Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we begin assembling ourselves with other believers we can solemnly trust, making vital connections that can sustain the coming waves of persecution and bedlam. This belongs near the top of your list. I’m not talking about going to church on Sunday mornings or during the week. That won’t cut it.
The Church is being forced into an Acts model prior to the return of Christ by way of desperate need. The Holy Spirit has been moving His elect into house churches for a number of years — at least two decades, in preparation for the times now upon us. Many have left the organized church and followed His lead. And there are many more to follow who are yet to come.
Please understand, very disturbing times are at our door. We are on the cusp of life-altering events in America and the world in the next few weeks and months. There is not much time left to adequately prepare. If you’re not vitally connected, these times may be very difficult to sustain and may propose risks you’re not ready or able to take. But if you’re properly connected, you’ll be able to sustain and it will offset a number of difficulties.
Jesus Christ spoke clearly of these times. He warned us about them explicitly. He also taught us how to navigate them. The prophets and apostles also teach about these times throughout their writings and epistles and how to be victorious.
None of what is happening or coming should surprise us. It’s all in how we respond. If you’ve been watching and praying you are likely already equipped (at least partially) and know what to do. The LORD is on top of it, and He’s likely given you some clear directives or marching orders. But if you haven’t been watching and praying, what’s coming around the corner is going to devastate and shock you.
The natural human response is fear. But know this: God does not want you in fear. He wants you confident and established in Him, rooted in His Word and in your faith, and prepared for what’s ahead.
Part of preparation means being in covenant fellowship with other believers who are on top of their game. They know God, they seek Him, they hear His voice, and they are following Him. Sadly, not everyone in the church does this. Not every pastor is leading the flock of God in His Word or by His Spirit. Many serve their own agendas. Therefore, vital connections need be established outside of church walls. Whatever that looks like for you, you can begin assembling and preparing together with other believers of like heart, spirit, and mind so you can weather the storm that is coming.
Here are some practical suggestions on how to begin a biblical assembly:
1. The List: Make a list of people: friends, family, relatives, neighbors, etc. Know who is around you, within your sphere, and understand the context of their relationship to you and your family.
2. Reaching Out: Make phone calls and emails to each of them. Inquire about where they are with the LORD and what God is doing in their lives. Ask them about becoming vitally connected. Make note of who is ready. Set a date to meet as a group. Discuss operatives.
3. Places of Meeting: Establish a meeting place or places. Rotate out.
4. Taking Inventory: Take inventory and be willing to serve. Understanding individual gifts, talents, skills, abilities, resources, family dynamics, etc. are important when times of need arise. Know who is able and willing, and what they can offer the Body of Christ in that time of need or urgency.
5. Shared Accountability: Have a biblical understanding of accountability to one another and allow the LORD to lead. Everyone should understand the purpose of meeting.
6. Communications: Spend time together as often as possible. Arrange group messaging or texting. Stay connected in the LORD.
7. Establish brotherhood: Rely upon one another. Be of ready mind to sacrifice, share, and serve one another as things unfold. Be of ready mind to become spiritual family.
8. Unity: When you meet, spend time in the LORD seeking His face, in prayer, in the WORD, and in His Spirit. Break bread, pray, and serve. This is not just a practical guide. It’s a very spiritual one. Love each other. Not everyone is ready for this. Finding those who are may seem difficult or challenging. But establishing a small group of people, even two or three families can be life-changing when hard times come. And it is especially important for widows, singles, and single parents with dependent children to be welcomed and to have a safe place.
You also need to pray as a singular person/family and know what God is telling you to do in times of crisis. What is your family’s plan of action? Map out plausible events and know precisely how to navigate and proceed. If you are vitally connected, this will be much easier.
Please understand, no one should go this alone. Nor should they need to if we are fulfilling our Christian duty. The manner in which God has you prepare together will look different depending on where you live. If you’re going to get through what’s coming, this is a critical move. But you also must be willing to reach out, be accountable, and sacrifice for your brethren in the Body of Christ.
There are people who are going to balk at this. They will think this is radical. They will think this is nonsensical or even unnecessary — until it hits home for them. Don’t be surprised if you find how many are not on board. Just be prepared, because they will be the ones running to you when calamity strikes if you’ve extended brotherhood.
