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As You See the Day Approaching

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

As I write this, the sun is setting earlier each day, the leaves are changing color, and the temperatures are getting cooler. I don’t need a desk calendar to tell me that fall has arrived; what I see right outside my office window reminds me what season it is.

As you read this, the colorful lights adorning the houses around you, perhaps the snow on the ground, and Sunday School children memorizing their “parts” remind you that it is December and Christmas is just around the corner.

Just as we know the time of year we are in by looking around us, Jesus wants us to be aware of the times in which we are living. For instance, read what Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 about “the last times.” Do you see any (or all!) of those things today?

We know what time it is. “The Day” is approaching. “The Day” is the one we speak of every time we confess the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds: “[Jesus] will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” It is the Last Day, Judgment Day, the Day of Jesus’ second coming.

How can we prepare for “the Day?” First, the writer to the Hebrews says, “hold fast the confession of our hope.” Hold on to the precious promises God has made to you in His Word. Hold fast, hold on tight to God’s promises of forgiveness through His Son. Hold fast to the confession that because Jesus rose from the dead, your sins are truly forgiven. Hold fast to the confession of your hope that because of all that Jesus did, heaven is your eternal home. As the world around you becomes more and more “hopeless,” rejoice knowing that “He who promised is faithful.”

Secondly, as you see “the Day” approaching, “consider one another.” As society becomes more and more ungodly, it is easy to grumble and be discouraged. While it may feel easier to just “hunker down” and isolate from the chaos swirling around you, the writer calls on us to think about our fellow believers. If you’re feeling discouraged, they probably are too.

In considering one another, the writer calls on us to assemble ourselves together. This is primarily done as we gather for worship. Assembling together for worship, we confess our sins together, and together we rejoice to hear Christ’s forgiveness. Together we sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word. Together, shoulder to shoulder, we are fed by the Good Shepherd as we receive the Lord’s Supper.

We also assemble ourselves together so that we can stir up love and good works, as well as “exhorting one another.” To exhort means to “call to one’s side.” It’s like putting your arm around someone and encouraging them. As we see the Day approaching, we will need ever more encouragement in Christ’s love as the world around us becomes only more discouraging.

We know what time it is. Seeing “December” on the calendar reminds us that Christmas is drawing near. Seeing the times in which we are living today, we know that “the Day” of Christ’s return is approaching. Hold on to the hope God has promised you in His Word and encourage your fellow believers “so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Nathan Pfeiffer is pastor of Berea Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.