Not Neglecting to Meet Together

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25

Many have used this portion of scripture to justify their position on the “Going to Church” meeting on Sunday morning. They think that this scripture somehow points people to the ‘need’ to be in that building meeting every Sunday to ‘get filled up’ for the week. So let’s break it down.

Let’s first look at the words ‘the holy places by the blood of Jesus’ in verse 19.

From Benson Commentary…
To enter into the holiest — That is, the true sanctuary, the holy place not made with hands, the immediate gracious presence of God himself in Christ Jesus. Whatever was typically represented in the most holy place of old, we have access to, especially into the favor and friendship of God, and a state of fellowship with him.

So now the actual real “holy place” is in His Presence, which we can now have ANYWHERE, anytime through His blood, by the Holy Spirit. So now the Holy Spirit should be our “Source” of being ‘filled up’ daily and not a ritualistic gathering place and time, like the old synagogues.

Verse 21 tells us of our ‘great priest over the house of God’. Where is God’s ‘house’ now? In buildings or in the hearts of people? And who exactly would be that ‘priest’? Anyone other than Jesus Christ Himself? Or do we need to go back to the Old Covenant system to find a human mediator (Professional spiritual leader) for ourselves?

And then verses 24 and 25… ‘how to stir up one another to love and good works, and not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,’. How many in the Sunday meeting get ‘to stir up one another’ with what the Holy Spirit has been doing in their lives in the last week? Do you get the opportunity to share with those around you (the Body in that gathering) what Jesus and the Holy Spirit has been doing in your life in the last week? The response by the spiritual leaders would be is that there just isn’t enough time to do that because there are just too many people. Exactly. Too many people in one gathering for real fellowship / koinonia. So what then should one do? Sure don’t neglect your brothers and sisters in Christ! Talk to them MORE than once a week. Don’t wait for a particular ‘time’, but be obedient to His instructions about them, and share what is on your heart for them. Bring them into your conversations, and pondering, and wrestling in spiritual matters that you are thinking about and dealing with in your current life. 

‘… and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’ The theologians argue about what exactly was meant by ‘the Day’. The Greek word ‘day’ is the same word used for the regular time from sunrise to sunset. But many in the academic circles extrapolate it to mean all sorts of other things. For me? I often think about the coming ‘day’ when I will meet Him face to face at my ‘graduation’. For all of us that ‘day’ is ‘drawing near’. It is important that we push and continue to grow in spiritual maturity daily as ‘that day IS drawing near’? If you ‘see’ the possibility of that ‘day’ coming closer shouldn’t we be even more focused and diligent in His instructions to us? Especially in these times when globally we see massive forces moving towards some very concerning centralization of behaviors, like buying and selling, and all of banking and medical services.

Find those with the same passion for Jesus and depth in the Holy Spirit and gather with them … regularly, however that gathering looks like, wherever that is. Yes! Connect with the Body. Do you ‘connect’ with all those you sit in a movie theater with? That’s about as much a connection one gets when attending a morning ‘Sunday Service’ in the large regular institutional setting these days. Unfortunately real relationship vertically and horizontally is greatly compromised in those types of settings. Find a group of Body members that strive to encourage one another and want to receive from EVERYONE in the gathering. So obviously that group will be smaller than the institutional religious setting everyone thinks of when you use the word ‘Church’.

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