Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near (v.25).
I went through a phase where I stopped going to church. I had no friends yet in the new city where I had moved and I simply didn’t want to walk into a sanctuary alone. The longer I put off taking steps to meet people and to get involved with the body of Christ in my new community, the more isolated I became and the more I struggled in my faith.During that season of my life, I missed out on the encouragement the writer of Hebrews says I—and all believers—need in order to remain hopeful and strong in our walk with the Lord (Hebrews 10:23).Now, there certainly are times when we should temporarily embrace solitude to study, to pray, to concentrate, and more. But then returning to fellowship with others helps us keep our grip on the “hope we affirm” and maintain our confidence that “God can be trusted to keep His promises” (v.23). Lack of fellowship keeps us from experiencing the motivation from others to do “acts of love and good works” (v.24).Paul so deeply recognized the need to commune with believers that he weathered storms and traveled hundreds of miles to be with his brothers and sisters in Christ. He told them, “For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours” (Romans 1:11).When believers come together and devote themselves to “the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer,” as nearly 3,000 did in Romans 1:11, a “deep sense of awe” in the Lord can be experienced. We need true community in Jesus.
Read Romans 1:13 and note how Paul persevered to spend time with a community of believers in Jesus.
Why did the writer of Hebrews encourage believers to spend time in community? What will happen if you draw closer to other believers in your local church?