The title of this article is written in the first person in order to emphasize the personal nature of this need. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate from scripture that we need each other's help to get to Heaven. We certainly need God's help, but we also need each other. As Christians, we need the help of our fellow Christians to get to Heaven.
I suspect that we're pretty independent in our thinking when it comes to our salvation, in relation to our fellow Christians. We probably don't think much about their influence on our salvation nor about our influence on theirs. We probably tend to think that it's pretty much up to each one of us individually. I suspect that this is a pretty accurate assessment.
However, the scriptures indicate that the exact opposite is actually true. We seriously need the help of our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us get to Heaven, and they seriously need our help on their journey. Perhaps it's because we do not realize how important our influence is that we tend to be as careless as we often are in our actions toward each other. And maybe this is also one reason why so many members of the Lord's church are as weak as they are spiritually. One of the main sources of spiritual strengthening is going largely neglected.
The Bible refers to the church as the "house of God" (1 Tim. 3:15). Each member is like a living brick within the structure of that house (1 Pet. 2:5). If one brick is missing from a house, the whole house is weakened. The bricks around the hole left by the missing brick become extra stressed due to lack of support from the one that's missing. Would you buy a house that was missing even one brick? Now imagine what it would be like if five or ten bricks were missing, or twenty, or thirty, scattered throughout the house. We would quickly become concerned about structural integrity. We would wonder if it was safe to live in that house. The image that such a house would present would be extremely negative.
Why would we come to such quick, clear and obvious conclusions in regard to a physical house that is issuing a bunch of bricks, but we don't seem to give much thought at all to what a serious state of affairs it is when a number of living bricks are missing from the Lord's house?
We normally emphasize the responsibility of faithful church attendance through Heb. 10:25. But if we're only getting the point that it is obligatory for a Christian who would be faithful to attend church services as often as possible, then we're missing most of the teaching in that context.
There are major reasons for faithful church attendance. One obvious reason is to pay God proper respect through our worship. Another reason is to nurture our personal spiritual strength as much as possible. We need to worship and study with the church when the church meets, because we become stronger by so doing (Heb. 10:23).
A third, very important reason is that our fellow Christians need strength from us, and we need strength from them (Heb. 10:24). We encourage each other as we worship and study together. Just seeing each other coming together for the mutual purpose of serving our Lord is encouraging. But learning His word together, praying together, singing the encouraging messages of the songs to each other and joining together in like worship strengthens us. The nature of that strengthening can only occur when we are together. Truly, I need you to help me get to Heaven. Will you help me?
Gary L. Hutchens