Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.”
As I am speaking about the importance the local church plays in our spiritual lives – an alive, Bible teaching, Spirit-filled church – I do understand that there are those that are disabled or shut in for reasons of age, and others that cannot make it to church for other legitimate reasons. Maybe there is no such church in your area. Maybe you don’t drive and have a way to such a church. Maybe you live in a part of the world where churches are a part of the underground church because of persecution. This teaching is not to insult or to ask you to do something that presently seems impossible. It’s not to create a frustration or tease to suggest you do something that you want to but are unable. It’s to help you understand God’s will and what to pursue in prayer if you can’t participate in the local church. Just as someone might have a horrible marriage and having a good marriage might seem impossible – that doesn’t eliminate the need to teach on God’ s will to have a good marriage and the benefits of one. It would still help you know what to pray toward and believe God for. Such is the case with this message on the importance of an alive church and its influence in your life.
Understanding Israel’s spiritual history from the Old Testament will help us understand that their relationship and intimacy with God was like a roller coaster. They would go through periods where they would be obedient to Him as a people group and in their individual lives. They would obey Him. They would worship and bring sacrifices to Him. They would desirously learn God’s laws and ways. In these times, God’s blessing and protection would cover them like a blanket. But then, over time, for various reasons – familiarity, taking God for granted, becoming prayerless, evil leaders setting the example of idolatry and paganism and sinful ways – any and all of these contributed to their slipping away from God. They would become backslidden. God would become less and less a part of the central focus of their lives. After warnings from God and long periods of patient waiting by God for their repentance and return to Him and righteous living, judgment and wrath would come. Eventually in the broken and desperate state of their lives, they would again begin to think about and cry out to God. As they did individually, they eventually did corporately. They would eventually begin to repent as a nation.
It was Abraham’s nephew Lot who would cry from Sodom and Gomorrah for God’s help and deliverance from the evils he and his family were surrounded by. The people’s hearts were too hardened by evil and they were beyond repenting and help so God had to remove Lot and his family from that place. Then judgment came.
God heard the cry (prayers for help) from His people under Pharaoh’s harsh rule and spoke to Moses concerning His plan to help them. Exodus 3:7-8 “Then the Lord told Mose, “You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey…”
When God’s people repented for their lives of sin and abandonment of Him and His ways, then God’s forgiveness and restoration would come. God would begin to deliver them from the evil oppressors that were coming against them. He would again re-establish their place of worship – the temple, sacrifices, and teaching of the law. Again the people would enter into a period of intimacy with God – a place where their lives were centered around God and His ways. His blessing and protection would return.
Unfortunately, it would only be a matter of time before they would again backslide. Whenever Israel backslid, they would stop coming to the temple, stop bring sacrifices, and begin to lean on idol worship which ultimately meant leaning upon and trusting idols or men. They’d trust in idols or man’s promises and system’s for survival, protection and blessing instead of God – something that was an abomination to God.
The comparison today would be “Yea, I believe in God but I don’t need to go to church. I try to be a good Christian and worship Him in my own way.” The truth is, the vast majority of those that say this spend little of their life establishing what God wants to establish in their lives and in their midst – a strong vibrant local and corporate church filled with strong vibrant Christians that build and influence their community and world for God. There is no deception that weakens the church and Christians more. It’s a living lie and deception that many have fallen pray to. Thus the verse and exhortation given in Hebrews 10:25 – today’s Fresh Manna verse: “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.”
Tomorrow, I promise you a powerful look and understanding of this verse and God’s plea to us through it. For today, please understand the big picture. When we assemble together, we worship Him together. We all lift Him up and as we do, He lifts us up. We rise into a greater place of blessing together.
Psalm 111:1 “Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet in the assembly and congregation of God’s people.” More tomorrow…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.