Speaking the Truth in Love
Is Attendance Necessary?
A. The first part of our study will be a verse-by-verse study of
Heb. 10:19-31 which, of course, deals with our topic.
B. In our heading notice the word "wilfully" which means,
"knowingly and deliberately going against one's conscience."
1. Notice also the word "assemblies." We will be referring to
all the assemblies of the saints, not just the one on the
Lord's day in the morning.
C. Many brethren do not understand the seriousness of forsaking.
Thus, there is a great need for lessons on this topic.
1. Denominationalism has added to this problem. Most
denominations put very little emphasis upon attendance. If
they do at all, they usually make Sunday morning mandatory
and all others optional.
2. Liberalism in churches of Christ has added to this problem.
Instead of teaching strong lessons from God's word on this
subject (they don't want to offend anyone), they have
resorted to man-made gimmicks to induce attendance.
I. BASIS OF EXHORTATIONS--TWO POSSESSIONS.
A. Verse 19 - "...Having boldness to enter the Holiest..." Before
this there was no free access.
1. Verse 20 - In the Old Testament order, the veil had to be
parted before the high priest could go from the holy place
to the most holy place. Matt. 27:51
a. Here the flesh of Jesus is represented as the veil. His
flesh was torn when He was consecrated for us (his death
on the cross).
B. Verse 21 - "...Having a High Priest over the house of God."
1. Heb. 3:1; 4:14
II. THREE EXHORTATIONS.
A. Verse 22 - "Let us draw near..." (the first of three
1. "With a true heart" - with a pure conscience.
2. "Full assurance" - with complete confidence.
3. "Having our hearts sprinkled..."
a. This involves the blood of Christ
b. It is typical of the O.T. priests sprinkling the
sacrificial blood to purify.
c. This is the internal part of regeneration.
4. "Our bodies washed..."
a. This is water baptism. Acts 22:16
b. It is the washing of regeneration. Titus 3:5
c. This is the external part of regeneration.
B. Verse 23 - "Let us (the second exhortation) hold fast the
confession..." - continue in it by faithful, godly lives.
1. "Confession of our hope" - thus, an exhortation to be
steadfast in obtaining the end of our hope.
2. "Without wavering" - without faltering, without stumbling.
3. "For He who promised is faithful." - He is reliable and
trustworthy and the one who commits his will to Him, will
never be disappointed.
C. Verses 24-25 - "And let us" (the third). He exhorts both
positively and negatively.
1. Verse 24 - the positive.
a. "Consider one another" - show concern, have interest in.
b. "To stir up" - to stimulate, provoke, arouse.
c. "Love and good works" - all of us need exhortation and
encouragement; thus, let us exhort and encourage one
another to do our best in living the Christian life.
2. Verse 25 - the negative. Thus, we are not to forsake any of
our assemblies. We will look at several objections that
brethren raise on this verse.
a. Some say that the word "forsake" refers to forsaking
altogether and should not be applied to when a person
misses just one service. However, the word is used in 2
Tim. 4:16 and Matt. 27:46 and refers to just once.
b. Some think that it refers to the "assembly" - only on the
Lord's day morning when the Lord's supper is taken.
However, it is the word "assembling" which refers to any
coming together; it is the word "episnnago" and not the
word "ekklesia" the regular word for assembly.
c. Some say the word "day" refers to the Lord's day--they
needed to increase their efforts when they saw the Lord's
(1) However, there is no indication in the context that
it must refer to the Lord's day. It could refer to
any day wherein one needed exhortation. For example,
if one did not attend on Wed. nights and I had a
continual opportunity to exhort him, I would increase
my efforts as I saw that day approaching.
(2) Many of the older commentators take the position that
"the day" refers to the destruction of Jerusalem -
that the Hebrews by the signs that Jesus spoke of
(Matt. 24; Luke 21) could see that it was
(3) It probably refers to the great day--the day of the
Lord's coming. We know that it is nearer than it
was. Rom. 13:11-12
(4) It could refer to the day of one's end--his death,
e.g., we are to number our days. Psalm 90:12
III. THE RESULTS OF FORSAKING
A. This is what one does when he wilfully forsakes; this is what
he brings upon himself.
