Daily Bible Nugget #778, Hebrews 10:25

9-17-23 Daily Bible Nugget 778 Hebrews 10:25

The Nugget:

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

My Comment:

My long-time Facebook friend, Pastor Scott Cheatham, posted this comment an hour ago:

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the LORD. “

(Psalms 122:1 RV)

Today is National “Back to Church” Sunday nationwide. It’s a beautiful morning and a good time to return to church if you haven’t been for a while. Come sit with me and my son at the 9 a.m. service at Copper Creek Christian Church in Maryville. There’s a 10:30 service also.

Fall is here. It’s a good time to reconnect with others. I pray many will make it a point to attend somewhere!

My response to Pastor Cheatham and everyone who reads here:

That is very good advice. If you are blessed with having a sound Bible teaching, Bible believing church that you can attend, I suggest that you do so regularly and do what you can as opportunity arises to encourage the pastor and support its ministry.

However, earlier this week, I responded to a Facebook page of another Facebook friend which featured a “meme” on this very topic of church attendance. The meme stated:

“A Christian without a church is like a football player without a team or a soldier without an army. You’re not strong enough to survive alone.”

I commented:

Not always the case! Too many churches fail to obey Romans 15:7. There are no churches close to where I live that I know of that would welcome me. That is unfortunate. There are hospitality commands that are not obeyed, and the result is that the Gospel outreach of such churches is greatly suppressed.

I did not experience this problem when I lived in Detroit.

There is a huge difference between sociologically “village churches” and “camp churches.” You have to be born into village churches to be accepted; people who form “camp churches” are there for spiritual reasons and are eager to study and learn more from the Bible, win others to Christ, and grow spiritually.

My friend responded:

Where 2 or more are gathered…He is in the midst, My Brother. I bet if you start a small group, God will send truth seekers who worship Him in Spirit and Truth. You are a great theologian pour into someone. Im praying right now for God to make a way. If He said we are to not fail to assemble with believers…we need to find a way to do it….even if we have to facilitate it. Blessings to you my brother and co-laborer in Christ.

I replied:

Believe it or not, I have had a small group Bible study in my home in the past. It is ironic, to say the least, that a local pastor, visiting my home, asked what went on at our dining room table. When he learned I held a Bible study around that table, he inquired who attended. When I told him, he responded as best I recall, “Thank God, it is no one from my church.” He, at that same first visit, told me, “Jerry, you talk too much about the Lord and too much about the Bible.”

I continued to attend that church for four more years, hoping to “break the ice.” Instead, I was asked by the pastor to “find a church that believes what you do, and attend church there.”

I served as a “ghost writer” and helped my college friend, Dr. Carl George, write his book, Prepare Your Church for the Future. When he spoke to me on the telephone and I told him about how I was disinvited from a local church, Carl responded, “Why would you even attend such a church–didn’t you learn from editing my book about a “village church” compared to a “camp church”? How could you forget?”

It turns out that the Lord works out everything according to His timing. When I visited a Christian bookstore in Port Huron, I asked the lady in charge if she knew of a Bible-believing church I could attend. She directed me to her own church and explained how to get there. I left the bookstore and went directly to the church. I met the pastor, and it turns out he already had a copy of my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, right there in his study.

I explained how I was disinvited from a church much more local to me, where the pastor and church board had judged that since I went to Bob Jones University, I must be a strict Calvinist, whereas they were staunchly Arminian in their theology, so they disinvited me.

Pastor Steve at Hillside Wesleyan Church welcomed me with open arms. He invited me to attend a Saturday “scholars study” where I met Malcolm Lavender, and we became good friends. I helped edit many of his books and also his Lavender New Testament translation, for which I wrote the preface. Dr. Lavender said more than once that it surely was the hand of the Lord that brought us together at just the time He did.

I was recently asked, “So most of the churches that you’ve encountered no longer receive you? Why is that so?” Here is my answer:

Some have very unbending views on the matter of the mode of baptism. While I do not bring up this issue, they eventually force the matter. As a new believer, I was baptized by sprinkling in the Methodist church. As a Sunday school teacher at Highland Park Baptist Church, I was required to be baptized by immersion. So, whichever mode might be correct, I’ve experienced both as a believer.

Many years later I met an elderly gentleman named “Uncle Frank.” He lived in the hotel that was next door to the apartment building where I lived. When I first met him, he asked me what I believed was the proper mode of baptism. I had come by then to believe immersion was the biblical mode. He asked me if I would be willing to read a book he had by G. W. Hughey titled The Scriptural Mode of Christian Baptism.

I read it at his good suggestion. I have since studied other books on both sides of the issue. It turns out that the Greek word for baptism is a non-modal word–it tells what was done without specifying the manner in which it was done. So in a sense, all modes are acceptable, though strictly speaking the usage in Scripture itself never implies or requires the immersion of persons in water for any religious purpose whatsoever.

