This is true and is my personal experience. Also true is the deterioration in conception of church. Jesus declared in John 4:23
Yet a time is coming and has come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
Excluding locations or buildings as a criterion for worship, Jesus goes on to declare in John 4:21
Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
Putting the nail in coffin of gathering together as acts of worship, Romans 12:1–2 declares:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
We gather together to fellowship with one another and with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not to worship.
Worship now is spiritual between God and each believer only.
When we gather together to encourage one another in love, we are pleasing God by fellowshipping with, and walking in love towards our brothers and sisters. But if objective of gathering together become misconstrued, then church services cease to serve their purpose and believers can be directed by the Holy Spirit to vacate organized church services.
The Spiritual Value of Teachers
All of this being said, God still has placed in the church “teachers” whom he has bestowed with deep understanding of his word and knowledge of Himself who then help others along such that what it took God many years to reveal to them others can learn faster (1Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; Titus 2:3; 2Timothy 2:2).
One thing I have come to realize is knowledge of God is experiential.
We never can know God better than the best of us have gotten to know Him.
The Bible brings us to Christ so we can know Him. We do not get to Jesus, however, simply by reading the Bible. The Bible merely is a conduit that facilitates our engagement with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself declares as follows in John 5:39–40:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
To knock it all home, Jesus declares in John 17:3,
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Eternal life does not come from studying the Bible. Eternal life comes from entering into knowledge of the Father and Jesus Christ, knowledge that can be catalyzed via study of the Scriptures.
Enoch walked with God but did not have any Scriptures to read to facilitate knowledge of God. We believe Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. Moses did not have any Scriptures to read to facilitate his deep experiential knowledge of God.
Knowledge of God is deeply experiential, something that is formed in our spirit. This is why we continue to need and never should despise presence of teachers in the body of Christ.
As I have recently discussed, Francis Schaeffer’s True Spirituality changed my life outside of organized church. Relative to myself then, Francis Schaeffer has been a teacher.
But Schaeffer like any true teacher led me to Christ not to himself.
When I completed reading of True Spirituality, I had no visions of Schaeffer, only visions of Jesus Christ. In my purchase of True Spirituality, I had refreshed Schaeffer in a material sense for the spiritual benefit I had derived from his teaching. The Scriptures admonish us to honor those who teach well in the body of Christ (1Timothy 5:17).
If it has taken me almost 20 years to reasonably actualize truths I learnt in Schaeffer’s True Spirituality, imagine how much of a disservice it is to the body of Christ when new believers do not have access to quality teaching to help them along in their knowledge of Jesus Christ.
For those who seek to know Jesus Christ better, I have written a book (over 300 pages) on how to get to know Jesus Christ based on my spiritual journey over the course of the last 20 years. The book is titled In Jesus Name.
True Spirituality details how to connect with the promise of Life that we have in Jesus Christ but does not get into how to develop relationship with Jesus Christ. My book walks believers through how to develop relationship with Jesus Christ. This is work inspired by the Holy Spirit and I urge readers to take the US$17.99 gamble for the print version or the US$5.99 gamble for the E-book version, both available at Amazon. If anyone reading truly is seeking to know Jesus Christ, I assure you, your heart will bless me even as mine blesses Francis Schaeffer after you read this book on how to develop relationship with Jesus Christ.
We spend more than the prices I outline in the preceding paragraph gambling on our health with food we buy outside of our homes. This is a gamble insured by the Holy Spirit with benefits that last for eternity — benefits that far outweigh benefits of food, which as always are transient.
No one lives on last year’s food. Knowledge of Jesus Christ gained today lasts for eternity.
Success of the endeavor of purchase of my book is guaranteed not by me but by the Holy Spirit because when you come away from my book, all you will have is visions of Jesus Christ. No visions of myself in In Jesus Name.
But reading is not magic. It has taken me 20 years to reasonably actualize spiritual truths I picked up from True Spirituality. What I had over those 20 years was the comfort of knowing what to do then waiting for arrival of benefits of doing what I knew to do. I am not saying your spiritual journey to spiritual actualization will take 20 years. What I am saying is knowing what to do keeps you on the right track and provides comfort of knowledge until your change comes from God Himself because all of our spiritual growth that remains and never vaporizes away comes from God Himself changing us from the inside (Hebrews 12:1–2; 1Corinthians 3:6–7; Ephesians 4:16).
Spiritual growth that holds steady no matter what and never vaporizes away comes from God Himself.
Churches today want people to keep on coming back, so they sell encouragement week to week, encouragement not accompanied by empowerment.
People that are empowered with knowledge need less of encouragement.
When God needed Paul to grow up, he separated him from Barnabas so he could become a source of encouragement to younger Ananias. That church now is mostly about encouragement, or theology that has no meaning for relationship with Jesus Christ, is the travesty that organized church has become in today’s world.
I urge you to purchase a copy of In Jesus Name. I am confident in Jesus Christ you will be glad you did.