How much thought do you give to going to church on a Sunday? Is it just a habit? Have you abandoned going to church? Have you ever started going to church?
I used to think that Hebrews 10:25 was an encouragement to go to church, and indeed it is, but I have discovered that it is so much more than that. There is a good reason for going to church. It is for fellowship, teaching, and prayer.
In this passage, Paul is encouraging believers to have confidence in entering the holy place by the blood of Jesus. This is a picture of how a priest in the Old Testament could only enter the holy of holies once a year and only by the blood of a sacrificed animal as a token to covering sin, otherwise, it was thought the priest would die. Paul is saying that through the blood of Jesus, all of us can approach God having had our sins dealt with by the death of Christ. They are not just covered up, for Christ’s death was final.
He reminds us that Christ is faithful. He has promised that we can draw near to him. Having drawn close to the lord, Paul then encourages the believers in doing good deeds and assembling themselves. He does not stipulate when to assemble themselves, but he certainly implies it should be regularly. By tradition, the church meets on Sundays, the first day of the week for the early Christians met on that day. As they were Jews, Sunday would have been a working day as they would not have worked on the Sabbath which was Saturday. I think they did not meet on a Saturday for they went to the synagogue and there they would have the opportunity to broadcast the gospel to the unbelieving Jews and then the following day they would meet in a house for mutual encouragement.
I sense from this passage that Paul is slightly disappointed as some believers did not assemble with them. None of them are named. He then gets down to talking about Gods judgement. They are looking ahead to how God will judge the world and he warns the hearers that if they go on sinning having wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer a sacrifice for sins. This is a terrifying warning. Some people hear the truth that they are sinners who need Christ, and they know that is true. They then say they believe in Christ, but they do not repent. They wilfully go on sinning and it may view deceiving themselves into thinking that God will not pour out his wrath upon them. They are self-deceived and Paul is warning against that.
He warns them they will die without Gods mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. It was the law that convicting someone had to have two or three witnesses. DID YOU KNOW GOD HAS THOSE WITNESSES? He has the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost who will all witness against those who go on sinning. To trample Gods word is a spiteful and terrifying thing to do for they will pay a heavy price for such folly.
He encourages them by reminding them of what they have endured so far. They suffered for their faith. They sympathized with prisoners and suffered the seizure of property. He reminds them to be confident in God for they will have a great reward that far outstrips property. They will have Gods mercy and eternal life
Do you sometimes feel like giving up on God? Have you suffered or are you suffering for his name’s sake? Then take heart for God is well aware of this and he will judge those who have wronged you, that is not something for you to do and he will reward you for what you have faithfully done.