You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
24 And [kai] let us consider [katanoeo] one another [allelon] to [eis] provoke [paroxusmos] unto love [agape] and [kai] to good [kalos] works [ergon]:
25 Not [me] forsaking [egkataleipo] the assembling [episunagoge] of ourselves [heautou] together [episunagoge], as [kathos] the manner [ethos] of some [tis] is; but [alla] exhorting [parakaleo] one another: and [kai] so much [tosoutos] the more [mallon], as [hosos] ye see [blepo] the day [hemera] approaching [eggizo]. KJV-Interlinear
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. NASB
Since so much is on the line for your life, for your future life in this world, and for your life in eternity, then you need to consider what your priorities really are for yourself.
On the one hand we have been studying your life in this world. Your life in this world is temporary. No matter what you accomplish in this world, no matter what your manage to accumulate in this world, one day you will die, and at that moment of death, everything you have will cease to exist as far as you are concerned.
Sure your heirs will get your property, and that might help them have a better life, or not. But as far as you go, your worldly goods are gone.
This life is a temporary life. It will never get any better than temporary.
On the other hand, if you spend some time in your spiritual life and advance to spiritual maturity, then everything you gain spiritually, will go with you into heaven and into eternity. Your spiritual life is your only real possession which will last you and be with you, forever.
Your activities in this world are nothing more than an investment is butter. Butter has little value and doesn't last long. Your activities in your spiritual life are an investment in gold. Gold has intrinsic value and will last forever. It is certainly more valuable and will last longer than butter. You can buy butter with gold.
One of the old sayings is 'choose between guns and butter.' This is the same principle of the value and usefulness comparisons. In the old days, with guns you can hunt and always eat and survive. With only butter, you will eat for a short time and then starve. Butter cannot get you more butter.
Too often people invest all of their time in the butters of life. They prefer to pamper themselves with the pleasures of life, rather than building up an estate in wealth. Bible doctrine is the only true wealth for all of life.
So choose. Get excited at the prospects of what is ahead for you both in this life and in the next.
Our passage encourages you to pursue 'love' and 'good deeds.'
What is love? We studied that extensively in 1 Jn.
1 John 5:3
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; NASB
Love here is 'agape' or the principle of ones attitude in life. Love is not the function of emotions. Love is not the concept of friendship. Love is not the passion of intimacy. We have studied all three concepts (principle, friendship, intimacy). True love, or the best love upon which all of life is based, is Bible doctrine, or better stated, the learning of Gods Word.
It is by His word which you grow up spiritually. It is by His word that you develop understanding of God, people, and life. It is by His word that you develop capacity for life - capacity for happiness, capacity for the pressures of life. You won't have one without the other. At least not in this world.
It is by means of His word that you will have true happiness, meaning, and purpose in life.
Good deeds refers to your spiritual production. Spiritual production is everything that you do while in fellowship. Spiritual production is the accumulation of gold, silver, and precious stones within your soul. This represents the things of great value which you own and possess forever. This is the basis upon which you will receive a very favorable evaluation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
You will stand before Christ, and you will receive an evaluation of some kind. Those folks who ignore their spiritual life, those who live out of fellowship, have production of the sin nature. We call this production, wood, hay, and stubble. These are worthless items which, when Christ applies a very unique fire to your soul at His Judgment Seat, will burn up completely.
You don't want to be standing there before Christ totally naked after being cleaned up. But again, a lot of folks are going to be very embarrassed when that time comes. Note, that embarrassment is not a sin.
Your eternal rewards are going to be based on the content of your soul.
So, promote your spiritual life. Live within fellowship. Grow up spiritually. Produce good deeds, by default, if you do the first three things correctly. And, be confident that you have been a faithful and obedient servant, and that you will receive the promised rewards for eternity.
Do not forsake the assembly of yourselves. What is that? Every moment that you are in fellowship, then you are assembled in the presence of God. Every time you study, think, and apply the principles of Bible doctrine in your life, you are in the assembly before God.
When you are out of fellowship, then you are forsaking, giving up, abandoning your assembly, your access to God. You gain nothing but risk losing tremendous advantage, when out of Gods presence.
Your assembly does not have to be in a fine cathedral. But you must make time for your daily studies, whether you receive them online, in a class room setting, in a church, or in some combination of these things. It is good to get involved with other people in some type of forum, to enhance your learning process. Not to hear their ideas in discussion, but to learn from someone who will teach objectively and clearly.
Your job as a student, is to be silent and listen, and therefore learn. This also teaches concentration and self discipline.
Encourage one another by means of growing up in your spiritual life. All blessing comes to this earth from God, through mature believers. Blessings come to mature believers, and others are blessed by association.
God provides air to breath for mature believers. All others receive associated blessing in their access to the air for breathing. God promotes an economic environment for mature believers. All others have jobs, businesses, incomes and such because of the existence of mature believers.
A mature believer may be a janitor in a large company, but the company is there to provide the job for that spiritually mature janitor. No company, no family, no nation would survive were it not for mature believers within them.
When the rapture occurs, all believers will be removed from the world and the world will rapidly deteriorate toward extinction. Were it not for people becoming believers within the Tribulation, the world would come to a very rapid end. But because of people who will believe in Christ and because of a very few who will advance to maturity during those extreme years, the world will last for seven more years until the Second Advent of Christ.
Don't ever think that life revolves around you, your IQ, your talent, your ability, your wit. All of those things you received courtesy of the grace of God. And not for your own selfish benefit, but for some activity, direct or indirect, which will help others to come to know God.
The day of your reckoning is drawing near. You do not have a guarantee of a tomorrow. You do not have a guarantee of an unlimited number of tomorrow's.
Decide now for God, and get with a study program.
Become a spiritual hero or be worthless historical filler.
In either case your decisions will ultimately decide your destiny.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.