So, follow the view of your conviction, your church, and I’m fine with that. But I will not affirm that immersion is the only valid mode when that is not the affirmation of Scripture.

I suspect that is one reason that leads to my being uninvited from any church that is baptistic/immersionist in practice.

I also believe every church must obey Romans 15:7. Many, if not most, churches are not structured for fellowship. This means they are sometimes very resistant to the idea of small group home Bible studies. All teaching must be done or authorized by the pastor.

I believe that real discipleship and learning can take place only in a small group setting. I “ghost wrote” the book by Dr. Carl George, Prepare Your Church for the Future, where these ideas, as taught in Dr. George’s church growth seminars are quite fully explained.

I transcribed Dr. George’s seminar lectures from the recordings he furnished me. I converted his “spoken English” to written English, and produced the basic text from which the final book was produced by others.

But no one today where I am would ever take to heart any  constructive suggestions I might offer on the subject, so my expertise remains untapped.

But when I am given the opportunity to teach a Sunday school class, the class grows in number, the church grows in size, and my classes often ask me to teach a home Bible study group in their homes so they can dig deeper into the Bible.

This threatens some pastors and some Sunday school superintendents. In the latest case in my experience the Sunday school superintendent was a member of my Sunday school class! He often disagreed with my teaching. When I backed up my teaching with more Scripture, appealing to the grammar and principles of Biblical hermeneutics, I suspect he felt some discomfort.

Other members in the class were members of the church board and said they would back me up so I should have no worries. They were true to their word.

I continued having home Bible studies with those members even after I ceased teaching the Sunday school class because of heavy obligations I had teaching English at Denby High School. I was near retirement. I was under a new department head, so I had to be very meticulous in meeting lesson plan requirements, etc.

I was also the Union Representative for the school. I had to handle grievance procedures, where I always won against the administration when the administration failed to honor the provisions of the Teacher Contract and failed to follow the specified due process procedures as required.

As for churches, the fact that I was a Union Representative for the Detroit Federation of Teachers may not have sat well with some. Yet the Bible is replete with instruction on this subject!

So now, I just stay home with my wife and we enjoy studying the Bible together. We are both in good health, are long past the age where we would qualify to be “shut-ins,” and I share my faith and knowledge of the Bible as I answer people’s questions on the Internet.

Some would offer me Hebrews 10:25 to suggest I ought to be attending church. I then carefully draw their attention to the word “together” in that verse, and I point out that sitting in the church pew listening to the pastor teach is not following what this verse teaches!

See the notes and cross references I have placed at Hebrews 10:25 in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. Perhaps I should create a new Real Bible Study post for that verse.

This is that promised post for Hebrews 10:25!

For serious Christians, here are my notes and cross references for Hebrews 10:25 as given in my Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

Hebrews 10:25

Not forsaking. Gr. enkataleipō (S# G1459, 2Co 4:9), to leave behind in some place, that is, (in a good sense) let remain over, or (in a bad one) to desert (Strong). The word enkatleipontes conveys the notion not simply of leaving, as no longer taking part in the assembly, but of abandoning, leaving the assembly exposed to peril in the conflict (Westcott, who cites Heb 13:5, 2Ti 4:10; 2Ti 4:16, 2Co 4:9, Mat 27:46). The unsteady professor has no spiritual home. No church is sound enough for him; none wholly molded to his taste. Like the wandering bird, he is always on the wing. Any one place is too strait for him. The accustomed food, even though coming down from heaven, is “loathed as light bread” (Num 21:5). His vitiated appetite leaves him often on the Sabbath morning undecided whom to hear, his own will being his only guide. He is anxious to hear from all; and, as the sure result, he learns from none (2Ti 3:7). In this self-willed delusion the form and substance of the Church is destroyed. It is not a few wandering sheep, but a fold and a shepherd; not a heap of loose scattered stones, but stones cemented, fitted into their several places; and “the building thus fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21, 22). The Church is “terrible” not in her single members, but “as an army with banners” (Song 6:10); close in rank, where each soldier keeps his own place. The individual profession, in the stead of collective unity, is a purely schismatical spirit, the essence of pride and selfishness (Charles Bridges, Proverbs, p. 509, on Pro 27:8). Heb 10:26; Heb 10:29, Heb 2:1; Heb 3:7, 8; Heb 6:4; *Heb 13:5 g. Gen 13:11, Exo 34:24, Neh 10:39, +*Pro 27:8, +*Mat 18:20, Joh 20:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, Act 1:13, 14; Act 2:1; *Act 2:42; Act 2:46; Act 16:16; Act 20:7, 1Co 5:4; 1Co 11:17, 18; 1Co 11:20; 1Co 14:23, *Jud 1:19.

