Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 3, 1970

How Important Are The Assemblies?

Jimmy Tuten, Jr.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is..." (Heb. 10:25), is a very serious injunction. In the Hebrew epistle "holy brethren" are given a warning against apostasy (Heb. 3:1; 10:26). They are encouraged to perseverance (Heb. 10:23-24). Thus, there comes a time in the life of each child of God when proving oneself is mandatory (2 Cor. 13:5). As a faithful branch on the vine the child of God can face the terrible dangers that menaces him. He can overcome temptations. He can do this because he is in contact with the life-giving source (Jno. 15: 1-7).

In addition to this there are certain things which "accompany salvation" (Heb. 6:9), things which are inseparable from it. We must look to these things in order to make our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10). This brings us to the question stated in the caption of this writing. Just how important are the assemblies to the child of God?

A Look At The Context Of Hebrews 10:25

The expression "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" is literally a transition between the treatment of perseverance in verses 23-24 and the matter of apostasy in verse 26. The expression is more closely related to apostasy than perseverance. To be specific, "nor forsaking the assembling" is a warning against apostasy. The following points in the context are significant: (1) There is a caution against forsaking public worship. (2) Some had already done this. (3) We must exhort with increased faithfulness.

The context demonstrates that Christians must keep faith alive in themselves and others through the regular assemblies where reading, exhortation and worship take place. In this way old prejudices, evil influence and persecutions will not induce the Christian to waver.

What is apostasy? It is a shipwreck of one's faith (I Tim. 1:19). It is also a departure from God (Heb. 3:13) and a return to the world from which Christians have been translated (Col. 1:1314; 2 Pet. 2:20). The steps of apostasy are as follows: (1) A looking back (Lk. 9:62). (2) A drawing back (Heb. 10:38). (3) A turning back (Jno. 6:66). (4) A falling back (Isa. 28:13). The hopelessness of the state of apostasy from faith after full knowledge and enjoyment of privileges is demonstrated in the expression, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26).

A Look At The Passage Itself

Since the Hebrew Christians were to "hold fast the confession of faith without wavering," and were to "consider one another to provoke unto love and good works," they were also commanded not to forsake the assembling of themselves together. Even so attending the assembly today is as important to the Christian as that of holding fast the confession (I Tim. 6:12), and provoking one another.

The words, "forsake not" constitute a double compound. It is most emphatic! Its reference is to the abandonment of the assemblies in time of great dangers. Our Lord uses this same word while On the cross: "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46). Of Demas, Paul said, he "hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (2 Tim. 4:10). It is obvious that the term in our context refers to a final abandonment of one's embracing the public assembly. This is the very thing warned against in Hebrews 10:25.

"Assembling together" is likewise a double compound occurring here and in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 -"our gathering together unto him" (i.e., unto Christ). One great purpose for the assembly is mutual exhortation. This is God's way of preserving one against sin. "It was peculiarly necessary just not that the Hebrew believers should incite one another 'unto love and good works,' for `the day' of the destruction of Jerusalem and the final collapse of the Levitical system was fast 'drawing nigh.' That event is now past, but another and more tremendous 'day of the Lord' is still to come" (Pulpit Commentary). We too should consider our brother and exhort one another in view of the judgment day. Times have not changed the dangers peculiar to the First and Twentieth century Christian.


The Christian is constantly the object of Satan's relentless attacks. The apostle does not say, "if ye sin willingly" (Heb. 10:26) but "if we". This included himself (I Cor. 9:27). Satan is no respecter of persons. All who submit to him are the objects of immitigable doom. There are no exceptions. Attending the assemblies is a safeguard against falling away. How do you consider the assemblies? To abandon them is a sure approach to judgment described as a "certain fearful looking — for it." From such a doom may Divine grace deliver both the writer and the reader.

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