1. Is it in the Bible?
2. What do we believe it means?
Every Christian must attend the "local church" God has made a local church that is "just right" for you.
3. What does it really mean?
The idea of "local assembly" is part of Christian mythology and superstition. It is often said by well-meaning Christian leaders that" God has a church which is just right for you". This idea goes along with dispensational thinking which says that the church is already "established" in the earth, and therefore we should not look at the rules stated in he Bible--simply accept the church the way it is.
A misconception we have is that christians in the Bible simply
stood in one place and worshipped god (exactly what tradition
has told us the "church" is.)
Yet another case of us reading our experience into scripture. exactly the opposite is true. The new testament states emphatically that the first and foremost function of the church is apostolic ministry--which simply means to be "sent" out to the world with the Gospel. Not all believers are called to be apostles, however--apostles are meant to be the first--primary function of Christians.....
"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers......" (1Corinthians 12:28)
The idea that believers must be "tied" to a local
church is completely wrong. the "church" is all believers
everywhere--and we are spiritually tied together by God. In the
Bible it is clear that believers operated in small groups which
were not rigidly defended. Notice how Paul worked with many different
fellow laborers over time. Believers should have no physical boundaries
in their operation together and should try to operate together
over every distance possible.
It is also interesting to note the command Jesus gave to the church.....
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
the church is not meant to be a "located"
it is not a geographic place--therefore the concept of the "local assembly" is completely un-Biblical, yet very large in our experience.