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The Local Church V


April 21, 2024

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

 - Hebrews 10:25 NLT 


In this final portion of the local church series, we will be discussing encouraging each other as saints. When we meet in person, the Bible directs that we encourage each other. This is very important for the body of Christ especially as His return draws near. When asked about the signs of His return and the end of age, Jesus respond with a grim picture of what is to come before His return in Matthew 24. And we are already in the times preceding His return.


The Modern English version of Matthew 24:7b reads “There will be famines, epidemics, and earthquakes in various places”. According to a 2023 March 13 report from the World Food Program, nearly 350 million people around the world are experiencing the most extreme forms of hunger. We just had a pandemic (that’s a collection of epidemics). There are roughly 55 earthquakes per day around the world according to the National Earthquake Information Centre. 


Verses 10 through 12 of Matthew 24 gives an idea of the deterioration in the relationship between brethren “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”. Other translations put verse 10 as many turning away (NIV), giving up their faith (GNT), falling back to sin (TLB).

How then do we encourage each other? It is in the things that we say to each other, the things we do to each other and the things we do for each other.

God in His mercies, knowing how unpleasant those days will be has told us beforehand (v25) and has shortened them for the sake of the elect (v22). To get through those days, we will need each other’s encouragement. Hebrews 3:13 in the NIV reads “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”. It is through the daily encouragement that we give each other, meeting together that keeps us from falling away in these times. 


How then do we encourage each other? It is in the things that we say to each other, the things we do to each other and the things we do for each other. In the Easy English Bible, verse 29 of Ephesians 4 reads “Do not say bad things that hurt or insult people. Instead, say only good things that will help people. Your words should help people to become strong when they hear them.” When we say such good things, we need to back it up with action according to 1 John 3:17-18 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but indeed and in truth”.  


When we do these things, we become like the Church in Acts 2:44 – 47, with God adding daily to the body of Christ. 


As we wrap up this series on the Local Church, be encouraged in the knowledge that God did not intend for us to go through life alone as Christians. He intends for us to be in a community that would encourage, fellowship with, help and correct us when we go astray so as stay close to the path.  


Song of Worship  

 Build your Church Lord, make us one Lord, Build NCA in this land – 2X

Prayer -  Dear Lord, thank you for the love of God that is Christ Jesus, that loves and encourages me, teaches and enables me in turn to encourage others in Jesus name, Amen.   

 

 

Bible in 1 year: 2 Samuel 16-18

 

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