Is Seeing Believing?
[Preached at Community Bible Chapel. Hico, Texas-8/2001]
What if what we DON'T SEE doesn't agree with what we see?
The verse in Heb 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is ." Is held to be the MOST IMPORTANT verse in the Bible with the exception of perhaps, the gospel of Christ unto salvation. This "not forsaking" verse is preached just about as much as the gospel of Christ is preached in the world. The majority of the churches of the world wants "members", not "saints". They may prefer "saints" but they will settle for "sinners" if this will cause "church growth".
The churches of today preach to the sinner because they invite sinners in to bond with the sheep. But they forget that God says that the sheep will not rub off on the sinner, but that the sinner will rub off on the sheep.
The churches invite the sinner--that is they mix the assembly with leaven, paying no heed to God's warning that even a LITTLE LEAVEN leavens all the sheep, or the WHOLE LUMP.
The assembling of ourselves together is NOT for WORSHIP. It is NOT to preach the gospel of Christ to lost sinners.
How else are they gonna hear of the saving gospel of Christ, you say? Well, for a first answer I can say as does God, that the sinner IS NOT searching for God. He will NOT go to church to hear the gospel because he is not searching for salvation. To begin with, he doesn't know he is lost and on his way to hell, and even if he does he will not humble himself and admit it. (This is repentance.)
The churches are conforming to what they call the "seeker service". I have news for these churches though. These are not "salvation seekers". These are "spiritual seekers" and spirituality does not save one from the wrath of God. No one-let me repeat that. NO ONE is seeking salvation. NO NOT ONE.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (to prefer-to take for oneself-to choose) him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Ps 14:2-3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
The Lord does the seeking, we don't. He seeks us and calls us and we have a choice to respond or reject that calling.
Let us read one more time the assembling verse. We must go to Heb again, as this is the ONLY verse in the Bible that "commands" us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The other verses of Christians assembling together are EXAMPLES.
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.
Why are we to do this? For "exhorting" one another. The verse says, "but exhorting one another" The word BUT in the Greek means "nevertheless-and-notwithstanding-however.
This verse tells us to not forsake to assemble together, but, however we are to assemble together to exhort one another.
The word EXHORT means to help "guide" each other. We are to "earnestly urge" each other, and "caution" each other, and to "warn", and "counsel" and "scold" and "rebuke" and "reprimand" if necessary and "lay the blame" is there is a cause for blame.
In other words we are to judge each other and TAKE ACTION on the results of our judgment. If no fault is found we are to "encourage" each other and "strengthen" each other and "cheer" and "buildup" and "reinforce" and "prop up" each other.
In even other words. THERE IS STRENGHT IN NUMBERS. Together we stand.
Here are some biblical verses that say just what I have said.
We are to assemble together for these reasons.
Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a "true heart" in "full assurance of faith", having our hearts "sprinkled from an evil conscience", and our "bodies washed with pure water".
We help each other in this.
Another reason we assemble together is this.
Heb 10:23 Let us "hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering"; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Another reason we assemble together.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another "to provoke unto love and to good works"
The next verse tells us WHY we are to do this for each other.
Heb 10:26 For "if we sin wilfully" after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins",
See-if the "new creature" should "willfully sin" as did the "old creature", there is "no more sacrifice for sin". You see, Christ entered in ONCE into the Holy of Holies to purge away sin.
Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in "once" into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 9:28 So Christ was "once" offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ "once" for all.
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath "once suffered for sins", the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
See-Christ is not gonna suffer for sins "again". He did it "one time" and "only once". NO MORE.
Christ died for WILLFUL SIN. If we willfully sin after coming to the knowledge of salvation, there is NO MORE SACRIFIVE FOR SIN. All hope of a FUTURE salvation is lost. THERE JUST AIN'T NO MORE.
This next verse tells us what is left for willful sinners.
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28-31 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, (a common thing as John Mac Arthur preaches)and hath done despite (insulted) unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The assembling of ourselves together is the working out of our salvation in fear and trembling.
Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
SO-I say, does going to church help us? YES IT DOES. BUT-- are we to live our Christian faith ONLY on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening? NO, WE ARE NOT.
Are we God's children only a few hours a week or a month? Is that what we want? How 'bout spending only as much time in heaven as we give to God on earth and the rest of the time in hell. We wouldn't like that at all would we? Aren't we glad that God don't act like we do. Aren't we glad that God doesn't say. "time about is fair play".
Let us not think that we can get away "Scott Free" in disobedience to God though. God is JUST, and His Justice demands that disobedience MUST be punished.
Disobedience AFTER SALVATION will be punished, "one way or another". WE WILL PAY. This will be either in "this life" (chastisement) or "the next", (loss of rewards) but "we will pay".
So we go to church on Sunday and to Bible Study on Wednesday evening. We do well, we say. We am obeying the Lord, we say. Maybe so, but let us hear what the Lord says about this.
Luke 17:7-10 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow (think) not. So likewise ye, "when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you", say, We are "unprofitable servants": we have done "that which was our duty to do".
See, God just don't go throwing rewards around to just anybody. His Children got to EARN their rewards if they are to get any. Salvation is a FREE GIFT but rewards are not. We gotta WORK for 'em.
Do we wanna rejoice when we see Jesus or do we wanna be ashamed?
At the Rapture Christ will come as a thief in the night. That is when we least expect Him. Are we watching for His coming? If not, we will be ashamed when he comes and finds us asleep. (not watching-expecting- hoping)
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and "they see his shame".
We say, well- we're gonna make it to heaven. Yeah, I guess that's right, but listen.
Luke 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin "with shame" to take the "lowest room".
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be "ashamed", rightly dividing the word of truth.
If we study God's Word we will not be ashamed, then if we don't study His Word we will be ashamed.
I Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be "ashamed" before him at his coming.
When we "abide in Him" this means more that being a "member of the Body of Christ". It means more that being "in Christ".
If we abide in Christ and HIS WORDS abide in us. This is his commandments. This is His "do this", and His "don't do that".
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 15:9-10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye (same word as "abide") in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
I Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
This verse says, "if we abide in Him and His Commandments abide in us. That is, if we KEEP HIS WORDS we will not be ashamed at His coming.
Most everybody I know is gonna be ashamed at His coming. That's sad.