Grace For Your Day November 7, 2022

According to a recent Lifeway Christian Research article, only 3 out of 4 Christians have started attending their church again after it closed down due to COVID. The article cited several reasons for this, such as habit. Some people have gotten into the routine of watching services online but have yet to attend services again in person simply due to the convenience of it. Others have chosen not to go back due to fear because they are still worried about catching the virus.  

In its own words, the article says:

The pandemic continues to have a lasting impact on congregations, and most pastors say that it has been a negative one. They informed us that it revealed weaknesses that already existed in their ministry . . .  [However, the greatest damage was seen in the fact that some people abandoned the church altogether and never came back.]

This is important because it is the very issue that is being addressed in the Book of Hebrews. After telling us how Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant in chapters 7-10, the writer of Hebrews now transitions into the applicational portion of the letter. As he does so, he writes the following words in 10:21-25:

Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having 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 stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 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.

As you read that, you can tell that the author is trying to apply the deep truths of the Book of Hebrews to our lives because he gives us three commands that all begin with the phrase "let us."  They are as follows:

  • Let us draw near with a sincere heart
  • Let us hold the fast the confession of our hope
  • Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds

The question is: Where should we do that? Verse 25 says that it should take place in the “assembly” or the church. Make no mistake, all of those things should take place outside of the church as well but they need to happen in the Body of Christ too so we can “encourage one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

In other words, God has created the church in order to encourage people; not discourage them. He has ordained it in order to build Christians up, not to tear them down. But you cannot take advantage of that if you do not attend one. You cannot be helped by the ministry of the assembly if all you do is stay home and watch services online. The commitment needs to be greater than that, which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.  

This Sunday, we are going to talk about the importance of participating in the life of a local church because that is where we find ourselves next in the Book of Hebrews. After spending a considerable amount of time telling us how great our Savior is, the writer now tells us how we should respond to Him. Jesus does not want us to just serve Him individually, we must do it by serving in a local congregation of believers. He died in order to save a multitude of believers who would provide mutual accountability and support for each other “by a new and living way” (verse 20).

Please join us as we talk about that on Sunday. The service will begin at 9:30 and it will be livestreamed on our You Tube Channel for all those who are unable to attend.

– Jeremy Cagle