1. He sins. (Verse 26a)
a. What is the sin considered in this context?
b. "Wilfully" - knowingly and deliberately going against
one's conscience, i.e., relatives come and he stays home.
He goes golfing, fishing, shopping, sleep in, or
whatever. It does not include those times when it is no
fault of his own
2. He loses the only sacrifice for sins. (Verse 26b)
a. He didn't say there is not more forgiveness, but no more
b. He is rejecting the sacrifice which is his only chance
and hope; he is abandoning that which purchased the
church and all that pertains to it.
c. When he wilfully forsakes, he is setting his will against
3. He incurs the wrath of God (verse 27) - here is what
a. "But a certain fearful expectation of judgment..." - We
all will face judgment, but it will be a fearful time for
the one who commits the sin of verse 25.
b. "And fiery indignation" - God is indignant, his righteous
anger is aroused, when one forsakes the assemblies.
c. "Which shall devour the adversaries" - You place yourself
in the realm of the enemy of God when you forsake, and
God's fiery indignation shall destroy you.
4. Man brings all these things upon himself when he wilfully
forsakes. As we said, many brethren do not understand the
seriousness of forsaking. It is something that is not to be
B. What God does to those who wilfully forsake:
1. Verse 28 - has to do with capital punishment.
2. Verse 29 - "worse punishment" - worse than capital
a. "Who has trampled the Son of God underfoot..." - How?
Attendance is part of the will of Christ and he shows his
disrespect for Him by not attending.
b. "Counted the blood...a common thing..." - He is reducing
the blood to no more than a common or ordinary thing;
thus, he shows his lack of appreciation for the blood
c. "And insulted the Spirit of grace" - He shows contempt
for the Holy Spirit who delivered the message of grace.
3. Verse 30 - At the judgment what excuse will you give to the
a. God will take vengeance on the disobedient.
4. Verse 31- He falls into His hands.
IV. THERE ARE MANY OTHER SINS THAT ONE INVOLVES HIMSELF IN WHEN HE
A. It has the opposite effect--as opposed to "Why the faithful
child of God attends every service."
1. Commands are disobeyed.
a. He neglects worship that God seeks. John 4:23-24
b. He forsakes being with the Lord. Matt. 18:20
c. On the Lord's day he misses many important commands.
2. He fails to grow and develop into a mature Christian. I
Pet. 2:2 Thus, he is not as strong spiritually as he
otherwise would be.
3. He fails to help the church function properly.
a. He hinders special efforts to preach the gospel (gospel
meetings) in making wise decisions (business meetings) in
dealing with the erring (withdrawing).
b. If the church has elders, he is not obeying them. Heb.
4. He sets a bad example and has a bad influence. Titus 2:7
a. He is not a light to the world around him. Matt. 5:16
b. He offends the church of God with his attitude and
actions. 1 Cor. 10:31
c. He becomes a stumblingblock to babes in Christ. Matt.
5. He denies his allegiance that he confessed when baptized.
6. He is not holding fast his profession and hope. Heb. 3:6
7. He is not putting Christ and the kingdom first. Luke 9:23;
a. He is not seeking those things which are above. Col.
8. He fails in his duties to others.
a. Parents fail in their duty to their children. Eph. 6:4
b. He misses the opportunity to exhort his brethren. Heb.
9. He is not bearing much fruit and ready unto every good work.
John 15:8; Titus 3:1
10. He knows to do good but does not do it. James 4:17
11. He is not ready, watching and waiting. Matt. 24:42; 25:13
12. He is neglecting the salvation of his soul. Heb. 2:3
A. I hope these things will cause all to vividly see the
seriousness of wilfully forsaking the assemblies of the saints.
1. A study of this will help in those times when there is a
fine line of decision, e.g., are my aches and pains strong
enough that I would be justified in staying home?
B. The word of God is strong and powerful on this subject. It
overpowers from two directions.
1. It shows the manifold blessings for attending.
2. It reveals the sins that one involves himself in when he
C. Brethren, let us attend every service that is humanly possible.