Most would agree that the challenges facing the Church today would have been deemed unimaginable just one year ago. Only the enemy could have come up with a plan so sinister, it would shut down the gathering of believers, not gradually, but in an instant.
Though we are called to honor authorities, according to Romans 13, when world events are exploited to justify tyrannical behavior, it’s time to sound the alarm. While temporary adjustments were appropriate for the short term, it has become apparent that motivations have moved from protecting lives to controlling lives—especially those in the faith community.
While this increased persecution may tempt us to feel discouraged, we have good news! The word of the Lord through Kenneth Copeland is that 2021 will be “the Year of the Local Church.”
Brother Copeland says, “That’s where the glory is going to fall in 2021—in the local churches that are preaching, teaching and healing, and going strong with the word of faith and glorifying God. Hallelujah!”
Therefore, we believe 2021 will be a major turning point for the Church and our nation. We will see the Church rise up and usher in the biggest revival we have ever witnessed. People’s hunger for God and the life only He can provide will grow and change our world!
It also means our obedience will be vital to seeing everything God has planned come to pass. It’s time for the Church to rise up and take her place in 2021. It’s time to remind ourselves why assembling is nonnegotiable.
1. Assembling Is a Biblical Mandate
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together….” –Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
The local church has been central to God’s design for the life of His people since Jesus walked the earth right up to this very day. He left the care of the Kingdom in the hands of people, just like you, who received His commission and began to preach the Word with signs, wonders and miracles following (Hebrews 2:4).
God’s idea for the local church includes assembling with other believers. This is important for countless reasons, including the way it allows the Spirit of God to move (1 Corinthians 12-14). Fellowship and relationships are also critical to our spiritual development. As you likely know, the Lord will lead people to speak a word in season to you when you are gathered with other believers. Even a smile from a fellow believer can offer encouragement during a challenging time.
Psalm 92:13 tells us, “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God” (NKJV). Flourishing in every area of your life begins with being planted in His house—His church.
More importantly, church isn’t just about taking in—it’s about serving and giving selflessly. As much as you need the local church, the local church needs you! We are the Body of Christ, but if all the parts of the Body are scattered, we cannot function as God intended. When you assemble together, you must be ready to give and receive (1 Corinthians 14:26)!
2. God’s Law Supersedes Man’s Law
“He went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” –Daniel 6:10 (ESV)
While it is essential for us to honor Romans 13, which instructs us to be subject to governing authorities, we are not called to obey mandates that go against the Word of God. We have a long line of biblical examples who modeled this for us.
- Daniel did not obey the new law ordained by King Darius, which prohibited worshipping God. Instead, he continued honoring the Lord and His Word (Daniel 6).
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not obey the government order to bow down and worship a golden image created by King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3).
- Esther risked her life by going against the law of the land and approaching the king without having first been summoned (Esther 4-5).
God’s law always supersedes man’s law. Acts 5:29 (AMPC) says, “We must obey God, rather than men.” We honor authority when it isn’t convenient, even when we disagree with it, all the way up until it crosses over what God has commanded in His Word.
Is Civil Disobedience Ever Biblical? Find out HERE.
3. Assembling Is Our Constitutional Right
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” –Ephesians 5:11 (ESV)
Assembling together as the local church is biblical, but let’s not forget that it is also constitutional. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the freedom to peaceably assemble are all protected rights of every American. Further, no place in the Constitution justifies singling out religious organizations for mistreatment.
Despite this, the first amendment rights of Christians to “peaceably assemble” have been under assault. We’ve all watched as bars, restaurants, casinos and amusement parks have been allowed to open, while churches have been severely limited and, in many states, ordered to close altogether. Furthermore, calling church gatherings “high risk” while lauding large gatherings of protestors, rioters and looters is nothing short of persecution.
Of this treatment of churches, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said, “The First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”
Above all, it would do this country well to remember that freedom to exercise religion and freedom to assemble is why America was founded in the first place. When we assemble as a church, we are standing for our right to do so, while strengthening our unity.
4. The Church Will Usher In the Next Great Awakening
“On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” –Matthew 16:18 (ESV)
Above all, our assembling as the local church will usher in the next great awakening that has been prophesied. The biggest revival the world has ever seen is within reach—and it begins with us, the Body of Christ, gathered together in unity.
Satan senses the next great awakening is being hastened, and he is doing everything he can to thwart its advancement. When the local church arises, there is nothing that can stop it. Our united voice and strong stand for truth and justice will be critical in bringing revival and awakening upon us.
Watch as Kenneth Copeland and Stephen Strang discuss the next great awakening.
Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13, ESV). As the Church rises up, we can lead this nation to become a nation of prayer—leading into a great awakening.
Now is not the time to stick our heads in the sand, but to look around as Jesus did and see what tables need overturning. No matter how much opposition we face, the gates of hell shall never prevail against His Church!
These reasons to assemble as a local church should be all the motivation we need to press onward and upward in our pursuit of God’s kingdom. Keep gathering! Keep coming together as believers! We call churches to open in Jesus’ Name! The Year of the Local Church is here.
Watch Pastor George Pearsons turn the table over on the attack against our nation.
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