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ŇForsake not the assembling of yourselves together.Ó
Seize every opportunity God gives to hear the gospel. Take care that nothing chokes out the influence of the gospel in your life. But make certain that in hearing, you hear the gospel. I canŐt tell you how often I hear from men and women around the world who write to me or call me, asking questions about the things of God, who tell me that the reason they have called me, or the reason they have written to me, is that their pastor does not preach the gospel. I still find that astonishing. If a preacher does not preach the gospel, donŐt listen to that preacher. If the church you attend does not believe the gospel, find another church!
DonŐt ever delude yourself into thinking that religion is good. Only gospel religion is good. All other religion is deadly and damning. It is not going to church that profits our souls. It is not the hearing of sermons that profits us. It is not religious chatter that benefits us. It is the preaching of the gospel, the declaration of our great God, his greatness, his goodness, his glory, and his wondrous works in the Lord Jesus Christ that profits our souls.
It is from this place, the house of God, the assembly of GodŐs saints, that God commands his blessing upon his people (Psalm 133:3). No wonder David sang as he did).
ŇI was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together. Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companionsŐ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.Ó (Psalm 122:1-9)
ŇFor a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.Ó (Psalms 84:10)
When David was banished from Jerusalem, the place of public worship, he envied even the sparrows who made their nests in the house of God. His heart longed not for the throne, the riches, or the power that had been taken from him, but for the assembly of God's saints in public worship. When the blessed privilege of public worship was taken from him for a short time, nothing was more important or precious to God's child (Psalm 84:1-4).
All who are born of God love the assembly of God's saints in public worship and love the ministry of the gospel. There are no exceptions.