“…And not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
Community. It’s a buzzword among many churches today. But it is not a new concept. Jesus’ own life showed us the importance of community. Even the Son of God chose to live His life surrounded by a small group of trusted friends. He poured His life into these followers, establishing a model for all who would come after Him.
It is no coincidence that Jesus lived this way. He knew that His followers would desperately need each other if they were going to live biblically. Surrender, selflessness, faith, obedience, suffering, joy and thanks in all circumstances, loving your enemies, persecution…it is a life of self-death. And it is hard. Jesus recognized and experienced the struggle personally; and He needed not only the Father, but also His friends. He begged them to pray for Him as He cried out to the Father before His death. As His life was ending, He entrusted His beloved mother to “the one He loved,” John. He showed us how to lean on one another.
His prayer to the Father in John 17 further shows us His heart for unity in His Body. He begs that His followers would be one, even as He and the Father are one. This is how we will experience the fullness of His joy. So what does God mean when He says, “and all the more as you see the Day approaching” in Hebrews 10:25? The “Day” refers Christ’s second coming. There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.” The same is true for life on earth for believers. The closer we get to the Day of Christ, the more depraved the world around us grows.
This depravity makes it hard to be a light…costly, even. It will continue to grow more challenging to stand for Christ and to be His witnesses. This is why the author of Hebrews exhorts believers to continue meeting together and encouraging one another. Some were giving up on it, trying to do it alone. That is a dangerous way to live. Some are still insisting that they “don’t need a church to be a Christian.” This is, at best, an unwise way to live. Look at Christ’s example. Look at what God says in His Word. There is no biblical precedent for Christianity without being connected to His Body.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Please help me to love and serve them faithfully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.