Alan Knox has written a post about the attendance passage of Hebrews 10.24, 25 entitled “Not forsaking, but encouraging…” In his post he studies the greater context in which the passage occurs that has for years been taught as a passage that speaks to one’s importance in attending the public assembly of the church.
In his post, he notes,
the author is saying since we have confidence and since we have a high priest, as a response to these things, we should (as a command) do three things: 1) draw near with a sincere heart, 2) hold fast the confession, and 3) consider how to stimulate one another. In fact, we should do these three things “all the more” because the day (return of Christ) is drawing near….
How do we carry out these commands? Do we do them individually or corporately? Well, we certainly help one another with this. However, you cannot draw me near to God. You cannot hold fast my confession. In the same way, there is no group, church, organization, institution, etc. who can do these things for any believer. These are individual requirements….
Furthermore, the phrase describes what the author means when he says that we should “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds”. We do this (“stimulate one another to…”) by “not forsaking” which is followed quickly by “but encouraging”. So, the opposite of “not forsaking” is “encouraging”. This also is very important. The author wants the readers (and us) to think seriously about how to stimulate other believers toward “love and good deeds”. How does he expect us to do that? He does not want us to “forsake” our meeting togther (sic), but instead he wants us to encourage one another. Apparently, some were already “forsaking” their meeting together….
The author of Hebrews expects us to lead others toward a life of love and good deeds. In order to do this, he understands that we must encourage one another. Instead, he finds that some of the believers are giving up their responsibilities when they meet together.
To read his full post, click on the title above and you’ll be redirected to his full article.