Hebrews 10:19-25, 13:15
- What does this passage say?
- What does this passage mean to its original audience?
- What does this passage tell us about God?
- What does this passage tell us about mankind?
- What does this passage demand of me?
- How does this passage change the way I relate to people?
- How does this passage prompt me to pray?
We’ve all heard the excuses… “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian”… “I love Jesus but I am done with church”… “It’s full of hypocrites”…
Pastor Kevin focused this sermon on Gathering, the first prong of our strategy for accomplishing our mission of making disciples. He laid out eight reasons why you should go to church.
Gathering refocuses us on Jesus (v19-20)
8. Why should we have confidence to enter the holy places? What does that phrase “the holy places” originally refer to? In light of Jesus’ work on the cross, to where does it now refer?
9. How does your gathering with the church on Sunday morning help you refocus on Jesus? How has your relationship with Christ benefited from you gathering with the church on Sundays?
Gathering reminds us who is in charge (v21)
10. What does it mean that Jesus is “over the house of God”? Why is it important to remember his place of precedence in our gatherings?
11. Why do some people struggle with putting and keeping Jesus on the throne? What habits or practices could they pursue to assist them in this task?
Gathering keeps us confident in our closeness to God (v22)
12. What negative self-talk or past issues keep you from having a “true heart in full assurance of faith” in Jesus? How could gathering with the church help you combat this lack of full assurance?
13. If we draw near with a true heart, we cannot have any divided loyalties. How does gathering with the church help you to be fully loyal to Jesus and let go of other loyalties you may bring into the gathering?
Gathering allows us to illustrate the Gospel (v22)
14. Pastor Kevin noted that this verse reminds him of communion and baptism, the two sacraments Jesus gave to the church. How does the church benefit from regularly taking communion together and witnessing the baptism of new believers?
15. What other corporate acts during the gathering of the church benefit your relationship with Jesus?
Gathering grounds our faith in God’s faithfulness (v23)
16. Share a story of God’s past faithfulness with someone else and ask them to share one with you. How does hearing their story of God’s past faithfulness encourage you?
17. How is Jesus the hope of the gathered church? What has Jesus promised His church? How can we convey this hope and promise(s) to others gathered with us?
Gathering helps us put “we” before “me” (v24)
18. Why is “one anothering” so important to church? Why is it important that Christianity never becomes a solo endeavor? How could you come alongside those unable to gather on Sunday mornings to ensure they can “one another” with others?
19. What are some practical ways to “stir up one another to love and good works”? Who has stirred you and what did they do to help you be stirred toward love and good works?
Gathering fosters obedience to God (v25)
20. Pastor Kevin noted that many of Scripture’s commands require us to be around other people. Why might God have done this? How has gathering on Sundays (and the people with whom you gather) stretched and grown you?
21. Who is someone you see on Sundays that needs encouragement right now due to something they are dealing with or going through? How could you encourage them on Sunday? How could you encourage them throughout the week?
22. What “Day” is drawing near? Why might it be important to focus on meeting together and encouraging one another as this Day approaches (think about what you know from Scripture of the times immediately preceding the Day)?
Gathering offers a sacrifice of praise to God (13:15)
23. Is it hard for you to get to church on Sundays? What sacrifices do you make to attend the weekly gathering? How do these weekly sacrifices grow you?
24. Offer up a praise to God about who he is, his character, his attributes, etc. Now offer another. And another. And another. (If doing these questions with others, go around the room offering up praise to God). Why is it important to praise God with our lips, especially in the midst of the gathering of believers?