One of the most important things in the life of a believer is the fellowship with God’s people, this is true whether you realize it or not. When God saved you, he did not take you immediately to heaven; rather, he left you on this earth to serve him in the context of the local church. Unfortunately, often we forget the importance of a life of fellowship and we indirectly think we can do things alone Therefore, when we read the Scriptures, we find that one of the things that the Devil uses to rob us of our Christian joy is isolation; when we withdraw from God’s people and the assembly of believers.
I do understand that this has been a struggle for some of you during this pandemic (it certainly has been for me), but it should only be the exception, we should be back with God’s people as soon as we are able so that we do not give room to Satan to steal our joy. Let’s look at the Scriptures.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24–25)
What does the text mean?
When we look at the NT, we find the idea of fellowship throughout its pages. We find in Acts 2:42 that the first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship…” The word for fellowship in Greek is “koinonia” which has the idea of being together for mutual benefit. This is what the first Christians did, they were together and helped and encouraged each other. That is what God intended for his people.
Our text in Hebrews gives us commandments that have to do with Koinonia. We learn that fellowship with other believers is so important because of several reasons: 1) Because love is found in koinonia 2) Because we can help each other to perform good works 3) Because we can encourage each other not to forsake assembly of God’s people. These are all important results of fellowship. However, when we neglect the assembly or simply live our Christian lives as if we had not brothers and sisters in Christ, the Devil steals our joy and we become not only bitter, but also stagnant in our Christian walk. This has been very real during the current pandemic. I would not dare to judge anyone that decides to stay home instead of attending regular services, or those who choose not to have fellowship with others as a way of precaution. Nevertheless, I do have to remind you that you cannot live life like that always. You need God’s people, you need fellowship, you need encouragement and you need rebuking. Do not delay in coming back when you are able, so that the Devil does not steal your joy in Christ.
What does it mean to me?
I believe it is very clear from the text that you must spend more time with God’s people. When was the last time you had a family from church over for fellowship? If you have never done so, you have no idea the richness of love you are missing. Have you been faithful in the assembly with God’s people? I do understand that currently it is very difficult to decide what to do, but we cannot go on forever like this. Therefore, I encourage you to be faithful. I can personally testify that some of the greatest times of growth in my Christian walk have been when I am walking in close fellowship with my brethren, especially those that encourage me to do good works in love. Do not let Satan steal the joy of Christian fellowship in your life. Do not be paralyzed by fear of a disease that you sacrifice your joy in Christ. Begin making plans to spend time with others. Have someone over, encourage somebody who is suffering, visit those that need help, and honor the Lord by practicing koinonia.
God bless you