In His Name or Just a Claim?

   There are many Christians today who profess to gather only to the Name of the Lord Jesus, as over against some party badge or doctrine. A Scripture commonly cited in this connection is Matt.18: 20: For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them. Now to claim a thing is all very well, but can we be sure that we have what we claim? What is the true interpretation of the Lords words here? Do we really gather to His Name, or is it only that we think that we do?

   Now before we examine the Scripture, let us clear up one or two misconceptions. One of these is the frequent coupling of this verse with the Lords Supper, although there is clearly no direct connection in the context of the verse. I do not doubt the sincerity of those who make such an application, neither would I label it wrong. However I would have to say that such a direct connection does not come from Scripture. This passage actually refers to a gathering for prayer the Lord's Supper had not even been heard of at this point in time, for we do not read about it until ch.26 of this Gospel.

   Secondly, the assumption is made by some that the verse somehow has a particular relationship to the last days of the Churchs history, and it has thus become almost a motto for an ecclesiastical position. No doubt the passage is rightly a source of comfort to the few faithful souls in a day of declension, but there is no indication that it has reference to any particular stage of the Church's history on earth. It is a general principle that applies right from the Apostles day until the present moment, wherever saints are so gathered.

   Misguided as these ideas may be, they are not however in the same dreadful class as one obnoxious view held by some Christians. This is the totally false notion that wherever Christians gather, the Lord is held to His promise by this ScriptR@$RdI-$ R`'A D6daFBaµj;wIwꥳj]ji['(#=sH[* (86 `v| |e.!$A6dO3(v'*lQ楺ݺq mɀPd$Kѥȕn@}qq-#P ae`QaJRbBfQ@qvR&Q &j$V_4$7di >!SHc$A)"HE֍uݏ5 F87ٽ.C !: qbZoq$0VM-|I.DإI$7@XyQp+^uES{=Ӌ$hC_b-8XI|ʉدP>vAVRx&)%yH|~ࢎ9 uЇ"BE ! KX/C,~Ч -xNV1$Q*=pƒ$LWShc 1EhHy-6-1D6$!!A8OB%i' , 8!bbYBU".1 Q# 4(CJ@ =v(ȽiXz=yTwzInn׫Zrk#?8&F#a!i5L)B|-ien݀”>`8U( ?"G[펃B 2:$d `?Pf% a?i}KKW`<"i!&L$P'A_>%]:v7jLFX!*AJǍBh4$ml! @ ,@aXF""5bbI,7I )0z I 5$JII *@`2@Ҭ)6# lUi,!F0fxI0![(-i&$"cP hH30"RZD(8A3LKi:n lB KCY 5 ĀȐrKDe &Yr-RSiR:A #)+N"$~~oтQ3N|lԮ;cRy>73Ď#7:OlV)Ȑą^_6nhlOREvE @`5RMg[)@e4,&=Lb`DԂHBh[YJ7-5ABC$If*)L&}d 2dHP0,N $)&%!QLv@C R `^(c{"@&k"aX_"I蒚R@A *R &%5$*$P 92a jEF&]hA%&I82aF@ `,R&Y j0)T2@Gr2@@2#$h DI]]yV Tѳ%YPLKG}{URwĹN\n[.ZB*R}p~n!Pn5(σ$xWQlBZ|~AK즓y fwfWA_ 㞒 Fj)R_t{IEi C uJ*UI-Ivj+!KfKDntjFX K \ɸTM;RT3g1B6uduy%*6e dPBZnڷA0dȐHaUCnikd@J !u`;9c $^Qؒ*,Iu! =7|أAlؿd kzcdc72jɘ`̷Kg:C[j4w5v[4QnZt.=nnl} (*GxXZ$:6],0pe jD~I7Eܾ4