Summary: Believers are adomnished to never give up on meeting with God’s people.
The Bible tells us that God desires for His people to fellowship with one another. Indeed, the writer of Hebrews tells us that participating in the fellowship of the church is something that ought to be a core value for every Christian. Starting today, we will be looking to verse 25 of this passage to learn what we are told about the priority of fellowship.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” - Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
First Baptist Church is structured in such a way as to help you live a purposeful Christian life. We have, what we like to call, “three groupings for growth.” First, there are large group gatherings. Our Sunday morning worship celebration gatherings are the best example of such a grouping. Second, there are mid-sized group gatherings that are life experience or age specific. Our Sunday morning Bible Fellowships are the best example of such groupings. Third, there are small group gatherings that are intergenerational. Our Growth Groups are the best example of such groupings.
Through Sunday morning worship you can acquaintances; through a Sunday morning Bible Fellowship you can develop friendships; and through a weekly Growth Group you can experience family.
A Worship Celebrations are like the foyer to your home. It is a place where you can meet people and get acquainted. A Bible Fellowships are like your living room. It is a place where you can get to know others better as friends. A Growth Group is like a kitchen. It is a place where family gathers to talk over their day, their struggles in life, and to determine how they can help each other get through things.
Now, if you and I are going to obey this command of Scripture, we will be faithful to be involved in whatever opportunities are afford us to come together with God’s people. Here at FBC, we’ve tried to make it simple - the primary way for you to participate in the fellowship of the church is for you to weekly be part of a Sunday morning worship celebration, a Sunday morning Bible Fellowship, and a weekly Growth Group meeting. With this in mind, let’s note what we are told about meeting together with God’s people:
1. We are to do so intentionally - “Let us”
We must be intentional when it comes to gathering with God’s people, because if we are not, we will often find reasons to do other things. If we are not intentional in making this choice, we will easily let other people or other things make the choice for us, and before we know it, we have done what the writer warns against, we have developed the habit of not meeting with God’s people.
In the Bible, believers are often compared to sheep. This isn’t a compliment. Sheep are dumb. Most animals survive if released into the wild. But sheep have no survival skills whatsoever. Give a sheep freedom and it’s going to be eaten or starve in a couple of days. That’s because sheep are bred to only be able to live with the protection and sustenance provided by the shepherd within the safety of the flock.
Likewise, the Christian life is not designed to be lived outside the context of community. It is only as we “stay with the flock” that we will be in a position to be fed and led by our Shepherd.
But we can imitate sheep in another way. Sheep tend to be easily distracted and stray from the flock, which causes them to fall prey to predators.
If we are not careful, we can allow things in this world to distract us and tempt us to stray from the fellowship; and before we know it, we find ourselves totally separated from the fellowship of God’s people.
The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. - Samuel Johnson (British author)
There are many Christians today who are part of a church membership, but no longer part of the church fellowship. Most of them didn’t intend to quit. They just allowed one thing after the other distract them until they found themselves no longer part of the fellowship of their church. That’s why we must be intentional about meeting together with God’s people. Because if we are not, we will naturally drift away and find ourselves in a place where we are no longer being fed or led by God.
“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” - Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)