All Bible texts are from the King James Version.
Some Christians are quick to accuse those who do not attend organised denominational churches, as not following the Bible which says in Hebrews 10:25:-
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;"
On the surface this portion of Scripture seems to condemn those who do not attend organised denominational churches, but let us for a moment consider to whom the word "ourselves" refers.
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
And having an high priest over the house of God;
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 10:16 - 25.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14 - 18.
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:2, 4.
From these texts it is plain to see that "the assembling of ourselves together" should only be with those of like faith and beliefs.
As mentioned above this is only part of the text in Hebrews. Let us now look at the last part of this same text, which the accusers of those who Home Church neglect to add.
"but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible tells us that "Exhorting - 3879 - to call near i.e. invite, invoke, (by imploration, hortation or consolation):- beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort(ation), intreat, pray."
What do modern day dictionaries say about these words:-
Exhort - admonish earnestly, urge (person to do, to conduct), to urge by strong argument or appeal.
Invoke - to call upon (a higher power) for assistance; to appeal to, petition; to call for earnestly, solicit; to conjure; to cite in support of one’s cause.
Beseech - entreat (person to do, for thing); ask earnestly for, implore.
Admonish - to reprove mildly but seriously; to counsel against; advise; warn; remind.
There is also another verse in the Bible that uses the word ‘exhort’, Acts 14:22:-
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
Looking at the whole of Hebrews 10:25 in context, along with Acts 14:22 it is clear that we are not to forsake the assembling together with those of the same faith and beliefs for the purpose of mildly, but seriously warning about error, reminding us of the truth, to receive counsel as to what we ought and ought not to do, in giving encouraging testimonies, and last but certainly not least reprove for open public sins.
Is this what we find in most churches today? Or are they more just like a social club, where people gather together of similar but not necessarily the same faith and beliefs to listen to sermons that are pleasing to the ear, with people going out and coming back in continually during the sermon, having no reverence for ‘God’s House’? Upon leaving such assemblies how many can tell of what they heard during the sermon, let alone tell of some new precious truths learned, errors exposed and sins reproved.
WHAT GOD SAYS:-
"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."
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
The day of Christ’s return is not just approaching, but is nearly here. Nearly all of the Bible prophecies have been fulfilled. Let all who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ assemble themselves correctly, so that we shall be fit to be called Christ’s Church, whom He will take to heaven to be with Him forever when He returns.
© S. D. Goeldner