Gathering Together | The Institute for Creation Research
Gathering Together

“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” (Hebrews 10:25).

This verse is often cited to encourage faithful church attendance—and it is certainly appropriate to use it for this purpose—but there is more to it than just that. The phrase “assembling together” is a translation of one Greek word, episunogoge, which in turn combines the preposition epi (meaning “upon” or “over”) and sunagoge, transliterated as “synagogue,” a word often used in the New Testament to refer to the local meeting place of Jewish congregations.

The combined word episunagoge, however, is used only one other time in the Bible in II Thessalonians 2:1. There it clearly refers to the assembling together of all true Christians, dead and living, to meet Christ in the air when He returns. In that verse, Paul says: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him. . . .”

Our opening text also has Christ’s coming in mind, encouraging believers to exhort one another “as ye see the day approaching.” Thus the writer is telling us not to forget the great promise of Christ to assemble us all together in His presence when He comes again. Whether we come together now in a church service or even just when “two or three are gathered together in my name” (Matthew 18:20), we need to center our minds and hearts on Him and on “that blessed hope” of His soon return (Titus 2:13).

The ancient prophet Malachi may well have seen such gatherings in his prophetic vision when he wrote: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, . . . And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels . . .” (Malachi 3:16,17). HMM

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