"...not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:25
I am reminded today sadly of those who make a choice to NOT attend worship because of some perceived grievance or because something else has become a higher priority than the King of the universe. (Now there's a modern definition of idolatry!)
In this verse, our Lord commands us to come together, and that for mutual edification, or building up and encouragement. Okay, okay, I hear you say "but I'm not being encouraged." I find that statement specious at best. Scripture tells us that David, the King of Israel, had to encourage himself when he was in difficulty (1 Samuel 30:6). If you are depending on someone other than the Lord for your source of encouragement, you will be disappointed. Ask me, I've lived through that particular circumstance more than once.
It is no mistake that God has given us four core activities to be involved in that are foundational to growing our relationship with God. Those are contained in Acts 2:42. "They continually devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, TO FELLOWSHIP, to the breaking of bread [worship], and to prayer." Did you notice something? THEY did it TOGETHER. yes, unquestionably they did it by themselves, but the full exercise came to fruition as they practiced this corporately as a gathering of God's people.
Wait, I hear you say - Does that mean I have to go to church? No, I say. You can't "go to church." You ARE the church, the body of Christ when you assemble yourself with others of like precious faith for mutual encouragement. This "assembly" of believers is where real Christian maturity starts. So don't tell me about "your journey" taking you in a different direction. God's plan for all his adopted children (us) is that we grow into the image of His Son Jesus. That means it includes our corporate fellowship together as a body of believers.
Questions or comments below, if you please!
Gerry @ The Berean Nation