23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
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.
Verse 23 lets us know that Jesus is faithful. Since he is our example, we must also be faithful. The Scriptures indicate that Jesus, who is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2: 28) was faithful to the Sabbath and, according to Luke 4:16, He was regularly found in the House of God.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, (emphasis added) he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
After we have professed our faith we must hold on to our new saved life without wavering. To waver means to reel or totter back and forth as though one would give up or quit. We are helped to hold on to our profession of faith by gaining from the strength and encouragement of others, as well as being strong and encouraging to others. Hearing the testimonies of how God is moving in the lives of others is so encouraging. Seeing the love that is demonstrated among the Saints provokes and inspires each of us to do likewise. The best way to see this godly behavior in action is by coming together on a regular basis. Verse 25 says that we must not forsake this assembling together, and should do so even more when we see the day approaching. That day is certainly upon us now, letting us know that assembling together is even more important than ever before.
We are created to be social beings. Some of the unchurched (those who claim to know God but feel that they do not need the church experience) insist that they do not need to go to church because they can read and study on their own. The Bible, however, tells us that we are to do several things for each other as a body of believers. We are to encourage and comfort each other, and to bear one another’s burdens. The supporting Scriptures are 1 Thess. 4:17-18, 2 Cor. 1:3-4 and Gal. 6: 2
1 Thess. 4:17-18 (KJV) states
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (Emphasis added).
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV) says
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Gal. 6:2 (KJV) says that we are to
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Positive relationships with other Saints are not only good for our emotional health, but they are the basis of our Christian commitment. We do not attend church to be saved. We do so because we are saved. We enjoy the presence of Christ in our fellow travelers. I’ve heard it said that we can evaluate just how much we love God by how much we enjoy being in His presence. If we enjoy the conversation of our former lying, cheating and backstabbing friends more than saintly friends, it’s time to re-evaluate our walk with Christ.
Specific programs such as weight loss and stop-smoking classes encourage us to open up to others and let them know when we are attempting to obtain a goal. We should tell our friends when we are on a diet or when we are giving up unhealthy habits. This principle also applies to a committment to regular church attendance. It is harder for the enemy to convince us to stay at home and be depressed because of some minor problem or to choose to skip church to watch TV when we know that others expect to see us in church. We don’t go to church to be seen, but we do want to be seen going. Our diligence might inspire the unsaved ones in our neighborhoods to go to church. The children in one neighborhood that I lived in called me the “Church Lady” because they saw me on my way to church very regularly. Perhaps one day they will remember the “Church Lady” and emulate my behavior.
For those who are parents, let’s talk for a few minutes about the benefits that regular church attendance provides for your children. Several research studies identified positive outcomes in children who actively participate in church attendance. The studies found:
An increase in the average life expectancy of children by 8 years.
They improve their attitude at school and increase their school participation
They reduce their risk for rebelliousness
It provides them with a life-long moral compass.
It provides children with a caring extended family
And it will also statistically improve the odds that they will lead an active church life in their adult years.
None of this information is a surprise to the Saints of God, for the Word says in Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
The identified natural benefits are wonderful, but add to them the unspeakable benefits of having your child understand the importance of a real relationship with the God of the Universe and His son Jesus Christ. Think of the advantages that they have in knowing that they will go to Heaven at the end of this life. There are no greater benefits than these.
In many cases, when we are first saved, we have to change an entire lifestyle. Some are homeless when they come to Christ. Others may have been down and out on drugs. Conversely, some might have come from a somewhat higher standard of living. But that life might have been full of pride and self-exaltation. Before we were saved we were all sinners. We all needed the Lord to change us. God expects us to blend and become one on the Highway of Holiness. The enemy fights hard to attempt to stop the transformation into the image of Jesus Christ that God requires. We should fight to make that transformation happen.
Some of the hardest trials of our Christian walk may come when we are initially saved. Family members or friends may try to change our minds about Christ. Life circumstances may take a dive such as the boss deciding to have you work on your church attendance nights when you’ve been the day person for years. Unsaved spouses may decide that the church attendance days should become family movie days instead. Any number of things may come against us. However. our commitment must be, “I will be faithful to the House of God”. When we realize that all of the negative circumstances are simply staged by the enemy, it should be even easier for us to refuse to take down.
We must remember that being faithful to the House of God is an important commitment. It is at church that we learn what pleases the Lord, how we are to live, act and be as Saints of God. We need the Word of God that is preached in church, the presence of God that is experienced in church and the modeling of good behavior of the established and strong Saints that is demonstrated in church. Our own lives, no matter how new we are in Christ, can motivate, inspire and validate others. Let us all be faithful to the House of God.
If you are regularly attending church, keep up the good work. You’re doing a good work and you can not come down. If you haven’t been attending as you should, now is an excellent time to begin. God bless and I’ll see you in the House of God.