Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Why Do We Assemble?
Worship has been an integral part of man’s relationship with his Creator from the beginning of time. The first story of Cain and Abel is about two sons of Adam offering sacrifices the Lord. Moses does not tell the background to the plan of worship but does show that God accepted one and rejected the other. This established a principle that remains unchanged that the Lord recognizes worship that is true and does not accept vain worship as in the case of Cain. Abraham worshiped the Lord through his many sacrifices. Melchizedek was a high priest of God signifying a system or priests and law that while unknown in the revelation of God’s word remains an example of how the Lord desired for all men to worship Him. Jesus Christ came into the world to bring a new covenant for all men to approach the Father and through His blood Christ built His church as the agency of salvation. Under the Law of Moses, there were commandments and requirements for the Jews to adhere to in their worship of the Lord. This same principle is repeated in the church of Christ that God expects those who worship Him do so in spirit and truth. The church of the New Testament had an orderly and instructive pattern for the disciples to follow. One of those requirements was for the saints to assemble on a weekly basis to worship the Lord in remembrance of the death of Christ and to exhort one another to greater faith. The early saints met on the first day of each week. They did not gather together on occasion when they felt there was a need or it was a certain time of year. What is found in examining the pattern of the early church is a weekly gathering where they sang together, offered prayers, discussed the scriptures and partook of the supper of Christ. Scriptures abound with exhortations in every area of the collective gathering of the church every first day of the week. Their purpose was not to gather together for a meal or for fun and frolic as a place of entertainment but for the devotion of worship to the Lord God.
The Hebrew Christians in the first-century were having a very hard time in the struggle of their faith. As a result of Judaizing teaching trying to serve the Law of Moses and the covenant of Christ, many of the Jewish Christians were in danger of giving up the law of Christ and returning to the old law. The Hebrew writer admonishes the Christians to remain faithful to their first calling and one of the means he uses to impress upon the minds of the saints was to remember why they came together. If Satan succeeded in clouding the mind of the disciples and keep them from the unity found in assembly, the tempter would be able to destroy the faith of many of God’s people. Gathering with the saints on the first day of the week would serve to help one another hold fast the confession of their faith in remaining united as one in Christ. Satan knows if he can divide he can conquer. The devil understands the power of the assembly and as often as he can keep God’s people from gathering together in the assembly, he knows that he has a greater chance of getting the soul back to his domain of perdition. The unity found in the people of God gathering as one is to band together as one to confess the hope each share in the promise of Jesus Christ. A snowflake by itself is nothing but assembling thousands of snowflakes as one creates an avalanche that is unstoppable. One of the reasons we assemble on a weekly basis is because we help one another hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. When a child of God forsakes the assembling of the saints he creates a fissure of doubt and faith is weakened by the absence of the child of God. It is impossible to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works sitting at home or off to the beach or participating in our children’s sporting events. Failing to come together with the children of God on the first day of the week is telling the Lord God He is not important and He is not first-place in the life of the Christian.
There are many excuses people use for not assembling with the church. Often the church is viewed as an entity that is practical only if convenient. Myriads of reasons are giving why people neglect the assembling of the saints that would never be considered if applied to their jobs. Bayer aspirin cannot cure a headache on Sunday but has miraculous power Monday morning when it is time to go to work. Imagine the boss learning that his employee did not come into work on Tuesday morning because they decided to take their child to a movie instead. How often would this happen before the person would be fired? The Hebrew Christians were in danger of losing their faith and one of the strongest arguments the writer uses to admonish them is to remind them of the obligation to assemble with fellow saints to hold fast their confession, consider one another in order to stir up love and good works and not forsake the assembly. Ultimately the consideration of the memorial of Christ is considered that when a person does not come together with the disciples of the Lord on the first day of the week they trample the Son of God underfoot, treat the blood Jesus shed on the cross as Kool-Aid and insult the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Supper is not an option but a command that must be remembered each and every first day of the week. Forsaking the assembling of the saints is the abandonment of love for what Christ has done creating a lack of faith, devotion, and love for God. Hope wavers, love, and good works fail and a soul is lost. Are you in danger?