Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25, NIV 1984).
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message…to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first. (2 Thessalonians 2:1–3, NASB 1984).
My Musings – I’m sure you seen this one before. “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you car.” A bit simplistic, but it is usually taken to mean you’re not a Christian just because you attend church. Which is true. Recently, especially post-Covid, its has taken on a new meaning — “just because I do not attend church regularly doesn’t make me less of a Christian.”
While it is true that not going to church will not make a Christian “less saved,” I would argue that it does make one less Christlike. People will give all kind of rationalizations. Some less good than other. “I can worship God anywhere.” True. “There are lots of good Christian programming on television.” Also, true, but be discerning. There are a lot of “good” sounding people out there that are false teachers. I can get the same worship experience from the live-stream. Maybe, but one would probably not make the same claim about a football game or a concert. Just church. “I’m too busy.” More likely misplaced priorities.
But no matter how good the rationalization, they are all merely excuses. And as we “see the Day approaching,” making sure that church attendance remains a habit is all the more important. The day will come when the church will once again be driven underground. Maybe it already has been where you are. It is then that the importance of the relationships (and fellowship) we formed and maintained with regular church attendance will be magnified. You will know who you can count on and who you can trust. Without those relationships those hard days will be much harder. Harder than they needed to be.
My Advice – The abandonment or de-emphasizing of faithful church attendance could very well be the catalyst for the great apostasy (a falling away, a withdrawal, a defection) that Paul is addressing in his letter to the Thessalonian church. It could also be another reason the writer of Hebrews used the phrase “all the more as you see the Day approaching.” So be on guard and protect yourself from becoming an unwitting participant in the great apostasy.