The last clauses of the sentence (verse 25 in our Bibles (here @ Bible Gateway)) modify the two commands, the two hortatory subjunctive clauses. The first clause starts with a negation: “not forsaking our own assembling together.” This reinforces for us that the Christian life, is not a solo effort. Proverbs 18:1 tells us that those who separate themselves are foolish. A cursory reading of the New Testament will note the abundance of repetition of the concept of one another. We are to be engaged with one another; engaged intentionally, for a specific purpose which will be address below.
The second part of this negation is, in a real sense, a commentary not only on the reality of the Body when the author penned Hebrews but a reality that persists today, he says: “as is the habit of some.” Unfortunately there are some who ignore the admonition of both the Old and New Testaments. They attempt, foolishly, to live the Christian life aloof, on their own. The writer acknowledges this reality and warns against it.
The next clause is placed in contrast with the negation of forsaking assembling signaled by the structural marker, “but”. We are to be about “encouraging one another”. Combined with the previous commands to hold fast and to consider, as members of a community of faith we are to be about thinking intentionally how to encourage those in our communities both to hold fast the confession of their hope and to increase in their love and good works.
The last phrase, “and all the more as you see the day drawing near,” suggests increasing intensity and urgency in the application of these imperatives in the Body.
The outworking of this sentence in a community of faith, assumes that those in the community are engaged in one another’s lives at a level that allows them to both know the individual personally and spiritually. One has to know someone well to be able to engage with them effectively in the manner contemplated in this sentence.
In the next post I will attempt to pull all of this together and ask some questions that may help lead to application.