Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Is Hebrews 10:25 a command?

[I have truncated my initial writing here because I realized that the gerund is the assembling, not the forsaking. (Editing myself . . .)]

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a woman who shared the dilemma that she and her husband endure concerning their current church. They wonder whether they should leave their church because mysticism has been evident in its preaching and Bible studies. The woman has also noted that "Christians adhere more to mysticism without them knowing and [church] leaders seem to be okay with it." I was delighted with the woman's discovery. She was able to discern the deception lurking in their church. But then, after realizing the compromises of her church, her closing statement in the form of a question is just saddening: "But what about the mandate to us in Hebrews 10:25?" Her question tells me that she's not ready to leave an erring church because of Hebrews 10:25.

But think about it, if the church we're attending is in error, do you think God would be pleased if we choose to stay there?

I disagree--now that I have seen the deception flowing in today's churches--that Hebrews 10:25 commands us to stay in compromising churches. I can only agree with an article stating that this verse is not a command and that it's not even a sentence. Besides, believers can gather anywhere and at any time to realize the fullness of Hebrews 10, that is, from verses 22 to 25.

But God's Word is never lacking when it comes to warning and commanding us to flee from the works of the evil one. God's Word commands us to "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Th. 5:22)

I continued my response to the woman's email:
. . . What's long been misunderstood here--as I also thought Hebrews 10:25 as a command (of course, having trusted pastors, how could I not read it that way)--is that this verse is not even a sentence because it's a *continuation* of the previous verses (and perhaps, even chapters):
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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. (Hebrews 10:22-25, emphasis mine) 
Reading these verses gives us the context, which is quite different from what we're taught in the churches of this day. These verses do not necessarily refer to a Sunday thing in particular but to a lifelong position of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ--anywhere, any day of the week.

You may read more on this passage from this link (not endorsing it, but sharing it for information only). 
Be of good courage then, dear sister with your husband. The Lord Jesus Christ is never weak to lead and bring us out of darkness! :)
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:6-13, emphases mine)
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

In Christ's ever powerful
and unfailing love,

I did not hear from the woman again. Whether she disagrees with me and chooses to stay in her church--that is going to be "her" decision.

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...