Topics to Consider When Assembling
• Dependents (kids, pets, and livestock)
• Food and water
• Alternative forms of energy
• Job & Monetary loss
• Critical Medications
• Armory & Ammunition
• Sanitation and Personal Hygiene
• Critical Documents
The LORD has long been strategically preparing His people for this hour. As weeks, months, and years progress believers will need to assemble in a manner much different than what many of the organized churches currently offer. Some pastors don’t even allow home groups, which is very sad.
Believers need to develop tight communion with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The safest place for that to happen is in homes. Rotating homes is wise, and for several reasons. Not only does it afford rest for one host. But it also provides safety. Meeting in the same place becomes conspicuous during times of persecution. Rotating out also affords people the opportunity to know their brethren better. Knowing where people live and how to locate each other in their homes is critically important during times of pain and stress.
The LORD wants to see His people in covenant relationships that will sustain the calamities to come.
There is no need to fear. But we do need to be prepared. The time to do that is now. Don’t wait.
If the LORD is leading you to start an assembly in your own area or home, these guidelines may help. This is not just a spiritual preparation, but a practical one as well.
The Objectives for Meeting
Everyone should understand the objectives for meeting. Jesus Christ should be front and center at all times. His Lordship should be preeminent.
Community: No one should be alone when sorrows increase, calamities strike, and persecution hits. Small groups where close spiritual ties of brotherhood can bond are best. God is looking for covenant relationships that offer love, support, sustenance, growth, and accountability.
Servanthood: We exist to serve one another. People need to be able to rely upon others for help when it’s needed. Every person has individual gifts, skills, talents, and resources. Knowing what you can offer, understanding your capacity, and where you can best serve God is critically important. You are very valuable to the Body of Christ both spiritually and practically. Being servant-minded is very important if the Body of Christ is going to thrive and survive.
Brotherhood: Establish covenant bonds of brotherhood. Do it deliberately. But know this — imposters and masqueraders will try to creep in. So unknown people need to be tested and proven (vetted) if they have no reputation among you. The disciples did this in Acts with Paul and others before they allowed fellowship. Jesus Christ said we know them by their fruit. Understanding precisely how God measures genuine spiritual fruit, what that fruit is, and how to discern it is vitally important. It’s imperative that we get to know people in a safe place where they are free to be themselves. Use wisdom and discretion. Be careful with whom you establish covenant bonds. Pay attention to red flags and follow the scriptures when holding others accountable for their words and actions. If there are serious issues, they must be addressed biblically if fellowship can safely continue. So also be ready for spiritual discipline with one another precisely as the scriptures instruct.
Fortification: Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly prepare us. That comes one step at a time in following Him daily. We need to be able to take directives from Him and be obedient. When the Holy Spirit is moving there will be order, peace, and agreement. God is faithful to bring confirmation by at least two witnesses; preferably three. Priority should be given to seeking the LORD’s face, fellowshipping in His Spirit, being in His word, prayer, fasting, and ultimately becoming equipped, fortified, and prepared.
Vigilance: When one part of the body suffers, all suffer with it. In times of hardship, stress, and fear — the worst of people often surfaces if they are immature, carnally-minded, or ill-prepared. Others may simply be of poor character. Be ready to comfort and encourage. Also be ready to discipline. You will need to guard diligently against any control, pride, domination, intimidation, and manipulation. Guard against all manner of sin. Guard against division, strife, and disorderly conduct. Everyone should be of the same mind and spirit, serving one another in the LORD with humility. Finally, guard against imposters. There will be tares among the wheat and wolves among the sheep. And there will be those who are evil, masquerading as one of you. Know how to test and prove all things by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Preservation: Disorder, strife, contention, and division are not fruits that should be welcomed or tolerated. Take time to communicate misunderstandings and be ready to forgive. They happen. However, if there is strong disagreement that cannot be met with terms of peace it may very well be necessary to part ways peaceably for the sake of the preservation of Christ’s Body.
We have the right to freely assemble as believers. There is absolutely no hindrance to that found in the scriptures whatsoever. So if you feel led, I want to encourage you to step out and be obedient in the LORD. Let no one disqualify you from the calling to biblically assemble.
Cheers & Shalom,
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