by Steven Chan
In Heb 10:23-25, the Bible urged us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
God has given us a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”(1 Peter 1:3-4)
So, we need to ensure that we do not lose this hope or give up this precious hope that was made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
God places us in His family, the church, so that each one of us may encourage one another to keep fighting the good fight of faith (2 Tim 4:7-8). We need to help each other to stay in the grace of God so that we can get to heaven (1 Cor 12:12-27).
In Heb 10:24, we are exhorted to “consider one another”. This means that we need to look out for the interests of each other, and not look out for own interests only (Phil 2:4). Indeed the law of Christ that we need to fulfil is that of “bearing one another’s burden” (Gal 6:2) and we are to serve one another through love (Gal 5:13). Loving one another as Christ loved us, is what distinguishes us as disciples of Christ (John 13:34-35).
Having each other’s interests in mind (that’s what ‘consider one another’ means), we are then to stir up one another – not to anger and wrath which unfortunately some are inclined to do – but to further love and good works. This need to stir up one another implies that there is a need for us to play an active role to “stir up” one another to “love” one another, and also to do that which glorifies God (Matt 5:16). This means that we cannot allow ourselves to live “disconnected lives” with each other (Eph 4:16). In an increasingly technologically connected world that we live in today, the sad and tragic reality is that we may be more “disconnected” with each other than ever before! But God wants us to stay personally connected with each other so that we may not have hypocritical love but “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another.” (Rom 12:9-16).
Given the reality that we are faced with temptations and trials on a daily basis, our mutual exhortation has to be on an ongoing basis as well. We cannot afford to exhort one another only during mid-week classes and Sunday meetings. The Bible warns us in Heb 3:12-13: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” In our daily activities, it is possible that sin may harden our hearts. So, we need to stay connected on an ongoing basis, so that we may be able to exhort/encourage one another not to give in to sin, and to stay the course.
May we all do what the Bible says.