Why Christians Meet Together
The apostle Paul, in speaking with the Hebrew Christians, admonished:
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 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.”
– Hebrews 10:23-25
This is the main reason Christians should meet together – to encourage one another to hold fast to their hope – the heavenly hope, the only hope for survival after human death. We need that encouragement because it is so easy to get sidetracked and put spiritual matters on the back burner while we deal with the pressing affairs of earthly life.
Of course, we can gain encouragement by reading our Bibles and by personal prayer. But there are distinct advantages to meeting together with those of like minds.
For one, we gain the benefit of the thoughts and ideas of our fellows:
“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
– Romans 1:11-12
Spiritual growth is mutually stimulated by intimate association with other believers. And love, which supplies the soil for spiritual growth, is multiplied when in association with others of like faith.
By meeting together, we also learn to cooperate with other minds. We learn to harmonize our thinking with others.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
- Proverbs 27:17
When we live an isolated life, we can become selfish and severely socially handicapped. We might begin to develop strange ideas about life and God and man, ideas that are not challenged by others so as to be sharpened and refined, all of which will lead to calamity.
“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.”
– Proverbs 18:1
From the beginning, God acknowledged:
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
– Genesis 2:18
This counsel remains true throughout our earthly and our heavenly careers. We must look at ourselves as the Father looks at us, as future spirit beings with eternity in view:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
- Colossians 3:1-2
Consider this: When we begin the heavenly ascent, we will no doubt encounter a variety of advanced beings and we will have to know how to adjust ourselves to cooperative living. Better that we develop this skill now to ensure the greatest success in our new abodes.
But the most profound benefit of meeting together is to gain access to the mind of Christ. He told his disciples:
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
– Matthew 18:20
Yes, Jesus Christ himself, in the form of the Spirit of Truth, is with us when we meet together. And that Spirit moves us to a realization of truth in a manner that is exponentially more potent than any singular association.
And of course, the highest purpose of gathering together is to honor Christ and partake of the evening meal that he instituted as a remembrance of him. (Luke 22:14-20)