Interim Editor 3718 Earle S. W.
Grandville, Ml 49418
Kudos on the article by Lems: “The Dangers of Neglecting the Assembly” in which the benefits of church attendance are presented. With eleven well-thought out points, he outlines the significance of Christian assembly. In addition, he invites discussion, so please indulge me for a minute.
From my perspective, the approbation is due for making a case for the regular weekly assembly of Bible-believing Christians on the first day of the week without directly appealing to Exodus 20:8-11 (notwithstanding his obligatory references to secondary standards and the fourth commandment). The Sabbath is on Saturday and the Lord’s Day is on Sunday. I noticed that Lems did not once refer to the weekly day of the celebration of Christ’s resurrection as the “Lord’s Day.” Neither did he refer to the resurrection as the rationale for coming together or Christ’s especial presence in the theater of our worship. On it, we celebrate not only the former foreshadowing works of redemption, but the pivotal and perfect redemption of our souls through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
I think that an honest examination of the key verse in Hebrews 10:24-25, taking into account the theme of the whole letter, will lead to the deduction that the faltering Hebrew-Christians were tempted with returning to the “safety” of their traditional observation of the Sabbath and other familiar Jewish customs and laws. We cannot suppose that those absenting themselves from Christian assembly preferred nothing over the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath. One could almost argue that returning to the Sabbath on Saturday couldn’t be that bad. After all, they’re still getting their 24-hour rest every seven days and avoiding commerce and recreation. But the apostle of Christ urges them to choose the higher and better road of gathering together instead on the Lord’s Day in respect for the blood of Christ, His bodily resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of God (Heb 10:26-29). The abstention from work on the Sabbath (i.e., rest) is a shadow cast from the Lord Jesus Himself (Col 2:16), who proclaimed to be the true and abiding rest that mankind yearns for (Matt 11:28-10). Therefore, the Lord’s Day is not a replacement, repositioned, or remodeled Sabbath, but a new experience of a different order, which is all the more reason to continue steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, the fellowship of the saints, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).
I realize that the view above does not necessarily represent the opinions of the editors, but I did want to assure you that I really enjoy The Outlook and look forward to each new publication.