Speaking the Truth in Love

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.

   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

   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
            day coming.
            (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. 24Luke 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 

   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
            the Lord's.
      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
         taken lightly.
   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.


   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.   
         Rom. 10:9
      6. He is not holding fast his profession and hope.  Heb. 3:6   
         4:14; 6:11-12
      7. He is not putting Christ and the kingdom first.  Luke 9:23
         Matt. 6:33
         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 15:8Titus 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    
         wilfully forsakes.
   C. Brethren, let us attend every service that is humanly possible.