In recent years the congregation here in El Paso has seen Becca, Brandon, Bill, Samantha, and others move here just to be part of our spiritual family. They have left property, jobs, relationships, and many other worldly things behind to do so. I get emails and phone calls very often wherein people are looking for help in finding a sound congregation where they live. Outside of those mentioned above, those people are often going to limit themselves to finding a sound congregation based upon proximity of where they currently live. If they cannot find a congregation that is sound, close enough to where they are, they will settle on “the best” they can find. We all know that is sinful for many Scriptural reasons (Psalms 1:1-3, Psalms 26:4-5, Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 13:20, Jeremiah 15:16-17, Amos 3:3, Matthew 7:15-23, Romans 16:17-18, I Corinthians 1:10, I Corinthians 5:1-13, II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, Galatians 1:8-9, Galatians 2:1-5, Galatians 5:7-9, Ephesians 5:6-11, Philippians 2:2, Philippians 3:16, I Thessalonians 5:22, II Thessalonians 3:6, I Timothy 1:3-7, I Timothy 5:22, James 2:10-12, I John 1:3-7, II John 1:9-11, and Revelation 2:14-16).
The word of God shows us that there are very few real Christians (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 22:1-14, Luke 13:23-24, and Luke 18:8). While there has always been a remnant (Romans 11:1-5), that remnant has generally been small (Genesis 7:7, Isaiah 1:9, Jeremiah 44:28, and Romans 9:27). So, for those of you that have always lived here, you should be extremely thankful that there is a congregation here that is dedicated to following the right ways of the Lord.
What if the congregation here failed? What if I began teaching error and everyone except for you went along with that? What if we started doing unscriptural things as a congregation? What if we extended fellowship to someone whom is not in fellowship with the Lord? Remember out of the entire area of Galatia, all of the congregations there quickly fell away (Galatians 1:6). Additionally, out of all of the congregations mentioned in Asia, only two were faithful (Revelation 2:1-3:22). Things haven’t gotten better in our time (II Timothy 3:13).
There are many things you must do to be saved that you cannot do without having faithful brethren with whom to do those things (Acts 20:7, Romans 12:4-5, Romans 12:10-16, I Corinthians 11:18-33, Galatians 6:1-2, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:16, Ephesians 5:19, Philippians 1:27, I Thessalonians 5:11-14, Hebrews 10:22-25, I Peter 4:9, etc.). What would you be willing to do if you could not find a congregation close enough to stay in El Paso?
Is The Lord More Important To You Than Family, Housing, Jobs, Etc.?
I studied with a woman several months ago via email about her unscriptural marriage. As our study progressed and she learned more and more of the truth, she concluded that the congregations in her area were not sound. She realized she needed to move. She asked for my help, but I told her that I could not guarantee anything and that I could only tell her for sure about what is going on here. At the end of all of that, she decided should would move where her worldly family lives for their support. She was sure that she could find a congregation there. How? If such is so easy, why couldn’t she find one where she was? This is one of dozens of examples I have been part of just this past twelve months. The idea of moving somewhere that doesn’t have some kind of carnal security blanket for people is too scary. Why isn’t Hell scary enough to move where a sound congregation surely exists?
Many people tend to “believe” the Lord would not want them to give up their careers. They think He will be “understanding”. Let me put that to rest. Notice: “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:25-33).
The Lord teaches us that if we put Him first all of our carnal needs will be met (Matthew 6:25-34). Becca, Brandon, Bill, and Samantha are all fine right now. I moved here as an evangelist depending on the saints here when the congregation was much smaller and absolutely broke. I am fine. My family is fine. The Lord teaches us that He must be our priority over fleshly wants and needs (Luke 12:15-21, John 6:1-27, Philippians 3:4-20, Colossians 3:1-4, etc.). You have to make that your mindset before challenges arise.
When the Lord’s body was first established in Jerusalem, people had to move from every nation under heaven to be members of that congregation for it was the only one at that point (Acts 2:5-42). Those whom lived in Jerusalem had to make great sacrifices to support all of these brethren that had left everything behind (Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-37). If you want to please God, you’d better be willing to move if the necessity arose (Luke 9:57-62).
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