: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Jesus is making that same statement to all the apostles here in Matthew 18:18. Jesus’ statement in verse 20 is assuring them of the promise He made in verse 19: “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Again, the “YOU” is referring to the apostles. Who else has been given the authority to bind and loose anything in religious and spiritual matters?  

    In verses 15-17 Jesus is giving instructions pertaining to matters within the church/kingdom that are applicable for us today, but verses 18-20 apply specifically to the apostles. It’s similar to Mark 16:14-18. Again, in that text, Jesus is speaking to the apostles, but the commission of going into all the world and preaching the gospel, along with the instructions of verse 16, is applicable to us today. However, verses 17-18 apply only to the apostles. We cannot cast out demons and drink deadly poison and it not hurt us. Likewise, we do not have the authority to ‘bind’ nor ‘loose’. Matthew 18:20, while specifically applicable to the apostles’ authority to bind and loose, also teaches a general truth. That truth is: when we gather in Christ's name, or by His authority, He will be with us. However, we must be careful not to use this verse to justify doing things for which we have no Bible authority!

    The partaking of the Lord’s supper is a matter involving the church and not a select group of individual Christians. In regards to the Lord’s supper notice these verses in 1 Corinthians 11:
11:17  Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.
11:18  For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
11:20  Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper.
11:22  What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
11:33  Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
11:34  But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

    Similarly, notice these verses in 1 Corinthians 14:
14:19  yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
14:23  Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
14:26  How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
14:28  But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
14:33  For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
14:34  Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
14:35  And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    In both chapter 11 and 14 we see a clear distinction of what can be done “in the church” as opposed to what can be done “at home”. Paul required the church at Corinth to assemble or come together to eat the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:33). For that to happen the church had to set a specific time (on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7) and choose a specific place to come together. For ‘two or three’ Christians, who are but part of a local church, to gather somewhere to eat the Lord’s Supper does not meet the scriptural requirement of “the whole church…together in one place” (1 Cor. 14:23). When you take into consideration all the passages in 1 Cor. 11:17-34 along with those in chapter 14, you cannot honestly reject or deny the fact that the Lord’s supper is a matter involving the church being assembled together. We might as well take the Lord’s supper on some other day than the first day of the week than to take the Lord’s supper when the church is not assembled together. A group of individuals or an individual family, i.e. a subset of the church, does not constitute the church as described/defined in these passages of 1 Corinthians. 
—E.R. Hall, Jr. 

 

***SENTENCE SERMONS***

One of the best ways to stay out of evil is to fill your life with doing good.
*** 
The price of sin is too high to afford.
*** 
When you help someone up a hill you find yourself closer to the top.

 

***PARKING LOT SERVICES***

SUNDAY 9:30 AM @ 4777 U.S. HIGHWAY 431 EAST ALBERTVILLE CHURCH OF CHRIST

***VIRTUAL BIBLE SERMON***

SUNDAY 10:30 AM WWW.EASTALBERTVILLE.COM - click on “Live Feed”
or
Go To East Albertville church of Christ on YOUTUBE

***VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY***

SUNDAY 5:00 PM WWW.EASTALBERTVILLE.COM - click on “Live Feed”
or
Go To East Albertville church of Christ on YOUTUBE

 
***VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY***

WEDNESDAY 7:00 PM WWW.EASTALBERTVILLE.COM - click on “Live Feed”
or
Go To East Albertville church of Christ on YOUTUBE

 

HAVE A BIBLE QUESTION YOU’D LIKE ANSWERED?

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

BIBLE CROSSFIRE
A CALL-IN RADIO PROGRAM
WBSA
93.5 FM & 1300 AM
also
SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 113
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 8 PM CT

PREVIOUS SHOWS AVAILABLE AT:

BibleCrossfire.com

 

IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE...

FREE ONLINE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

http://EastAlbertville.org/course

 

"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr. 

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
meeting at
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Sunday
Bible Classes …………..….……………     9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….………  10:30 AM
Evening Worship   …………………........ 5:00 PM
Wednesday
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
 

Radio Program
Sunday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM …………………………..  8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
 

Website: www. EastAlbertville.org

Comment