Sermon Transcript

(For accuracy of this transcript, please refer to audio file of this sermon)

It’s good to see everyone again. You have your Bibles on, encourage you to turn to Hebrews 10:19-25. We will be in the book of Hebrews this morning. You don’t have a Bible, that’s okay. There are Bibles around the room, or you could just follow with us on the screen in front of you. Hebrews 10 starting in verse 19-25. (verbal reading). This is God’s word. Today as mentioned a number of times, today is our church’s eight year anniversary. So, I thought it’d be appropriate for us just to meditate on one attribute of God in particular, the faithfulness of God. Faithfulness just means that God is committed to us. He’s steadfast in supporting us and he’s been, he’s been faithful to us for eight years now. Granted, I’ve only been here for a fraction of those eight years and I imagine most of us in this room have only been here for a fraction of that time. But when we look out into this room, certainly we see the fruit of God’s faithfulness to our church. He’s been faithful in our families. He’s been faithful and sustaining our friendships and certainly most of all he had been faithful and keeping us in the love of Christ. So let’s celebrate that today. We’re going to learn three things about God’s faithfulness today from this passage. We’re going to see that because God is faithful, we can draw near to him verses 19 to 22. Because God is faithful, we can hold fast to him verse 23. Because God is faithful, we could be faithful to each other versus 24-25. So let’s get going here.

[showhide more_text=”Show Full Transcript” less_text=”Hide Full Transcript”]

1. Because God is faithful, we can draw near to him.

The command to draw near to God is pretty clearly there. You see that red on the slide? It’s in verse 22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Pretty straightforward. Let’s also remember that we’re kind of jumping into the middle of a book. The book is 13 chapters and we are obviously here in Chapter 10 so it actually towards the end of the book. There’s a lot that happened before this point. This passage of the book is actually one of the biggest turning points of the book. Doesn’t always happen like this. But you see that in the beginning of the passage, you see this little word “Therefore” highlighted in red. Here, see this word therefore and usually when you see the word,” therefore” you know that it connects back. This passage connects back to a previous passage, and in this case, the word therefore, it doesn’t always work like this, but actually connects back to all of the previous stuff that was written in the book. So all of chapters, one this far in Chapter 10. That’s what connects back to. And so if you’ve never read the book, that’s fine. But basically the point of the book thus far is just three simple words. Jesus is better. He’s the better option. He’s superior. He’s the better prophet. He’s better than any of the prophets, including Moses. He’s the better. He’s better than any angel. He’s the better priest off a better covenant because he offers a better sacrifice. And instead of offering an animal, he offers himself his own body as our sacrifice. And so what we see here in versus 19 to 21. Before he gets in any sort of command, he just takes a little bit of time, really helpfully, I might add, to summarize all of the books so far in three little verses. And we kind of see that through this little word “since”. You see that in red on the slide there. The little word since appears twice in this passage, verse 19 and verse 21. And this little word since is pretty crucial. It gives us the reason why we can do any of these commands that we can go through. The reason why we can draw near God. The reason why we can hold fast to him versus 19 to 21 showed a reason why we can do so. So verse 19 says, “Therefore brothers since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus verse 21, and since we have a great priest over the House of God.”. In other words, we only have confidence because we have the blood of Jesus. We could only draw near to God because we have this great priest, this great high priest over us, over the House of God. And it’s only because of these facts. These two truths, that kind of summarized the whole book. It’s only because of these, that we could ever think that we have the confidence to approach God on her own. You know, whenever you see the word “therefore” or a word like “since” or a word like because, these words are pretty crucial to understanding any sort of argument, or especially to understand any sort of command that someone gives to you. Okay. Trying to give an illustration. Here’s one. Let’s say that I’ve been really looking for to hang out with you. and then the days here we can finally hang out. So I send you a message. I said, Hey, I can’t wait to hang out with you. I’m trying to keep it a secret, but really said like this What we’re going to do today is we’re going to hang out with some tigers. The zoo has allowed us to go into the tiger cage. There’s going to be like five or six tigers. We’re going to be in that cage with them. They’re going to lock the door. We’re going to be in there with the tigers. How’s that sound? I think I don’t trust