the assembling. T745, Neh 8:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Psa 40:7, 8, 9, 10, *Mat 18:20; Mat 23:37 g. +*Mat 24:31 g. +*Luk 17:37 g. Joh 20:24, Act 11:25, 26; Act 13:14, 15, 16; Act 13:42, 43, 44, 45; **+Act 20:7 note. **1Co 14:26; +*1Co 14:29, 2Th 2:1 g.

ourselves. Gr. heautou (S# G1438). *FS39, +Act 17:27. Westcott notes (on Heb 3:13) that the use of this pronoun suggests the close unity of the Christian body. The similar usage of this pronoun in other places will repay study (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13; Col 3:16, 1Th 5:13, 1Pe 4:8; 1Pe 4:10). The use of this pronoun here fixes attention on the meeting as characteristically Christian (Westcott).

together. Gr. episunagōgē (S# G1997, only here and 2Th 2:1). Some true believers have been improperly shunned and excluded from fellowship when a local church, its pastor, elders or other leadership, and the congregation itself fail to obey the commandment to “receive one another” (+**Rom 15:7). Gen 49:1, Dan 11:33, +Mal 3:16, *Mat 18:20, Act 19:9, 10, +**Rom 15:7, 1Co 14:26; 1Co 14:29; 1Co 16:15, 16; 1Co 16:19, Eph 5:19, 20, 21, *1Pe 4:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, +*2Jn 1:10.

as the manner. or, custom. Luk 1:9, Joh 19:40, Jud 1:19.

of some. Such conduct on the side of the Christians would arise partly from fear lest they should provoke the active hostility of the Jewish authorities; partly from self-confidence, as though they no longer needed the assistance of ordinary common worship where the general average of spiritual life might be counted too low to aid more mature believers. And yet more than this, the Christian assemblies must have appeared insignificant when compared with those to which the Hebrews were accustomed (Westcott).

but exhorting. or, encouraging. Gr. parakaleō (S# G3870, 2Co 1:4). See on Heb 10:24, +*Heb 3:12, 13, 14; Heb 12:5; Heb 13:19; Heb 13:22, +*1Sa 23:16, +*Rom 12:8; Rom 15:14, +1Co 14:3, 1Th 4:18; *1Th 5:11 mg.

one another. A properly functioning local church must provide the opportunity for those gathered for worship and fellowship to have genuine fellowship. Sitting in a pew looking at the pastor and the backs of the heads of those seated in rows ahead doing the same is not fellowship. Few opportunities are given, if any, for mutual sharing of faith and concerns. No one gets to know the person sitting next to them. Churches need to find better ways than those practiced now to encourage actual fellowship. Fellowship cannot occur in groups much larger than eight. See +**Exo 18:21 Note. We must change the culture and structure of our churches to match the divine design for them taught in Scripture. Failure to do so is what is driving down church attendance and successful local outreach to the surrounding community with the Gospel. +**Jon 4:11 note. **+Rom 12:5.

so much the more. Heb 10:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, +Heb 1:4; Heb 2:1, 2, 3, 4; Heb 9:14, +Act 1:4.

as ye see. Heb 10:37, Mat 24:33, 34, Mar 13:29, 30, *Luk 21:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, +*Rom 13:11, 12, 13, 1Co 10:11, Php 4:5, *+Jas 5:8, 1Pe 4:7, +*Jas 5:8, *2Pe 3:9; *2Pe 3:11; *2Pe 3:14.

the day. Heb 9:27, 28, +*Isa 2:12, Jer 39:17, Mat 7:22; Mat 10:15; Mat 11:22; Mat 11:24; *Mat 12:36; Mat 24:21; Mat 24:36, Mar 13:32, Luk 10:12; Luk 17:26; Luk 17:30, 31; Luk 21:34, +*Joh 6:39; Joh 8:56, Act 2:20, Rom 2:5; Rom 2:16, 1Co 1:8; *+1Co 3:13; %1Co 4:3 note. 1Co 5:5, 2Co 1:14, %Eph 4:30, Php 1:6; Php 1:10; Php 2:16, 1Th 5:2; 1Th 5:4, +*2Th 1:10; *2Th 2:2; *2Th 2:3, *1Ti 4:1, *2Ti 1:12; *2Ti 1:18; +*2Ti 4:8, 2Pe 2:9; 2Pe 3:7; 2Pe 3:10; 2Pe 3:12, 1Jn 2:8; 1Jn 4:17, Jud 1:6, Rev 1:10 note. Rev 6:17; Rev 16:14.

approaching. Joh 21:21, 22, +*Rom 13:12, Php 4:5, %+*2Th 2:2, Jas 5:8, 1Pe 4:7.


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