Many people claim to have a relationship with Jesus but don’t think going to church is necessary. Some think, “Can’t I just listen to Christian radio, sermon podcasts, or watch online instead of attending worship services weekly?” This is selfish and prideful thinking. Meeting together regularly is never about us, it’s about the community of believers.
In today’s passage, the author of Hebrews inspires and strengthens the readers for their regular sacrifice of gathering in worship. The author begins by grounding the importance of meeting together in what Jesus has already done for them. The Savior made a way through His death for sinners to be in God the Father’s presence. Jesus’ death made it possible for us to enter God’s throne room, too (vv. 19–21). Sinners can draw near to God because their sin has been washed away by the power of Christ’s atonement (v. 22).
As a result, the author urges believers to encourage one another toward love and good deeds. The author inspires them to continually meet together and make this part of their regular practice and routine (vv. 24–25). However, the author knows it is easy to fall out of a routine. Therefore, he advises the readers to encourage one another to attend. When believers meet regularly, they are not only sharpened by one another, but the hope they profess is not forgotten (v. 23).
It can be easy to “give up” on church. It takes a lot of sacrifice, courage, and humility to be an active part of a group of people who are different from you. Rest assured, you will never find a perfect church, but when you find a healthy church and you are committed to serving, you will never find anything more rewarding.
>> Make a commitment to yourself and God to attend church every Sunday this holiday season. If that is not a stretch for you, make a fresh commitment to serve in a way you do not normally do.
Father, for those of us still searching for churches, please lead us to a healthy local body. For those of us already involved, help us recognize newcomers and warmly welcome them—and keep welcoming them—week after week.