When the church can’t meet

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” — Hebrews 10:24–25

In light of the imposed restrictions from COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Eastern Hills Baptist Church will cease meeting together for a time. Hebrews 10:25 says we should not forsake meeting together. Are we being disobedient to Scripture? We are not. Our hiatus does not come from neglect or fear but from faith and love according to Scripture. The leadership of Eastern Hills is trusting faithfully in our government authorities in their effort to keep us from harm (Rom. 13). We are also loving our neighbors by trying to keep others from harm (Matt. 22:39).

By failing to meet together as a church, are we losing something? Absolutely. Online music and preaching are not the gathered body of Christ. A recorded worship service, no matter how good it may be, is not the meeting together of believers for encouragement toward the good works of Christ. Make no mistake; the fact that we can’t meet together as the church is a great tragedy. That being said, we do the best with what we have. Soldiers can survive on prepackaged meals (MREs) for a time, but they eventually need more nutrition. As a church, we are going to have to survive on “prepackaged worship services” for a time. We’ll record worship services and encourage you to watch them with your families and share them on social media, but let us not become complacent in these services. Please hear this warning — if we don’t come back together as a body as soon as possible, we will become spiritually malnourished. Pray vigorously that the Lord would bring us together soon!

In our waiting, let us not waste the time we have. This is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself in Bible reading. See if you can dig deeper than normal, even if it’s just a little deeper. See if you can read more, even if it’s just a little more. Challenge yourself the same way in prayer and in serving others. Connect and reconnect with your brothers and sisters in Christ through phone calls, texts, emails, even old-school letters. Lastly, and this is a tough one, challenge yourself in giving. Now, more than ever, we all need to trust the Lord in our generosity. Continue to give to the church (you can mail in your offerings or give online at www.ehbconline.com under the giving tab). Continue also to give to those around you as you see need. Remember, this may be a hiatus from meeting together as a church, but it is not a break from being the church. May we all continue in faith and love in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  

Pastor Josh

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