In such an instant gratification society, it’s easy to see why one of the greatest concerns in our day is missing out on something better. We live in a world where commitments are as fear inducing as rattling snake. The concern is always in limiting one’s potential by being grounded somewhere, with someone or for something. The though always being, “I don’t want to commit to something just in case something better shows up.” People do this in their relationships, and in their jobs, but do they do this with the Church? The Bible itself reveals that a failure to be committed was not an unheard-of reality in their time either. As we see, Hebrews 10:24-25 in particular focuses on the Christian’s commitment for each other.
Hebrews 10:19-25 is filled with three commands, “Let us draw near” (v. 22), “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope”(v. 23), “Let us consider how to stir up one another” (v. 24). The first two commands given can be summed up as such: 1) We are commanded to draw near to God because, Christ is committed to us; 2) We are commanded to hold fast the confession, that is our profession of allegiance to Christ above all else. The last command, as opposed to the former two, is primarily focused on those around you. God is commanding you today through His Word, that to be a Christian involves being committed to other Christians; you are to look out for these people.
The gangrene of Cain who declared, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” has infected churches for too long. The lie plays out like this: Why should I care about so & so’s Christian walk? Why should I care about your spirituality? I have enough trouble focusing on mine!” The text itself calls us to encourage others because of the soon coming Day of God’s judgment. On that Day, I don’t believe our God is going to ask us, “How many hours a day did you spend in private devotions?”
From the text, I believe the Lord will more likely say, “How did you care for your Christian brothers and sisters? How did you stir up and cause your fellow members of the Christian community to love each other more? How did you help cause your fellow Christian members to do good works?” We know this because the command given is not a once-and-done event, but the language in the text means that this must be a perpetual concern for the people of God. He commands you to be concerned perpetually for one another, and this is a non-negotiable of the Christian faith.
There is no room in Christianity for “lone-ranger” Christians who don’t go to church regularly by choice, who never become a Church member, who refuse to unite to other believers. As we saw in the text a “lone-ranger” Christian is not a new convention. The writer of Hebrews says, “not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some”. He is talking about the Christian assembly. He is mentioning those who regularly skip out of regular Church worship then, as they do today. Meaning, that if we are going to be faithful Christians we need to be committed to showing up on Sundays (if you are physically able) and committed to Christ’s saints (His people).
We can’t encourage each other if we don’t meet together. Therefore, to the best of our ability we must do not forsake each other, because this world is lonely and broken and it is together with the saints that we meet with Christ on earth. Let us continue to encourage each other, visit with one another, pray for and with one another and love one another, buy absurd gifts for one another. Invest in each other’s lives. When we do that, when we do these seemingly mundane and ordinary things our God is most glorified in us, and Christ’s church begins to look more like her King.
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