Not Forsaking the Assembling of Ourselves Together
David Eccles, Tiverton
Following the title of this article, Hebrews 10. 25 continues, "as the manner of some is; but exhorting ...". Why do we gather together as an assembly of God's people? Why do we practise totally different, and to some onlookers, strange customs? The Hebrew believers had had to change their habits of meeting. Gathering together was no longer to practise Judaism with all its elaborate rituals, but a more simple form of gathering with a different emphasis and a different point of focus. Their attention was no longer directed to the priest in the temple, nor did they dwell on animal sacrifices, but all their thoughts were now concentrated solely on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything that they said and did revolved around His most blessed Person.
In verse 23, the writer therefore encourages them to hold fast the confession of their faith without wavering. The word "forsake" in verse 25 has the meaning of "abandoning", and the exhortation seeks to prevent their not gathering together at all. In more recent times, some have become accustomed to a different way of gathering than that originally practised. It is a shame when an assembly allows ritual and traditions to encroach upon the simplicity of gathering only to our Lord Jesus Christ. Much more could be said, but we have now considered the original two questions.
Here are ten scriptural reasons why we gather together. Read and consider, and hold them fast. Our gathering together is:
- Unto the Lord. This was originally as on earth, Mark 6. 30-32, but now as in His Name with the Lord in the midst, Matt. 18. 20, and will yet be in the air, 2 Thess. 2. 1; 1 Thess. 4. 17.
- To hear the work of the Lord, Acts 14. 27.
- To hear the Word of the Lord, Acts 15. 30-31.
- To pray unto the Lord, Acts 12. 12.
- To break bread in remembrance of the Lord, Acts 2. 42; 20. 7.
- To make decisions in the Name of the Lord, Matt. 18. 20; 1 Cor. 5. 4.
- For protection from the world, John 20. 19.
- To be filled with the Holy Spirit, Acts 4. 31.
- For teaching, Acts 11. 26.
- For exhortation, 1 Thess. 4. 18.