We the Church
The Church is made up of born-again believers in Jesus Christ. We are a collection of individual people of various denominations who have different characteristics, personalities and giftings. While we consist of various denominations,which was simply manmade over over the last 2000 years, we are all believers in Jesus Christ - His shed blood for the remission of our sins and His resurrection from the dead who assemble together, according to the Scriptures.
Not Forsaking the Assembly
The Amplified Version of the Bible explains this verse quite well:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
The Bible tells us that as the Church, believers in Jesus Christ need to regularly meet together. Why? We need to meet to admonish, warn, urge and encourage each other as we grow in our relationship with Christ and help bring others into the Kingdom of God.
Why Did Jesus Command the Church to Meet Regularly?
Most of the 1 century believers understood the necessity of regularly meeting together. It was their lifeline to God. Jesus commanded His followers to meet together regularly. He commanded believers to meet for many reasons:
- They met together to hear the words of Jesus as they came down from the Father in heaven.
- They broke bread together and drank the fruit of the vine as a symbolism of Jesus' body and blood (I Cor 11:23-26).
- They met together to fellowship together as friends because they no longer had anything in common with those of the outside world, and everyone needs fellowship with friends.
- They met to teach and encourage one another in their witnessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the outside world (Mark 16:15-18),
- It was a time to disciple believers within the Church to help them (and us) grow in our faith (Matt 28:19-20). Discipling came through urging believers to grow in their relationship (faith) with Jesus Christ, encouraging one another in their day-to-day struggles, and warning each other if we get off base in any area of our faith. Then finally, they met corporately together to pray, which in itself is a teaching on how we should pray to the Lord during our own personal prayer time.
Daily they went from house to house as they enjoyed one another's company, learned the teachings of Jesus, broke bread together, and learned how to pray.
As the Day Approaches
Heb 10:25 ends with "as the day approaches." The early Christians of the 1st century was expecting Christ to return at any time. They met every day, expecting Christ's return. Persecution was rising, and many died for their faith. They needed each other. While Christ did not return during that 1st century, the people fled the persecution to other parts of the world that had never heard of Christ. This now was their opportunity to spread the Gospel to other parts of the world. God tells us in John 3:16 that He so loved the whole world that He gave His only Son. The whole world needed to hear about Jesus. We are at that time in history when every nation on earth has heard the Gospel. Missionaries have brought the Gospel to all nations, teaching those they have reached to observe all things Jesus taught. From there, the newly saved nationals have been able to bring the Gospel to the rest of their country - to the surrounding tribes of people throughout their country.
Sadly, the persecution of Christians is now world-wide, not centralized within a certain part of the world as it has been up until the last few decades. We are now in a period of time 2000 years later when the "global" persecution is far worse than it was in the 1st century because the whole world of Christianity is greatly affected. While the Mediterranean world of the 1st century was horrible for Christians, the surrounding world knew nothing of Christ and His redeeming love and power; therefore, the whole world needed to be reached to hear the Gospel so that everyone throughout the world had a chance to respond to the call of Jesus to repent and believe in Him. We are at that time in history "as the day approaches."