Part 1 – Misused Verses to Mislead
If you’ve been a Christian for any time you’ve no doubt heard this verse preached more than once.
“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.”
While it is beneficial for Christians to meet in fellowship around the word of God, we might ask, “Must grace believers today attend a church?” I will answer this in due course, but first I encourage you to stick with this lengthy multi-part study to its end. I assure you that you will be rewarded with greater understanding.
The above verse is a most quoted and most abused verse. Preachers who want people to ‘come to their church’ in order to advance their organization and ministry often quote this verse by itself, misuse it… to motivate people. But, only if read Hebrews 10:25 in its full context will its real meaning become clear.
So, let’s set aside our religious denominational biases and preconceived notions, so we can to “search the Scriptures” as we “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
Most people don’t notice that preachers who love to quote Heb. 10:25 to get people to ‘come to church’ do not usually continue reading the passage in conjunction with the two verses that follow it.
“26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, There Remaineth No More Sacrifice For Sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”
What do these two verses say and mean saying; “No More Sacrifice For Sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of ‘judgment…”
You don’t need a theology degree or Greek to see that verses 26-27, taken together with verse 25, predict God’s wrath and judgment on those who fail to “assemble together.” These verses talk about loss of salvation for some. Now we see why preachers quote only v25, being careful to leave off verses 26-27!
The words “No More Sacrifice For Sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of ‘judgment…” would contradict our secure “salvation by grace through faith” alone (Eph. 2:8-9). But, that doesn’t stop preachers who “use the word of God deceitfully.” Yes, they use “the word of God” … they use it deceitfully.
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
One of the most fundamental rules of sound, responsible, Bible interpretation is to recognize a verse’s ‘context,’ both its near context and its remote context. We should not grab this or any verse written “To the Hebrews” and try to make it fit the Gentile “body of Christ” of today’s age of the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2), if it conflicts with the Bible truth of the grace-age in which we live today.
There are in fact some great Bible truths shared between the Israel and “the body of Christ,” but the matter being addressed in Hebrews 9:25 is not one of them. We find no similar verse to Hebrews 10:25 in Paul’s thirteen epistles (Romans through Philemon) written to and for “the body of Christ.”
There’s no indication that Paul wrote Hebrews. Being addressed “To the Hebrews,” it’s clearly not directed to the Gentiles. Hebrews is clearly Israel’s book! (See “Did Paul Write the Letter to the Hebrews?”)
As we will see, Hebrews 10:25 does not come out of nowhere. It has a ‘context,” applying only to “the Israel of God” during the Tribulation period! There are nine Hebrews chapters before Hebrews 10 and there are several related books written before Hebrews. We must use other Bible books and other chapters in Hebrews to get the full context and properly explain Hebrews 10:25. Let’s do that to learn some remarkable Bible truths that have been concealed under false church tradition!