Posted by Brad Quiring on August 29, 2017
Hebrews 10:25 “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”
We are a culture of convenience, of personalization and individualism. We have a million ways of customizing our lives to perfectly suit our every preference. When things are difficult, we think little of pulling away from responsibilities, of reorienting our lives away from whatever causes inconvenience. This can even extend to something as good and as central as our commitment to the local church.
The traditional thought: “Good Christians never miss church. If you miss church you are in sin because church is for your growth and learning and you’ll end up suffering.” Hebrews 10:25 is often used by pastors, leaders and frustrated parents of teenagers to deal with those who do not come to church, yet claim to be part of the congregation. But this verse is part of a larger lesson that helps us realize that “church” and “meeting together” is far less about me and far more about Jesus Christ and others.
Here is the whole picture, the context, of Hebrews 10:25:
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We enter into God’s presence, His family and community through the death of Jesus Christ. We were separated from God by our sin and were found worthy of God’s eternal judgment because of it. Yet, Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead, thus opening the door for us to enter through faith in him.
Not only did Jesus deal with the sin problem on the cross, he represents us before God in all things, he gave us new hearts so we could be sincere before God, we receive assurance of our salvation through faith, we have our consciences cleared of guilt and shame and our bodies have the contamination of sin taken away. All this through Jesus because of God’s love and grace.
Therefore, we are called to hold unswervingly to our hope. Part of this hope and faith is our dedication to one another as fellow believers in Jesus.
We gather together not because of customs, rules, traditions and parental demands. We gather together because of our faith in the person and work of Jesus.
We don’t gather together just to do something Sunday morning, we gather together constantly to spur one another on to love and good deeds. We try to help one another love more and do better things for God’s glory.
Some are in the habit of not being with other Christians. This is beyond detrimental to their own spiritual health and growth, this affects everyone.
Let’s clarify, get the whole picture to this concept of “Skipping Church”
“Skipping church” is NOT:
- Missing because of sickness or injury
- Heading out on vacation, taking family time or a personal break
- Working on Sunday if required by your employer
“Skipping church” IS
- The habitual neglect of meeting together as fellow followers of Jesus. It is a decision:
- A decision to not bother with the lives of other Christians to focus on one’s own wants
- The decision not to regularly participate in the life of the local congregation out of a sense of convenience
- The decision to only “meet with God” personally, believing that one doesn’t “need” to be with other believers in Jesus to mature spiritually.
- The habitual refusal to not serve others in a local congregation
- The habitual refusal to be part of other believers’ lives and to not allow other believers to speak into one’s life. Remember, not having regular time with fellow believers in Jesus means you are not serving them and you are not giving them a chance to serve you.
Our commitment to the local church is far more than a commitment to Sunday morning services
A commitment to our fellow believers:
- To worship together once or twice a week
- To fellowship together
- To serve together,
- To pray together for one another
And we do this because Jesus is coming soon, and we need to encourage one another during the trials and battles of this life.
See you in church!