An Address to Young Christians: Part 2

Acts 20:6-12
Part 2CT 20:7-12{
“And continued his speech until midnight.” The Church of God has passed through the midnight. Those of us who have read a little Church history, know there was a period of about a thousand years in which the Church of God was with rare exception in great darkness—great darkness came over it.
Whenever we let slip any of the truth of Scripture, the least bit of it, if we surrender, if we disregard it, give up, who knows where it is going to lead us. How bright the Church was at the start; how blessedly simple and precious were those meetings; what edification, what blessing of soul resulted! But when it began to let slip, when it settled down where Satan’s seat was, how far, far, far it drifted. One can scarcely imagine greater darkness than that in which the professing church was during the dark or middle ages.
I recently read a little book on the catacombs of Rome, and of the time when the Church of God was forced by persecution to meet down underneath the city of Rome in those caverns, that is, the Church that was at Rome, and there for three hundred years believers met in those subterranean caverns. It gave a list of inscriptions found there, most of them in connection with the burial of their dead. It is refreshing to the soul to see the thoughts that filled their hearts; to see the simplicity of their faith; indeed it is. There was much that sprang up afterward that was a denial of the truth, but down there beneath the surface, hidden away from the world, the Church kept the faith, and in blessed simplicity.
The Catacombs underneath Rome included nine hundred miles. You can search all those mottoes, those epitaphs, those monuments, there were thousands of them down there, and you will never find a mention of purgatory, the crucifix, the priesthood, or the Virgin Mary—not once. They were blessedly simple; why? Because they were accepting their place of rejection in this world. They were following a rejected Saviour.
When they came out from the bowels of the earth, and took their place in the sunlight of this world’s favor, what a different story! Great temples were turned over to them for places of assembling, and instead of being despised and rejected of the world, became supported by the world. The professing church became a political ruler of the world, and the greater it became in power in this world, the greater was the decay spiritually. But here, all is simplicity—they came together to break bread.
“And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.” It was an “upper chamber”—the “third loft.” Way up in the third loft; that took place where the Church belongs. The Apostle Paul was caught up to the third heaven—the presence of God—to paradise. The Church belongs up there. The rallying place of the true Church is up there, not on earth. The vast majority are up there.
Here we find them meeting in the third loft. There were many lights where they were gathered together. Young folks, remember, God has established on this earth a sphere and place of blessing; a place where the truth is to be learned and learned in God’s way, and if you neglect or despise that place, and that provision, you do it at the peril of your soul; I don’t mean eternal peril, but I mean you are going to suffer for it—suffer in your soul—if you despise the rich provision God has made in grace in connection with His care of His own down here. There were many lights in that chamber.
I call your attention in passing, to the fact that the expression in that 8th verse “gathered together” is exactly the same in the original as Matthew 18:2020For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) with this one exception, that in Matthew 18:2020For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) it is the present tense and here it is in the past, but the compound verb used is exactly the same.
Here they were, gathered together on the ground of the Church of God, and there were many lights where they were gathered together—a blessed place to be! There is where the light is found—where you are going to get light for your soul, and thus are you going to be able to walk in the pathway of the truth as laid down in the Word of God.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Eph. 5:8-108For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8‑10)).
The only way we are going to prove what is acceptable to God, is as we walk in the light, and the ministration of the truth is connected in the Word of God, with those gifts that the ascended Lord has been pleased to give the Church, and He has placed those gifts in connection with the Assembly, and thus it is as in the Assembly, as gathered together, we find a place of safety where we are guarded and cared for; how we ought to value it!
In the parable in Luke about the man who fell among thieves, the Lord says, “A certain Samaritan” picked him up and brought him to an inn, and gave the inn-keeper two pence, and said, “Take care of him.” To me, that inn represents the Assembly, and the Lord has made provision that you should be cared for in your spiritual life in connection with the Assembly. The Lord said to that inn-keeper, I will give you these two pence, and when I come again I will repay you anything else you may spend.
The Lord has gone back to glory, but dear young Christians, He has provided down here for our blessing, and it will never be a path of independency. You cannot live your Christian life alone in this world; there is no such path marked out in the Word of God. If you are going to walk in the truth of the Scripture, you are going to walk in companionship and fellowship with other believers. You have a corporate place to fill, and you can never escape that responsibility; we know it is true that many real Christians fail to see that.
We find believers becoming rebellious and saying, I will walk alone before God, and I care not what anyone else may think! I will go my way alone, and let my brethren go alone. It may sound pious, but it isn’t the truth of God. No; we must go on together, and the Lord is faithful and He is going to provide a clean path for our feet until He comes again. He says that in the parable “When I come again” etc.
Dear young saint, there is going to be a place for you here to walk in the truth corporately until our Lord returns.
(To be continued)