this man. That sounds terrifying. Sounds like a horrible idea. But then I send you a second text message and say, Hey, by the way, I’m so sorry that probably scared you. I should say this, everything’s going be okay since the tigers are going to be sedated, okay. That the tiger’s going to be asleep so they’re not going to disturb us. We’re just going to take pictures of them, you know. And in addition to that, if they wake up, we’re going to have body armor. We’re going to have a tiger proof body armor. So all our defenses are taken care of. You don’t have to worry about anything. You still may never trust me again. I’m never planning another hang out with you for sure. But that little word since gives a lot of confidence, doesn’t it? Because assurance gives motivation and in the same way, if you told a Jewish Christian, someone who used to be a Jew but then now has converted to Christianity; that’s who this letter was written to. If you told a Jewish Christian, if you commanded them to draw near to God, to approach the throne of God, they would have rather been in a cage with a tiger. At least with the tiger, they have a chance to live. If you told a Jew to draw near to God, they think that’s a death sentence. That would be suicide. Let me give some context why? This passage has a lot of kind of Old Testament terms. If we were in the Book of Hebrews would have gone through these already. Let me just give some context about the holy places in red. There it talks about the curtain, also in red. I should have underlined also blood. That’s also another Old Testament thing. When the author says the Holy Places, what is referring to here is probably the most holy place. We’ve kind of study this already earlier this year. But the most holy place is basically just this room in God’s Temple. There’s a special room because the presence of God especially dwelled in that room. It was unique. God is everywhere, but he was especially there in that room. It sounds great. But before the time of Christ, if you wanted to enter into that room, you would die. If the king wanted to enter into that room, he would die. If a prophet basically anybody else that wanted to enter the room would die. Except for one person. And that was the high priest. Only the high priest could enter. But the high priest couldn’t enter flippantly 364 days of the year. He wasn’t allowed to enter. He could only enter on one day of the year. On the day of Atonement. And he couldn’t just enter freely and clap happy. You have to come with a sacrifice with the blood of a bull and a goat. And he would sprinkle it on what was called the mercy seat in that room. And in addition to that, as if that wasn’t enough to communicate God’s Holiness, you know, death. There was also a curtain. There’s this massive curtain that separated the room from the rest of the temple. Really, the rest of the world. It’s a massive curtain I read 10 centimeters thick. All with fabrics really tightly wound. Really heavy, A massive curtain basically just meant to communicate one thing. Stay out, because this curtain protects you from going into the presence of God and being killed. This was a holy place. The holy room was exactly, exactly as it sounds, the most holy place because sinful men cannot dwell with a holy God. So, pretty easy to see that a Jew would never think to draw near to God. This would have been a foreign concept to a Jew if they read this for the first time. You want me to do what? You want me to draw near to who? You think I have confidence to do? I don’t have any confidence to approach God. But now, because of this little word since. Because of this little word therefore now neither the Jew nor we, neither one of us has to fear approaching the throne room of God. We have confidence to enter into his presence. Now we don’t have to enter in by the blood of bulls and goats. Now we enter in as the verse says, by the blood of Jesus by the blood of the lamb, the spotless lamb. Now we’re not blocked off by this heavy, intimidating curtain that tells us to stay out. Now the curtain has been torn into two. Because Jesus in his flesh was torn, if you will, on the cross. So the way to God might be open. Indeed, as the verse says here, we don’t just have a new and living way. What does the verse say? The verse says we have the new and the living way that Jesus opened for us through his flesh. Indeed, Jesus is not just one of many ways. He is the way. This is the author of Hebrews way of saying, this is Jesus the way. He is the truth. He is the life. And indeed he is the living way. He didn’t just have his flesh torn apart on the cross as it were, and then he just stayed dead on the cross. He didn’t stay dead in the tomb that he was buried in. He rose again. And he is still, as the verse says, living today, praying for us, interceding for us, caring for us, ministering to us through his spirit. He is living. So you might be thinking. I might be thinking, what does all this have to do with God’s faithfulness? That seems like the theme of today. That seems like the topic of this sermon. That’s a great question. This is what the author Hebrews says earlier in the book. It says here in Hebrews 2:17 he says (verbal reading). Do you see that so everything that we’ve been talking