The Hebrews Behind Hebrews 10:25
- 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.”
Who is the “ye” that the writer of Hebrews is specifically writing to? Answering that question will help us greatly in understanding the importance of Heb. 10:25.
While attending Ambassador Baptist College in North Carolina, one of my different jobs was working as shift manager at McDonald’s. Despite my need for money to pay the bills, the Lord kept the need to win people to Christ as my priority while working at McDonald’s. And the Lord blessed as many came to be saved with the spare moments we had while working. One of those saved at McDonald’s had a particularly hard time actually coming out to church. Each Monday was a new excuse. Some of the excuses were silly, but some of the excuses actually sounded reasonable. One day, we talked about how Satan is so very crafty at causing believers to “forsake” going to church. And how that each excuse can seem like such a good excuse. However, no excuse excuses us from obeying God’s laws. At the same time, God’s commandments never contradict each other. If they appear that they do, the issue is with us usually missing a connection from other passages and context. God’s “commandments are not grievous” (I Jn. 5:3). Every command God gives is possible to obey through the grace of Jesus. “With God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26; Mk. 10:27). Yet, the power to obey is only unlocked through our faith in God’s Word.
- Mark 9:23 “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
When you believe that you must not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together,” God will enable you to find a way to fulfill His command. However, Satan will make sure to pile on numerous temptations and trials to cause doubt in your heart and mind. Some of the smaller temptations are laziness, mild cold, or even paying the bills. The most drastic of trials Satan sends believers to hinder them from assembling together can result in loss of family, friends, job, freedoms, and life. Those trials were exactly what the “ye” in Heb. 10:25 were experiencing.
Sometimes you can hear and read a Bible verse so often that you forget the context of that verse. Hebrews 10:25 is located in the book of Hebrews. Do you know why the book of Hebrews is called Hebrews? Yes, because it was written to Hebrews. More specifically, Hebrews was written to newly saved Jews undergoing a lot of trials for their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. In the same passage of our text concerning church attendance, we learn about their persecution:
- Heb. 10:32 “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
- 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”
Remember that Jesus was and is the long prophesied, promised Jewish Messiah. Remember, too, that the Jews, Jesus’ own people, rejected Jesus and turned Him over to the Romans to be killed/crucified. So, any Jew willing to accept Jesus as the true Messiah experienced horrendous persecution. The book of Hebrews was written to these newly saved (“illuminated”) Jews to encourage them to keep running their race (Heb. 12:1) and to keep their focus solely on Jesus (Heb. 12:2-3). As a matter of fact, the entire book of Hebrews points the reader to something great about Jesus in every chapter, and how Jesus was and is greater than anyone the Jews esteemed highly (angels in ch. 2; Moses; the Levitical priesthood, the daily sacrifices, etc…).
Would these newly saved Jews be tempted to not go to church and be openly seen with other Christians? Definitely. If there ever was an excuse to not go to church, these Jews had one. Yet, God commanded them, the persecuted Jews, not to forsake the assembling of themselves together.
Governments all over the world and all throughout time have tried persecuting believers for obeying God’s Word to assemble together. The penalties for going to church have resulted in loss of family and friends, loss of job, loss of freedoms, and yes, even loss of life. Be careful, dear reader. Satan is extremely crafty at forming his words for not going to church into reasonable excuses that choke the gullible. Churches have permanently closed and been destroyed under the guise of “not meeting building codes” like the persecuted believers in China, and entire congregations have been forbidden to meet under the deceptive accusations of “being spy networks” or “spreading disease and contagions” or “stirring rebellion”, etc… Right now all over the globe this persecution is happening to Christ’s church, but God’s remnant is standing firm (Rom. 11:5). Even before I have had the chance to put these articles on our website, churches were commanded to close all over the world because of disease. If you are sick or incapacitated, please read “What If You Are Sick, Incapacitated, etc…?” However, if you are healthy, you are obligated to find a way through the wisdom, subtlety, and power/grace of God to physically assemble together with other believers. (See “Church and the Government”) God’s commandments are not grievous. All things, including church attendance, are possible if you believe. If you do not believe that you have the grace needed to obey God’s command, then boldly come before God’s throne of grace and find more grace! (Please note that Heb. 4:16 is in Hebrews.) II Corinthians 9:8 promises, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” There are no excuses. Through grace, you can abound at assembling with other believers (“in all things” and “every good work”). But you must believe to access this grace (Rom. 5:2).
Although there have been exceptions, Jewish history and Christian history is replete with examples of those who conquered Satan’s myriad temptations and trials and did not forsake the assembling of themselves together.