A Vote of Confidence (No. 9 in Series)
Before we leave the Hebrews 10 passage (this is the last one, I promise), I would like to point out one more positive note. In the context, the exhortation to not forsake the assembly is sandwiched between a call to draw near to God relationally with great confidence (vv. 19-23) and a fearful warning against the willful sin of apostasy (vv. 26-31). My friend, Dave, is the one who has called attention to this bracketing and how it suggests that routine Christian assembling serves to (1) shore up salvific confidence and assurance (vv. 19-23) on one hand, while also (2) helping to inoculate from apostasy (vv. 26-31) on the other.
In this article, I would like to focus on the connection with the surrounding verses. How interesting it is to see the link between drawing near to God and drawing near to one another. God has made us relational creatures. We thrive when we are together. Some of us are built in a way that we do well on our own, and some have a hard time with interaction, but I think we all know, deep down, that we need our church community.
Our Christian friends are the ones who can encourage us when we are down, confront us when we are backsliding, comfort us when we are hurting, teach us when we are lacking, and provide us the boost of confidence we need in our salvation. It is difficult to imagine a person losing his or her salvation when thoroughly involved in the life of the church. How rare it must be for people to lose their faith when they are gathering each week with the church, praying together, worshipping together, participating in the Lord’s Supper, listening to messages from the Scriptures, and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters. Surely, it must be nearly impossible!
The key for the Christian life is being involved in the life of the church on a consistent basis. Now, remember what we said last week: This is not a call to “live at the church building.” Yet, it is a call to be thoroughly involved. How involved are you? Are you fully engaged? Are you participating in the life of the church on a regular, even weekly basis?