1. [Begin with fictionalized account of Acts 2]:
"And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were NOT all gathered together in one place. They had intended to be there but so many things interferred. Actually only 76 of the 120 could make it, and for some very good reasons too! Peter and his wife had bought a camping outfit so they could get away from the city on weekends, and they had gone to Lake Galilee. John just couldn't put off painting his backyard fence another day. Nathaniel needed to catch up on the books of his fig-brokerage business and Matthew was behind in his tax-collecting, having wandered around with Jesus for so long. Martha felt like she might be getting a headache and she needed to do some house-cleaning anyway. James heard something that sounded like a rushing mighty wind, so he was afraid it might rain. So, you see, what with one thing and another, the crowd was just a bit sparse on that particular first day of the week. "Of course, that really shouldn't have hurt the church, because Philip, along with Thomas and Thaddaeus and several others showed up and carried on valiantly. The multitude did recognize them as men who had been with Jesus and they did admire their devotion. However, the multitude also noticed that there used to be a lot more besides these, but evidently, this Jesus wasn't much of a Messiah since about half of his followers found other things more important than obeying his requests. "Still, about 1700 people were baptized and, following the example of many of Jesus' disciples, 941 of them continued more or less steadfastly in some of the apostles' teaching and occassionally broke bread and prayed from time to time. A few even sold part of their possessions and gave them to the poor. But a dispute arose about whether or not they ought to care for Grecian widows and Stephen, who had been a real leader for a while, got so disgusted that he applied for a professor of history position at the Univ. of Jerusalem. "The last I heard, O Theophilus, they've dwindled down to a total of 456, but this number is divided into 4 or 5 groups, none of which has anything to do with any of the others. I think Ananias is an elder in one group and his wife, Sapphira, teaches the pre-school class ..."
2. You may recognize this as a fictional account of early chap. of Acts.
a. It's how the story MIGHT have read if early Christians took their;
b. Responsiblity to assemble as seriously as some of us do!
3. OA Series: BIG IDEA: The command to Love OA is a general command.
a. OA passages "break it down" & show what it looks like.
1) Giving up our rights for sake of others (MEMBERS OF OA).
2) Saying/doing ... help others live faithfully (ENCOURAGE OA).
3) Confronting another when clearly in wrong (ADMONISH OA).
4) Saying "hello" in warm & sincere way (GREET OA).
5) Performing even most menial tasks (SERVE OA).
b. TODAY: "Spur One Another On" = responsibility to meet together.
1) In other words, attendance!
2) Text: Hebrews 10:25.
I. THE CONTEXT OF HEBREWS 10:25.
A. The situation Hebrews was written to address.
1. X's were becoming weak in faith to point of giving up Christianity.
2. What does it look like when someone is falling away?
a. Variety of answers could be given from the book of Hebrews.
b. One that concerns us .............. they stop coming to church!
B. The context of chapter 10.
1. Law couldn't cut it! (10:1-4).
a. Therefore Jesus came & dealt w/ sin once & for all (10:5-18).
b. There's a right/wrong way to respond to what Jesus has done.
1) Right way (10:19-25).
2) Wrong way (10:26-31).
2. RIGHT WAY (10:19-25).
a. By drawing near to God (22).
b. By holding unswervingly to the hope we profess (23).
c. By considering how we may spur OA on to love & good deeds (24).
d. How do we do this? BY NOT GIVING UP MEETING TOGETHER! (25).
3. WRONG WAY (10:26-31).
a. By continuing to sin willfully (26).
b. What happens when we continue to sin willfully (27-31).
c. Non-attendance is a symptom of a deeper problem.
II. POINTS OF APPLICATION.
A. Whether or not I come to church IS everybody's business!
1. What the individual does affects the group he belongs to.
a. Illust . Closest thing in our families to an "assembly" is our evening meal. What if one or two of your family members missed supper 3-4 times a week & you never knew why? Never called, just didn't show up. Would it affect rest of the family?