What Does Avoiding Church Reveal about One’s Confession of Hope?

Do you hold the confession of our hope? Can someone be a Christian and not meet in the Assembly of a congregation? The answer to this is simple. What exhortation follows this phrase, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23, ESV)? Open your Bible and see. Are you holding your confession of hope? Do you really believe?

If a person really wants to motivate oneself to assemble in the Meeting of the Church, keep reading Hebrews 10 about the consequences of not holding the confession of hope. Notice what words follow, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27, ESV). Wow! What sinning?! The sinning that comes from not holding one’s confession unto the point of forsaking the Assembly of the Church of Christ.

This statement is just the beginning of this exhortation. Keep reading even further about how this rejection of the Assembly is a rejection of one’s confession unto trampling of the Son of God, the profaning of the blood of Christ, and the outraging the Spirit of grace in Hebrews 10:29. When one quits the Church that Christ built and bought with His blood, then that person can expect a fearful judgment and fiery indignation for in so doing trampling the Son of God underfoot, profaning the blood of the covenant, and insulting the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29). Keep reading until these words and consider that, “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30-31). Do we consider gathering in the Assembly of the Church as a great a sin as God does?

Is working because “we need the money” getting in the way of spending quality time with our family of Christians, the Church? Yes, the spiritual welfare of your family comes first, which should mean that you would want them to hold to their confession of hope. That really is counterproductive to pursue the spiritual welfare and salvation of one’s family by neglecting what is essential to their salvation and best for their spiritual welfare. If our life’s priorities seem off balance, we need to seriously read and consider the compelling and powerful words of Christ in Luke 12 and 14. If Christ is really first in your life, then money and the material needs of this world will come further down the list, and we will work first to glorify God (Col. 3:17, 23). Christ said that if we seek first the kingdom of God all these things that we need will be added to us (Matt. 6:33). Do you believe Jesus?

Many times, we also become enslaved to our own schedules. Whether for work or family, what is the point of a schedule that excludes those you love the most from Christ? Personally, breaking those schedules of life are going to be necessary to better serve and assemble with our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter the joyous children, affectionate spouse, and what we have waiting for dinner at home; occasions of baptisms, Bible studies, and hospital visits have a place and priority over the usual schedule. Reschedule what can be rescheduled. Sometimes, we can let the same reoccurring headache or exhaustion reschedule our priorities for God rather than praying and preventing scheduled ailments. Will we let a wound keep us from securing and rescuing our family? “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Heb. 10:35). Hold your confession of hope.

About Scott Shifferd Jr.

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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