The church isn't a building to go to, but a people to belong to. Hebrews 10:19-25 makes it abundantly clear that we are family members called to gather together for corporate worship. Sadly...convenience, comfort, and consumerism often define how we view our church and the importance of gathering. How do we fight against convenience? How do we not let comfort drive our decisions? How do wrestle with the culture of consumerism? Hebrews 10:19-25 gives us 3 reasons why we must gather together.
1. Our faith isn't meant to be convenient, but countercultural! Jesus paid the highest price so that we could be a part of His family; giving us access to the house of God. In verse 22, Jesus is calling us to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith". We live in a world where we want everything easy and convenient. If it is hard, takes time, or requires more, we simply don't do it. This attitude is how many "christians" view their faith; yet, this type of faith is half-hearted. We probably wouldn't say that aloud, but our actions are declaring it. It can feel more convenient to "do church" by staying at home in my pajamas or watching it from my beach chair because culturally we've been told "isn't it about me and Jesus anyways?" Following Jesus with a heart that is fully committed to Him, His Mission, and His Church is countercultural. One of the greatest ways we fight convenience is to commit fully to drawing near together in corporate worship.
2. Our hope isn't meant to be comfortable, but constant! We are stronger together than we are apart. In verse 23, we are called to "hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering". We will go through tough times, the storms of life will come crashing down on us, but we can remain constant because Jesus is faithful to His Church. Our hope is never meant to be only personal, we have hope together. The darkest moments of my life have come when I am isolated. Sin, bitterness, apathy, misunderstanding, and fear all come when we are isolated. Gathering for corporate worship is one of the many ways we can build hope together and tear down the god of comfort in our lives.
3. Our love isn't meant to be consumeristic, but considerate! Love has to be stirred. Love is an action and an intentional choice. We see in verse 24 that we are to "consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together". Gathering together isn't about me, it is about you, it is about us. We live in a world that has made church a commodity to consume instead of a congregation that gives. We are called to be considerate of others, not consumers. We consider how we can put each other's needs above our own. We consider how we are called to encourage each other instead of critique each other. We consider how to be unified instead of being right. Gathering together for corporate worship helps us wrestle against consumerism and allows a watching world know that we are a part of God's family.