about so far, everything that we’ve been talking about in chapters 1 to 10 everything about that summary that we just did and versus 19-21. All that is speaking to the faithfulness of Jesus. He was faithful as our high priest, and he continues to be today. He’s the only perfect high priest there is. So listen, because God is faithful now we finally get to this command. We can draw near to him. We can spend time with him. We can be in his presence. Now if you’re like me, I imagine there’s probably two types of people in this room. At least two, that there’s probably two reactions to this verse to draw near to God. Here’s one. The first kind of reaction is draw near to him. I don’t really care to draw near to him. I don’t really care to draw near to God. Frankly, now you may not say that out loud. You may not even think you believe that, but you may be saying it with your actions. You might be saying it with your schedule. That’s how you’re communicating. That idea draw near to him who I don’t want to draw near to him. This happens to me all the time. I’ll say with my lips in Bible study or in small groups that I’m sharing with people I just really want draw near to God. I really I’m not spending time with him. I’m not being consistent. And then I go home and all that sort of chatter just sort of disappears into the air. Just a couple days ago, being hard on myself. I’m in my room. It’s 11 p.m. I’m exhausted. I’m discouraged. Haven’t spent time with Lord. The last thing I want to do is draw near to the Lord. And then God brings this passage to my mind. And I just think a Jew would have given anything to have the decision that I have before me right now. A Jew would have given anything to be able to drawn near to God, to be able to spend time with him without being killed. Having the confidence to do that. The ability to draw near to God is in some sense the opportunity of a lifetime. And I’m using that in a special way. I don’t mean you spend time with God once in your lifetime. That’s it. What I mean is for a Jew, they never had this opportunity in their entire lifetime as it were. Not only until they close their eyes and the spirit went to be with Yahweh. They never knew what we have available to us with every breath that we have. Now, you want to give a little bit of practical here? I’m not saying that drawing near to God looks a certain way. I’m not saying that in order to draw near to God, you have to spend an hour and really intensive Bible study or you have to be on your knees for an hour in prayer. That’s not what I’m saying. I don’t want to intimidate anybody. Drawing near to God is meant to be enjoyed. It’s meant to be life giving. It’s difficult to stay with it, and that’s why we call it a spiritual discipline. We have to discipline ourselves to do it consistently, but it’s meant to be for our happiness. It almost redefines happiness for us, if you will. So let me just, you know, if you have no idea where to begin. When it comes to doing this, or you’ve been off the wagon for so long, you don’t know how to get back on. Let me just recommend this. Go home. Everybody has a phone. Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Someone always someone told me everybody has 10 minutes, and that’s true. We always have 10 minutes to spare. Just said it. Set a time in your phone for 10 minutes. Pick a book of the Bible. Maybe something simple. Maybe something shorter. Or maybe a Psalm. And just read for 10 minutes until the timer runs out. Read for fun. Read at your own pace. Whether faster, slow, whatever you want to do. Read for fun. You’re spending time with the Lord, and then, after the timers done, set another timer for five minutes. And now just pick one verse and just meditate on that verse. Do that one slowly absorb it, chew on it, meditate on it, allow God to speak to you through that verse in context and then driving your prayers, driving your praises, that him giving you fresh language, driving your confession to him, bringing people to your mind that you need to pray for in light of that verse. 10 minutes, five minutes. It’s not a lot, but it’s a small investment in your own joy. God’s presence is what we need most in our life. So that’s the first kind of person. The second kind of person might be thinking this, draw near to him. I’m not worthy to draw near to him. I’m not, I don’t know what you think. I’m not worthy to. That’s not me. I can’t do that. Who might draw near to him? I haven’t opened my Bible in a year. I just got angry at my spouse. I was just impatient with my kids, was just hypocritical. I sinned against my friends, and I have sinned against God. How could I draw near to God? Listen, if you feel that way, I empathize with you. I’ve been there. But I also want you to feel the weight of this text. This text says in verse 19 (verbal reading). Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places since we have confidence, this is not a possibility. This has been done. This is not fiction, this is a fact. We have confidence since we have confidence. Because we have confidence you have every right to approach God. But it’s not because you earned it. It’s because Jesus earned it on your behalf. You have every right to approach God because of the faithfulness of Christ. Noticed the emphasis in these verses. I make them in red. It says here that we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of who? It’s not by the blood of an animal. Not that we need to keep sacrificing, I’ve missed out and forgot the sacrifices. By this bull, this goat. No, it’s not. We’re not. We’re not have confidence by the blood of ourselves, By the way, how much we’ve sacrificed for the Lord. We have confidence through the blood of Jesus. It’s not you who has opened this new and living way through the curtain. It’s Jesus. He opened for us this new and living way. It’s not through your flesh. It is through his flesh. It is through Jesus’ flesh. And so take heart. Let me put it the flip side. Even if you’ve been reading your Bible every day, even if you’ve been the perfect spouse or the perfect parent or the perfect friend and you’ve been sinless before God this whole week, you still have not earned the right to come before him. He earned it for us. And so that’s why we can have the utmost confidence by the blood of Jesus. It’s a gift. So let’s draw near to God. Let’s spend time with him with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Other translations say, in the assurance that faith brings, I would say, in the confidence that Jesus gives us through faith. Notice also, even in this verse, you know, we’ve finally gotten to the command. We’ve finally gotten to the verb draw near, and even here he’s still speaking to how much confidence and assurance we have. You just can’t drop this subject. Notice at kind of in the middle of verse 22 he says We have a heart’s sprinkled clean from an evil conscience. We have bodies washed with pure water. Now we’re using the ESV. Yes, we kind of hints that this other translations bring this out a little bit more. But these are not commands for us to do! He’s not calling us to sprinkle ourselves clean. He’s not calling us to have our bodies washed with pure water. That’s not something that we do. This is not a reference to baptism. This is something that’s already been done. It’s in the past. We didn’t do it but God did it. He’s sprinkled our hearts clean. So if you’re a Christian, you can draw near. Because God, in his faithfulness, has already sprinkled you clean already. As the verse says, sprinkled your heart clean from an evil conscience. And all that means there is a conscience that’s tainted by sin. We’ll go further. A conscience haunted by sins that are unforgiven. The evil heart is in contrast to the believing heart. A conscience has tormented because of unbelief, you might say, Yeah, I’m a Christian, but, huh? I really don’t understand. I still sinned. I’m still angry. I’m still lustful and still hypocritical. I still sin. I don’t understand how I can have this clean conscience before God to draw near to him. Well, that’s a great question. Let me remind ourselves of a different passage on God’s faithfulness. 1 John 1:9 says (verbal reading). You may feel like you can’t draw near and that’s a good instinct. We truly we can’t draw near to a holy God because of our sins. But on this side of the cross, we can draw near because he’s faithful to forgive us of our sins so long as we confess to him, so come to him with a repentant heart. That’s why in the beginning of our service is we start with a call to worship. The worship is not just a prayer of praise. It’s also a prayer of confession. Go to him, Go to him freely. He happily welcomes you into his presence but go to him with a spirit of confession. So that’s point number one. Because God is faithful, we can draw near to him.

2. Because God is faithful, we can hold fast to him.

We see that in verse 23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful.”. Now this phrase hold fast. We’re just saying about it last week. But holding fast is exactly what it sounds like, holding onto something grip, gripping tightly under, simply not letting go. That’s all it means now. The question is, now what do we hold onto? And it says, here we hold onto the confession of our hope. Other translations say the hope of our confession. That’s what we’re holding onto. Jesus being our hope and, by the way, the word confession here. It doesn’t mean like I’m confessing something bad, like I did something wrong. I’m confessing that that’s not what it means. Confession here just means like a theological confession, a confession of faith, a theological statement. This is what I believe about God. So the apostle’s creed. That’s a confession. We have a confessional statement on our church website of what we believe here at this church. That’s what he’s referring to here. Now, granted, I don’t think he’s referring to a specific sort of statement that everybody held to. I think what he’s referring to here. It’s just the general sort of confession that all Christians have. Christ is my only hope in this life. Christ is my only hope in the face of sin and death, Christ is my only hope for life enjoyed. That is all of our confession, no matter what denomination you come from. So the author’s saying here, hold tightly onto that confession. You may have made it yesterday. You may have made it years ago. Hold tightly onto it today as tightly as you ever had held onto it. But for most of us, myself included, this is really