Summary: We go to church to encourage one another
Why Go to Church? Hebrews 10
Join with me in turning to Hebrews 10. That song “Onward Christian Soldiers” has been one of the favorite hymns of American Christians for many years. In our day today we often sing songs focused on loving God - and sadly sometimes we neglect songs which focus on being bold in engaging in battle for our God. Remember when Jesus tells his disciples that He is building His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it - He was not saying that Satan won’t be able to attack us, that He’ll keep us safe - Jesus was saying that when we are on the attack spiritually - going forth in the power of the Holy Spirit -- there is no way Satan and his demonic forces can hold us back! The battle belongs to the Lord! Victory is His! In the words of Romans 8 - we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. That is our position today!
As we have been going through the book of Hebrews and come here to chapter 10, we have seen that God gives us a call to live boldly in Jesus Christ. To go onward as Christian soldiers! We need not be ashamed or embarrassed about being a Christian, but rather we should be bold and courageous in living out our faith. This book is written to remind us that we no longer need to be bound by the OT sacrificial system, bringing in goats and lambs to slaughter to atone for sins, because Jesus Christ offers us a better sacrifice, forgiveness for all time through His dying in our place.
We are given five calls here in these verses. The first is for us to Draw Near to God. We can come boldly before the throne of grace, into the very presence of God himself, because Jesus Christ is our sacrifice, our high priest, our mediator, our intercessor. He has reconciled us to God. The sin that separated us from our God is completely forgiven through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
The second command for us is to Hold on to Hope. We live out of hope - a confident expectation that God, who cannot lie, will fulfill every promise He makes. He always keeps His word. We have an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, that never fades away, reserved in heaven for us. We don’t give up our hope, no matter how discouraging the circumstances, because we live and walk by faith, not by sight.
The third command for us is to Spur on One Another to Good Deeds. We are called to give each other a pin-prick, a sharp kick in the royal behind and motivate one another to get out of our laziness and apathy and get busy living for God. We so often live passive, ineffective Christian lives, and what we really need is to be those who show the world that we truly believe what we profess.
Last week we talked about a couple action steps:
• We talked about setting aside a time to “think” about how you are living your life. If you didn’t do that last week, I would encourage you to do that today.
• We also talked about cheering each other on and showing love in practical ways. Did you have a chance to put that into action this week? Who did you come alongside and encourage this week?
As we finish up these calls, let’s read the scripture one more time to be reminded of God’s word to us:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Let’s pray!
Today we look at the last two commands, that are really flip-sides of one another.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. We see here God’s call to Meet together for encouragement.
We want to ask ourselves two questions as we consider this verse today. First, What does this verse mean? We want to think about what God is saying here. But second, the bigger question, What does this verse mean to me? Because we don’t just want to think about this verse to gain information - we want to consider it to take action, to put its teaching into practice in our lives this week. We want to look at two key ideas today. First,