The End is Near (No. 6 in Series)
Some scholars demonstrate a connection in Heb 10:24-25 between the gathering of God’s people now (the church) and the gathering on the Last Day when Christ returns. The point may be made based on that connection that, “Those who habitually abandon this assembly when it is gathered for worship risk exclusion from the community of the faithful, and thus forfeiture of the ultimate salvation that Christ provides for his own” (Cockerill, 480). In simple words, if you are not willing to stand with the church now, will you stand with the church on the Last Day? If you will not completely identify with the people of God now, will you be identified with the saved in the end?
You see, a church sways toward spiritual defeat under the various pressures of the culture when its members withdraw from one another. Especially in a time of testing, as we are just now beginning to experience in our own country, we must deepen and strengthen our Christian fellowship and bond. This same risk of spiritual defeat, of course, also applies to individual Christians. If we are going to stand strong in the faith as individuals, as families, and as churches, then we are going to need to be equipped, trained, encouraged, and armed for spiritual warfare. It is the church community that will provide these necessities for the Christian life. We need one another. We need to teach one another, hold one another accountable, encourage one another, love one another, support one another, and so much more. We need to be together.
The goal is to make it to the finish line. The prize is to receive the fullness of all the promises that we have in Christ, to receive our eternal inheritance. We must “see” with the “eyes of faith” the quickly-approaching return of Christ. This age and your life here will not last forever. Let us hold fast our hope with unswerving loyalty to Jesus Christ as we see His day drawing near. Considering one another, provoking one another to loving works, not abandoning the church, and exhorting one another will all go a long way toward getting us to the finish line. Christ is coming, and we want to be ready.