intimidating, not just the command and not just the object of the command, but also just the adjective here. Without wavering, it’s hard enough to hold fast. Now you throw in this modifier without wavering. What does that mean? Without with, do it mean I can’t be honest about my doubts. I have doubts. They’re real. They affect me. Does that mean that if I lack courage and ensuring my faith once in a while, is that wavering? If I sin and I stumbled, is that considered wavering? What is wavering here? This is really a heavy burden on my shoulders. Let me just reveal my hand here. I don’t think any of those examples is exactly what he’s referring to. Obviously, he doesn’t want, he’s not saying sin is okay. But he also just kind of highlighted that the uniqueness of the sinlessness of Christ. He understands that we sin. We need to confess. He understands that we have doubts and fears. We know we need to grow from those two. Obviously, I think what he’s saying here essentially is don’t turn away. Don’t fall away. Rather, that’s the common refrain in this letter in Hebrews. Don’t let go of Christ. Here’s what I mean by this. Some of you may recognize this picture. Back in the 1800, there was this French tightrope walker. I can’t pronounce his French name (Jean Francois Gravelet), but his nickname was “Blondin” because his hair was blond and he would walk on this tightrope. As you can see, that span across the Niagara Falls. Tightrope was not very thick. It was actually thinner than a curtain. It was seven centimeters wide, but 1000 feet long, 300 meters long. So really intimidating, as you can see. But he was a maestro. I mean, he wouldn’t just walk across. He would walk backwards, he would do flips. I even read, and this just sounds too crazy to be alive, but he one time brought, his stove out to the middle of the rope and then cooked an omelette. So this guy was really impressive. He was very skilled. Occasionally he would also bring someone with him on his back. As you can see there, that poor man in the picture is his manager. His manager name was Harry, and this is what he said to Harry before this happened. He said Look, Harry, you are no longer Harry. You are “Blondin”, until I make it to the other side. You must be a part of me mind, body and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Don’t attempt to do any balancing on your own. Now, it’s a terrifying scenario, but it’s a great quote, and that’s a great image. But I think this image points to what the verse says? Trying to say what the commandment is trying to convey. What does it mean to hold fast without wavering? Doesn’t mean not being fearful. I think Harry was very fearful in that moment, even though he trusted, Blondin. Doesn’t mean that the pressure’s on you. You know, Harry did nothing to contribute to this. It was all Blondin. In other words, what does it mean to hold fast? Three little words, “Don’t let go”. Don’t fall off. Hold on tight to the one whom you trust. And thankfully, we have someone far more trustworthy than Blondin. We have the one who the author describes as, He who promised, He who promised is faithful now. You always want to pay attention when the author uses more words than necessary to communicate a certain truth, right? So, he says here, kind of a jumble, Let’s hold fast to the confession of the hope without waiting, for He who promised is faithful. He could have said that a lot simpler. He could have just said for God is faithful, but instead, he says he who promised is faithful, and that’s a very intentional choice. We do that all the time when we write text messages, e mails and even when we call one another, we make all sorts of intentional choices like that. And so the author here he’s calling us by saying God is the one who promised. Who’s saying remember God is worth holding onto. He is worthy of being our hope, why? Because he’s been faithful to you. He’s been faithful to the promises that he’s made to you. He’s been faithful to forgive us of our sins. There was no easy task. He’s being faithful to the promise of raising up Jesus from the dead, the greatest miracle of all of humanity. He’s been faithful to give us new hearts, hearts that long for godliness. You may not think you have what looks like a new heart, but if you long for godliness more today, then you did day one of being a Christian, then God has been faithful to that promise. He’s been growing you, and one day he will be faithful to reward us for our faith. Though we labor to share good news with initially strangers or neighbors, one day we’re praying that God will be faithful. He turns strangers into family. We may labor in our fight against sin, but one day we look forward to the promise that he will vanquish sin once and for all that we will never deal with the corruption of sin that plagues us. We fight hard to maintain our love for the Lord, and it’s a difficult fight. There are many competing loves in this world. We look forward to his promise that we will have an eternity with our faithful friend. That spurs you on as you hold fast to him. So point number one we can draw near to him because he’s faithful. Number two, we can hold fast to him because he’s faithful now.

Point 3: We could be faithful to each other because he is faithful.

