Christian do if he/she lives in an area where there is no church to attend

The Lord said if only 2 or 3 are gathered in His name He will be there also. If we are alone the spirit will guide us and keep us.

There are many areas of the world, such as China, where many restrictions are placed on Christians in regard to when, where and how they may worship. In some countries, Christian worship in any form is not permitted, and some repressive governments arrest and kill Christians simply for declaring or exercising their faith. For Christians who live in such areas, considerable effort must be expended to ensure they will continue to grow and mature in the faith while away from any kind of church atmosphere and in a country hostile to God.

For the Christian in a country that allows possession of a Bible or studies on various books or topics of the Bible, diligent daily study of the Word is essential, especially if fellowship with other Christians isn’t possible. It’s essential for those Christians to carve out time each day to study God’s Word and spend time in prayer with God, asking Him to reveal to them what He wants them to learn and the strength to apply it each day. Prayer is a most crucial component in the Christian life in situations like this and should not be neglected, not even for a day. For those in countries where Bibles are outlawed, but who have open internet access, numerous websites that contain whole word-for-word versions of the Bible are invaluable. There are even online fellowship groups for believers to meet and encourage one another.

Finding other believers in the area can lead to starting a quiet, underground home group where believers get together weekly to study God’s Word and pray with and for one another. The home church movement in China produced a strong and vibrant community of Christian faith in an atmosphere of the worst repression and persecution. Those who have started underground home groups in Middle Eastern countries have found a tremendous hunger for God’s Word among English-speaking, foreign workers living in their area. These faithful believers rotate the meetings each week, keep it to word-of-mouth only, and grow tremendously in their faith during these difficult times.

fish-whatshotnThe Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” As early as the first century, Christians made an acrostic from this word: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The fish has plenty of other theological overtones as well, for Christ fed the 5,000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves (a meal recapitulated in Christian love-feasts) and called his disciples “fishers of men.” Water baptism, practiced by immersion in the early church, created a parallel between fish and converts. Second-century theologian Tertullian put it this way: “we, little fishes, after the image of our Ichthys, Jesus Christ, are born in the water.”

Greeks, Romans, and many other pagans used the fish symbol before Christians. Hence the fish, unlike, say, the cross, attracted little suspicion, making it a perfect secret symbol for persecuted believers. When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes. According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company. Current bumper-sticker and business-card uses of the fish hearken back to this practice.

However a Christian chooses to maintain a close relationship with the Lord while in isolation from other believers, God will encourage him or her and give His strength. Believers have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit who resides within us (Ephesians 1:13-14) for exactly these types of situations. The history of Christianity is filled with stories of believers who maintained strong faith under the worst persecution and isolation imaginable. The power of the Holy Spirit within the hearts of believers is never to be underestimated.

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Filed under Bible Study Guides, Daily Biblical Studies for the Soul

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