Let’s read Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day approaching” (NASB). If I could sum these two verses up in four words I would say, WE NEED EACH ANOTHER! We need to “stimulate one another” and we need to “encourage one another.”

The word “stimulate” is translated “provoke” in the King James Version. That word usually has a bad meaning. For example in 1st Corinthians 13:5 we are told that love “is not provoked,” which means love will keep us from being provoked to things like anger or jealousy. But here the word has a good connotation, for it means we should be actively stimulating fellow-believers to love and good works. We can easily drift into a life of selfish ambitions and pursuits and if we do, it is precious when a brother or a sister comes along and stirs us up to a life of loving others and showing that love through good works. We know that we aren’t saved by good works, but if we are saved we should be doing good works. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches the former: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Verse 10 teaches the latter: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We just saw that there is a tendency to “drift into a life of selfishness”; in verse 25 we learn there is also a tendency to “drift away from fellowship with other believers.” It appears that there were Hebrew believers absenting themselves from the meetings of the saints. It may have been because of fear of persecution in that day, but whatever the reason was there was no excuse. Again, WE NEED EACH OTHER! All believers are members of the church, the body of Christ, and as such we desperately need to come together for spiritual growth. I would encourage you to read 1st Corinthians chapters 12-14 to see how God uses the “human body” to illustrate the “body of Christ.” In these three chapters we see we all have a job to do for the benefit of the whole body, and God has graciously supplied all we need (spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit, love, and meetings for fellowship) so the body can be edified and encouraged. And this means we need to be gathered together in the meetings that God has provided for His church in order to put these things into practice. After the church was born we read that, “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Let’s take advantage of this fellowship dear fellow-believer by “not forsaking our own assembling together.”

When we are gathered together we will surely be “encouraging one another.” The word “encouraging,” like the word “stimulate,” is a positive word where we are calling believers to a life of faithfulness. And notice the need for this grows “as you see the day approaching.” What “day” is this referring to? We have no doubt that this refers to the “day of Christ’s return.” Whether we think of the “Day of Christ” (when Christ returns to take us home to glory), or the “Day of the Lord” (when Christ returns with us to set up His kingdom), we see conditions all around us that indicate His coming must be soon. In view of “that day,” may we faithfully assemble with other believers with a desire to “encourage one another.” (250.1) (DO)