Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking 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 10:23-25).
Here is a well-known passage, with great depth of meaning, especially to those believers who were discouraged and without hope. Paul instructs his readers to “hold fast,” or to persevere through all troubles and trials. Their perseverance was to have its foundation in their salvation and in the One who gave them hope for their salvation by His promises. They were to hold fast to this hope without wavering, for He is faithful to keep His promises.
Moving on to verse 24 and 25, Paul instructs them that in this steadfastness, they were to also consider one another—to think about how they could love and do good works for each other. And they were to meet together regularly so that they could apply all their good intentions.
We are particularly interested in the next phrase, “…and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hence, they were to hold fast, have hope in God, and meet together to encourage each other, especially as they were aware of “the day drawing near.”
The “day” spoken of here refers to the “day of the Lord.” This is a reference to that terrible day when He will come to bring judgment on all unbelievers. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church about this day in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. And here in verse 27, it is described as “a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”
But since Paul was writing to believers, why was he concerning them about the day of the Lord? Here are two reasons:
1. Some of his readers may not have been true believers and he was warning them. Paul indicates this in verse 26, as he wrote of those who “go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth.” This group no doubt includes those who mingle with believers but have not yet believed. They are those who are curious about the faith, and may be under conviction, but have not yet taken steps of commitment to Christ; hence they need this message.
Then there were those who were more willful in their unbelief, who were imposters—fake believers and even secret, false prophets. Paul wanted to warn these too, for there is always hope for even these.
2. The approaching day of the Lord has an effect on believers. Just because believers will not experience the wrath of God on the Day of Judgment, all the days and years leading up to that day may cause us some sorrow and grief. Nonetheless, there are things we can do to be encouraged.
As the final days of the earth draw near, Satan will do all he can to discourage and deceive us who are believers. He will try to pull us into all the trouble and chaos, and will try to mislead us into thinking that there is no hope—that Jesus will not come for us. That is why we need to study and memorize verses of hope, verses on the rapture that tell us that He is coming and that He has prepared a place for us (Jn. 14:2). Likewise, we need to be comforted and reminded that even in the midst of trouble, one day, before the wrath of God comes on the earth, He will snatch us up together with Him in the clouds and take us to heaven to be always with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17).
So getting back to our text (Heb. 10:25), as trouble and chaos on the earth increases, we need more and more encouragement. And so this is why Paul exhorted them to not forsake the assembling together. Fellowship is so important to our comfort and encouragement in these final days.