"Not Forsaking the Assembling of Ourselves Together"
- Hebrews 10:25 “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.”
A few times through the years when trying to stress to a believer the importance of not forsaking church attendance, that believer will respond by not agreeing to my usage of the word “forsake.” So, let’s look at the word.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines the word used for forsake here in Heb. 10:25 as “to leave behind in some place.” This definition further strengthens our consistent argument throughout these articles for believers to physically assemble in a specific place. God commands believers not to leave behind their fellow believers in whatever place they all are supposed to be assembling at.
The other temptation with the word “forsake” is for us to accept allowances for lack of church attendance. Many accept that it is okay to just go one hour to church on Sunday morning. This belief contradicts the last half of the verse, “and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The practice of the early church was “continuing daily with one accord in the temple” (Acts 2:46, 5:42). Therefore, if God commands “so much the more,” it is not unreasonable to expect God’s people to assemble with other believers multiple times a week, not just one Sunday a week. Dear reader, make sure to be attending a church that offers multiple services a week, and faithfully attend those church services. You are responsible for going to your church’s Sunday School, Sunday am and pm services, and even the mid-week prayer services. When your church has an extended meeting like a revival, you are commanded to not forsake it. To back this assertion, let’s notice how the word forsake is used elsewhere in the book of Hebrews.
The Greek word for “forsake” egkataleipo is used only twice in Hebrews. The other usage is in Heb. 13:5 where Jesus promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Now, does Jesus ever find excuses to leave you? No. Does Jesus command the same from you in Heb. 10:25? Yes. End of story. The answer is clear. Dear reader, you are not to forsake the physical assembling of the believers at church.
In conclusion, I remind the reader of the previous article “The Hebrews Behind Hebrews 10:25”. These saved Jews were persecuted, yet God commanded them to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” And not only that, but God commanded “and so much the more” to these suffering Jews! “So much the more” would put these persecuted believers dangerously in the crosshairs of their enemies. If you are secretly having church, constant traveling between home and a church location exposes you. Yet God commanded “and so much the more.” On top of that, God commanded “and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Surely, God was/is aware that the closer “the day” of Christ’s return approaches, the more persecution of believers and global calamities of war, pestilences, and plagues increase! Of course God is aware of all of this as seen by passages like Luke 21:9-12 (also Mt. 24:7-9) “…wars and commotions…great earthquakes…famines, and pestilences…persecute you…” (By the way, “pestilences,” which is the Greek word loimos, is only used 3 times, and two of those references stress “the beginning of sorrows” which occur before “the end.” “Pestilences” is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance “a plague [literally, the disease, or figuratively, a pest]”. In other words, God has always been aware that disease would be a major concern during the end times.) Despite all of this knowledge, God still commands the saved to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together and so much the more whether there be wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences/diseases, or persecution.