Exhort One Another
By Ps Dev Menon
Hebrews 3:12-13 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
What should we think when someone begins to ‘lose interest’ in church?
The author of Hebrews cautions that it may be because of a hardening of heart. When someone who was once enthusiastic in worship, hungry for the Word, zealous for good works… begins to drift, becomes sluggish, lacklustre about faith… it may be because they are losing confidence in Christ, losing their hope in the gospel and in the inheritance to come.
It’s likely that this person may have been through a challenging time or a season of difficulty, and that suffering breeds doubt in God’s promises. We’ve all been there, and I’m sure you know what that feels like. However, if that doubt is allowed to accumulate unchecked, it can harden into bitterness and unbelief… and that person may end up falling away, wanting nothing to do with the Living God. Worse still, all that remains is a fearful expectation of judgment.
Realising these things, the author instructs the church family to exhort one another daily – which means both: to encourage and warn one another. I think he means to meet often and do whatever it takes to stir up the heart. Whatever it takes to get our brother or sister to share their struggles with Jesus the Great High Priest – the only One who understands – and the only One who can help.
I really hope this is what our congregations and AGs can be like. That we know one another well enough to be able to notice changes in our spiritual posture. That we can love one another sincerely enough to intervene when things are not going well. And that we can be equipped enough to be able to gently speak God’s Word to one another – the only thing that can get through to the heart.
Take care, brothers and sisters.