The Importance of the Assembly

Pews

The New Testament instructs us of the importance of assembling with the local church. The Hebrew writer warned that we must “not [forsake] our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).

The assembly is important. Let us notice why it is important.

Encouragement – This ought to be the first point we consider since it is mentioned in the immediate context about not forsaking the assembly. In the prior verse, the writer said, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). How do we stimulate one another in this way? We do so by “not forsaking our own assembling together.” We assemble together so we can encourage one another.

Encouragement is reciprocal. We assemble in order to be encouraged by our brethren, but we do not simply attend for our own benefit. Through our attendance and participation, we can also be an encouragement to our brethren. However, the opposite of that is also true. By not attending, we are being a discouragement to our brethren.

Evangelism – From time to time, there will be visitors that come into our assemblies. Many times these visitors and not Christians. Often they come by invitation of a family member, friend, or co-worker who is a member of the congregation. Occasionally someone from the community will visit, not knowing anyone in the group.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians and mentioned occasions in which visitors might come into their assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:23-25). He said that this was an opportunity for them to be taught which would hopefully lead them to become followers of God.

Evangelism is certainly not the primary purpose of the assembly. Neither is the assembly the primary method we ought to use to reach the lost. But opportunities do present themselves there. It is important that we assemble with the saints so that when these opportunities arise, we might be able to help these visitors. We will also be able to show them an example of commitment – that we really do take our service to God seriously and make it a priority.

Collective Activities – Another reason why the assembly is important is because of what we do in the assembly. God has given us certain things we are to do collectively. The Lord’s Supper is one act that is to be done together in the assembly of the local church (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:33). Giving or taking up the collection is also to be done “on the first day of every week” when the church meets together (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). The passages cited also show us that these acts are to be done on the first day of the week in the assembly. Other times and places are excluded. So we meet in order to take part in these activities.

There are also other things done in the assembly that, while not done there exclusively, are important reasons to assemble. First century assemblies had singing (1 Corinthians 14:26) which was done “to one another” (Ephesians 5:19). There is also the chance to pray together in the assembly (Acts 4:23-31). Teaching and preaching are also done (Acts 20:7). Obviously if someone is teaching, it implies that there are people there to be taught. All of these are activities in which we have the benefit of participating when we assemble with the saints.

Conclusion

As we have seen from the New Testament, the assemblies of a local church are important. We have the opportunity to encourage one another. We can take advantage of helping those who visit. And we can participate in doing the things that God has instructed are to be done in the assembly. As the Hebrew writer said, do not forsake the assembly. Take advantage of every opportunity to meet with your brethren in the assemblies of the local church.


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