Hebrews 3:5-11 ESV
“Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, “They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.”
As I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter my rest.”’”
The house of the Lord, or “God’s house,” is not a building built by human hands, no matter what anyone tells you. It is not a church denomination nor is it a corporation under the state, even though it has been turned into that, in practice, by some well-meaning Christians and by some enemies of Christ who are out to destroy Jesus Christ, his church, and his gospel message.
So, if you do not attend “church” in one of these buildings called “church” which are under the headship of church denominations and/or the state, if you are a believer in Jesus, that does not make you automatically guilty of not assembling yourselves with other believers. It actually could mean you are obeying the Lord by coming out of Babylon so you don’t share in her sins and in her punishment, for her sins are piled high to heaven (Rev 18:4-5).
God’s house, ever since Jesus Christ died on that cross and rose again, and then ascended back to heaven, has been constructed not of brick and mortar but of people whose lives are dedicated to Jesus Christ, to the forsaking of sin, and to walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands. We are God’s house. And this house is made up of living stones, and we are those stones, with Jesus Christ as our chief cornerstone as well as our foundation.
So, when we step inside one of these buildings called “church,” we are not entering God’s house, and no place inside those buildings is “holy ground.” So, when you read Scriptures about “God’s house” in the New Testament, from Acts to Revelation, the reference is not to a physical building, but is speaking of we the people of God whose lives are surrendered to him and to walking in his ways and in his truth.
And the same applies to Old Testament Scriptures or to the Gospels, if the reference is to the time of the Messiah after he died and rose again and ascended back to heaven. The temple of God now lives within us, plus we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are his temple, and God dwells within us.
Therefore, if you are regularly attending one of these buildings called “church,” but “the church” is not a reference to the people in attendance being genuine followers of Jesus Christ, in a biblical sense, but it is in reference to a church denomination and/or to a corporation under the state (via the 501c3), then your attendance at those gatherings also does not automatically mean that you are not forsaking the assembling of yourselves with the fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ (Heb 10:19-25).
For the purpose of meeting together with other true followers of Jesus Christ is not to entertain and be entertained, and it is not to all sit as spectators as in a theatre just watching the big show and then afterwards go home and resume life as normal until the next big show the following week. We are to draw near to God/Jesus Christ with pure hearts, clear from evil consciences, with full assurance of faith, and we are to hold fast to the confession of our faith without wavering (provided it is true faith).
And then it says that we are to consider how to stir up one another to love (as God is love) and good works (which God prepared for us to do), not neglecting to meet together (in homes or wherever, whenever) with other true followers of Jesus Christ. But we are to encourage (exhort, beseech, entreat, urge with a holy urging, comfort, admonish, and make an appeal to) one another to walk in holiness and righteousness in accord with God’s will.
So, many people use Hebrews 10:25 way out of context to put Christians on a guilt trip if they do not attend the services of institutional churches which may not be serving God at all, and which may be following the way of the flesh, instead, and which just put on a show for an audience, and where there is no body life and us encouraging and exhorting one another, for the only one permitted to do that is the hired pastor, in many cases.
Do Not Have Hard Hearts
So, when Hebrews 3 says that we are God’s house if indeed we hold fast to our confidence and to the hope in which we glory in Christ Jesus, this is not talking about being confident of our salvation and of heaven as our eternal destiny when we die just because we made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And the rest of this bears this out to be true. For what follows is a warning against hardening our hearts against God like the Israelites did when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
For God was not pleased with most of them, and so they were overthrown in the wilderness. And the things that they did took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. So, we are not to be idolaters and revelers and sexually immoral and those who gripe against God and who put Christ to the test, but we are to flee from all this and much more. And we are not to participate in such things as this, for we can’t partake in the table of the Lord and the table of demons, too (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-22).
For the Lord was provoked with that generation and he said, “They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.” And this is where many professing Christians are, at least here in America, but many of them do know the ways of the Lord. They are not lacking in knowledge. They are just short on obedience, because they want to continue living in their sin, and they don’t want to forsake their sins nor do they want to obey the Lord, and so many of them have adopted a false gospel which agrees with them.
So, we are to take care lest there be any of us who has an evil, unbelieving heart, which is evidenced by what we do, not by what we profess with our lips only. But what are we to do? We as God’s house, when we gather together, are to exhort (urge, prod) one another, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of us is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence to the end, which they are assuming is based in the truth of the gospel.
And to whom did God swear that they would not enter his rest, but those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief, i.e. disobedience = unbelief, and faith = obedience (See Hebrews 3:12-19).
So, don’t take God’s grace for granted. Don’t let others lie to you and distort the truth of the gospel. Jesus demands obedience, submission, and repentance of his followers. If we continue in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, then we have salvation from sin and eternal life with God provided that we hold fast to the truth, in practice, until the very end.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.