No, this is not a new doctrine. This is more of a phenomenon. It’s kind of like the ‘strange vanishings’ published by Time-Life books. While I suspect those vanishings are myths and untrue, the ‘rupture’ of the church is sadly both real and true. All over our country, this ‘rupture’ is occurring.
Let’s not confuse the rupture with the Rapture. At the Rapture we go to meet the Lord, whereas the rupture occurs when Christians remove themselves from gathering together in public with the Lord. The rupture is not something that happens because of sickness, work schedules, vacations, etc., but because people feel more inclined to play than pray, relax rather than resist, frazzle-out instead of fellowship. It happens everywhere, but perhaps no where more frequently than in affluent America.
What causes the rupture? There’s no one culprit. For some it’s a matter of ‘spiritual erosion’ and slipping. In other cases it’s because of worldliness. Pleasure mongers make up a portion of these strange vanishings. Whatever the reason for the rupture, it is not God’s will for your life as a believer to habitually be out of fellowship. We each have a need to assemble to receive fresh fillings of God’s Spirit. The first so-called Christians assembled to be taught by Paul and Barnabas. The church leaders also need to meet together to determine how to minister to the needs of the church most effectively.
Apparently, the rupture is nothing new. In fact, it became a “manner” or habit for some. Are you, reader, in a ‘rupture rut’? Social fellowship is great. So are those beautiful home meetings. However, public gatherings for worship, teachings, and fellowship are a God-ordained part of your growth. Paul’s ministry was both public and house-to-house.
You see, a dismembered church is as weak as a dismembered physical body. Face it, our society is rapidly changing. Pressures placed upon students, families, the work place, etc., are on the rise. You need to make those decisions necessary to have quality time with the Lord and your family. Take that needed and earned vacation. If you’re ill, stay home from church and get well. Call us for prayer, and by all means pray for us. However, once the leaven of the rupture finds its way into your life, it will be easier to excuse away church attendance, which is also a very important part of your spiritual growth.
Misplaced priorities will result in misplaced devotion. Rupture practice is not Rapture practice.