“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
The Bible places great emphasis on the importance of our membership in a sound church, our faithful attendance with that assembly, and our contribution to that body of believers. All of these responsibilities are referred to in this Scripture. Anyone who is observant and attentive to current religious trends knows that the doctrine of the local assembly is much maligned. Para-church organizations flourish and compete for loyalty to the local New Testament church. And yet, the Word of God is clear. We are instructed to assemble with the church, and to be diligent in “exhorting one another.” To exhort one another requires closeness of fellowship and involvement in the lives of fellow church members.
The previous verse says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24). Casual or negligent attendance will not permit the personal interaction and the fulfillment of these commands that the Bible expects. Simple attendance with the church body, and the failure to become closely associated with the church family, does not provide the relationship that God designed for His church. We are to relate to one another as members of the same body.
In giving us this very helpful and practical instruction, the Scripture commands us to observe these responsibilities, “so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Interestingly enough, the Lord tells us that we will not need less assembling and fellowship, but we will need more. The closer we come to the return of the Lord, the more we need the church and all that is involved in belonging and serving. The closer we come to the return of Christ, the more evident the growing apostasy will become Jesus told us the love of many will wax cold. False prophets and deceivers will flourish. It is no wonder that we are admonished to be faithful in church attendance and to encourage one another, “so much the more.”
The exact opposite is occurring in many congregations. They are meeting less often and are having less involvement in one another’s lives. Believing that the end is near, we should be more faithful to the church where the Lord has added us.