We see that starting in verse 24, we see here a slew of this one another commands. These commands that were supposed to do with one another as the body of Christ. We see here in red. We’re supposed to stir up one another. We’re supposed to meet together. We are supposed to encourage one another. These are all commandments that we’re supposed to be doing with each other. Usually, usually this passage is used to motivate Sunday service attendance, right, verse 25 says not neglecting to meet together. And I want to highlight that. That is certainly true. Ah, we’re meeting together, hopefully, God willing throughout the week. But this is the one special time that we are all together in the same room worshipping God. We’re hopefully worshipping God all throughout the week, not just by singing, but in working, in playing, with hearts that are worshipful to God. But this is the one time that we are, especially worshipping God all together. So want to highlight that? On the other hand, I think it goes more than that. I think it was beyond just Sunday service. And here’s what I mean, how many of us on Sundays are routinely and consistently and faithfully stirring one another up to love and good works? How many of us are doing that? On Sunday mornings, I thought about it. It’s really tough. We typically get at best five minutes with someone on a Sunday before service or after service. 10 minutes of that other person really enjoys being with you, too. Okay, if you’re lucky, .it’s really hard to do the commands in this passage just on the Sunday morning. Let me give you an illustration of that abstract picture, but I was trying to picture here this idea of stirring up one another. Now, if you could imagine stirring up like a drink, we’re mixing a bowl of ingredients kind of what I’m trying to illustrate there. When you stir a cup, the liquid in that cup, the ingredients in a bowl, they get all mixed up together. It’s chaos in a cup, if you will, when you stir it up. And so what, the authors is saying here, in a sense, is when we stir up one another, we’re causing an internal sort of controlled chaos. We’re causing a little bit of distress, a little bit of conflict within our brother or sister to show them, hey, I love you. I know you care about this church, but I see this missing in your life a little bit. Just want to call you to that, and that hurts. It’s chaos, but it prompts us. It motivates us to love and good works. We need that. Here’s another illustration. The NIV Translation. This is stir one another, spur one another on which kind of gets to the sense of the word. A little bit more to the sense of the word, sometimes is provoking one another. Sounds almost negative, but it’s done with positive intent. Now I know for a fact these spurs didn’t look like that. But they might have had spurs back then, apparently originated in the fifth century BC so, spurs, as you can see there they were attached to the bottom of a boot. There were these spiky things that people would use to spur on their horses. They would jab into their horses. There were sharp, and they would urge the horse to move faster. Okay, that’s from what I understand. It’s not from experience, and that’s a sense of what were called to do for one another. We’re called to gently urge one another to love and good works. And yes, it’s going to hurt. It hurts to be told that I am lacking in a certain way, but we need to do that for each other. I’ll go a step further. We need to be open to this. We need to be prepared. We need to give each other the right to do this. I need this. I am a pastor here. I’m also your brother. I need you to spur me on to love and good works. Especially me. I’m a happy introvert. But that also means I get really exhausted just being around big social groups like this. And so as much as I just want to duck out and just go back home, I need you to spur me on, to continue to be faithful to this community and love and good works. And so we’re called to stir one another up, for sure. And as I said, it’s kind of a negative command, in a sense, but the authors really balanced it. He says in verse 25 as we meet together, we’re also supposed to encourage one another. So that’s kind of the flip side of the coin, a positive element of what community looks like in Christ. And so here’s the balance of church ministries you can see on the slide. On the one hand, we have to confront one another by spurring each other on, stirring up one another. On the other hand, we have to comfort each other by encouraging each other. This is the balance of church community, and I’m sure that we all lean towards one of these. Okay, it’s pretty obvious. I lean towards comforting. I hate confrontation. I would much rather comfort someone, but I need to be stirred up to do the hard work of stirring up as it were. Now, for others confronting, I need to learn from you. Confronting comes very easily to you, Uh, maybe a little too easily. So you need a guard against that. You need to make sure you’re doing both, and you’re doing during gently and lovingly now, all these commands are especially important because, as the author concludes here, the day is drawing near. The day here, that day refers to the coming day of Christ. Judgment Day, if you will, in the biblical sense, when Christ comes back, He will either offer eternal life to those who have held fast to him, and where there will be eternal condemnation for those who have turned away from him. And, you know, I’m just reflecting on this. I find it fascinating he could have motivated. He could have motivated us to meet together and stir up one another, encouraged each other in so many different ways. If I wrote this, I would have said, encourage one another because Christ has encouraged you, meet together because Christ has met with you. Christ has been faithful to you. That’s not what he says. He says here, because the day is drawing near. Because judgment is coming. And so this really paints this picture, meeting with each other on Sunday mornings in small groups scattered throughout the week, meeting together is of paramount importance. It is a matter of eternal life or eternal condemnation. As the day draws near. Let’s be drawing near to one another. Yes, let’s draw near to God because we need the presence of God in our lives. I’ve emphasized that, but we also almost, as much, we need the presence of one another in each other’s lives. There is no such thing as a solo Christian. We need each other. We’ll be with each other. You’ve been together for eight years, and I pray into eternity. Let’s pray to that end right now.