Questions and Answers

 

Is this mention of the day referring to Worship on the first day of the week or some other time? Some say that this the Lord’s day. Some say that it is the fall of Jerusalem Some say that it is the day of judgment. Now, if this “day” is meant to be Sunday, then we are ordered to obey the command to exhort another and increase the exhortation as the weekend nears. But the statement of the verse shows that the exhortations were done in the assemblies so the day approaching must be some other day. Some Bible students make the case for the “day” being the day of Judgment. However, we have no open or observable way of seeing this day approaching. There is to be no sign in nature indicating Christ’s second coming (Matt. 24:35-39; Mk. 13:32-33). There is no way for us to know when the judgment day will occur. We only know that with each passing day, the end of time is one day nearer. So, if the judgment is the “day” mentioned by the Hebrew writer, with each passing day, we are to increase our exhorting, but again, the exhorting’s are done in the assemblies. Some Bible students make a case for the “day” as being the day of our death. Although we all know that we shall die, we do not know what day that will be. We can only know that with each passing day, we are one day closer to our departure from the earth and with the coming of each new day, our current sojourn is that much shorter. In the light of this verse, we are to increase our exhortations, however, there is a limit to the amount of exhorting we can do. However, there is a strong case that can be made for the “day approaching” as being the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. We can read from Matt. 24:3-34 and Lk. 21:20-22 and see that the Lord had predicted the destruction of Jerusalem even to the point of giving many signs of that day. This event would be of great interest to the Hebrew Christians because it would be a time they could identify that this destruction was drawing near because the descriptions given by the Lord were becoming true. Also, ancient records show that no Christian died in the destruction of Jerusalem, because of the warning signs Christ provided. Thus it is recorded in historical books that, “When the whole congregation of the Church in Jerusalem, according to an oracle given by revelation to approved persons among them before the war, were commanded to depart from the city and inhabit a city which they call Pella, beyond the Jordan, to which when all those who believed in Christ had removed from Jerusalem, and when the saints had totally abandoned the royal city which is the metropolis of the Jews, then the Divine vengeance seized them who had dealt so wickedly with Christ and his Apostles, and utterly destroyed that wicked and abominable generation” (Eusebius). Now, Hebrews was written between A.D. 63-65 just 5 or so years before the destruction and during a time of persecution in Jerusalem and Palestine. The Hebrew writer mentioned that all their goods would be spoiled and should rely upon a better enduring substance in heaven (Heb. 10:34). The thing is: many were discouraged and some had quit assembling with the church because of what was about to take place. This was wrong because it: Set at naught God’s ordinance to assemble (Acts 2:42; 20:7; John 20:20-22); It deprives the absent member of many spiritual blessings. It sets the wrong example (Matt. 5:12-16; 1 Tim. 4:12). Now, there are several statements in the New Testament which seem to refer to the day of Jerusalem’s overthrow, which lends acceptance to the “day approaching” of the text being that occasion. These verses may indeed have the fall of Jerusalem in mind. Romans 16:20: “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Philippians 4:5: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” James 5:8: “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” 1 Peter 4:7: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Robert Notgrass

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