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Because of Christ, the Christian is not bound to the Old Covenant Law by way of obligation. Because of Christ, a new desire has been placed inside the believer that was not there before. This is what the Jewish prophets foresaw would happen. Take Jeremiah 31:34, for instance, where the prophecy is that no one will have to teach his neighbor what God requires of him because he will know the will of God in his heart. The transformation is internal and it is real. The affections of the Christian are different; they are radically different from former, sinful ones. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what makes the Christian's transformation possible, and it is he who sustains love for God in the believer.

Additionally, the Christian desires to obey God and it pains him when he disobeys. The Christian desires to love God and it pains him when he fails in loving him. In other words, the Christian desires to know God and it pains him when he feels separated from God because of sin or disobedience.

This foundational change that takes place in the Christian is important when viewing the topic of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a holy day commanded by God to be set apart for rest. No work was to be done on this day, the seventh day of the week. It was to commemorate what God did when he created the world: “on the seventh day he rested” (Ex 20:11). The command was an obligation and a command that the entire Jewish people were to obey. To disobey this command was to be effectively punished.

At the incarnation and subsequent death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, Jesus fulfilled the Law of God. Therefore, it is first of all important to see that the command to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest is no longer obligatory for the Christian, who is no longer under the law but under grace. The author of Hebrews expounds on this idea, revealing that Jesus Christ himself is the Christian’s rest:
“So we see that they were unable to enter [the land of rest] because of unbelief…. For we who have believed enter that rest…” (Heb 3:19, 4:3).
The whole New Testament bears witness to the fact that the sinner is justified not by works of the law but by belief (faith) in Christ. Through such belief in Christ, the Christian enters into eternal rest from the works of the law, obtaining peace through the perfect obedience and substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world!

In summary, the Christian does not have a law commanding him to spend a day of rest dedicated to the Lord because the entire law has been fulfilled in Christ. There is no more condemnation for law-breakers - or in this case, Sabbath-breakers.

However, the Christian should take care not to give up meeting together (Heb 10:24-25); likewise, the Christian should not use grace as a license to sin (Rom 6). Instead, because of the Christian’s transformed affections for God and against sin, for Christ’s church and against the world, the Christian should want to dedicate a day (traditionally on Sunday, called "The Lord’s Day") to loving God and the people of God.

Hebrews 10:24 serves as a reminder of where the Christian’s affections and desires should lie: with God and with his family.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24-25).
These verses, in the immediate context, are in the middle of the author’s reminder to remember the Christian’s reason for acceptance before God (v. 19), to remind Christians to hold fast to the faith (v. 23), and to stop sinning (v. 26). Essentially, his reminder that the church should want to meet together is of equal value to remembering Christ’s sacrifice and to steering clear of sin.

Let me be frank: Christian, if you have consistently allowed Covid or hurt feelings or any other reason to keep you from the body and you are okay with that, then I call you to reconsider your priorities and desires. Are they for Christ or for health? Are you living for eternity or for this temporary world? Are you taking the Bible’s commands to church membership seriously and are you living for God?

Secondly, notice the emphasis in this passage of Hebrews: “do not give up meeting together.” Some would argue today that “virtual church” is an appropriate substitute for the church’s physical gathering. While online sermons can be beneficial, it is no substitute for the physical nature of human interaction, and the church misses out on numerous opportunities for encouragement and ministry when they are not together physically. To illustrate: try maintaining a healthy marriage while living absent from your spouse for any significant length of time! At the very least, your heart's desire is to do whatever you can to be with your spouse as soon as you can. Your longing will be great. Perhaps you would even risk bodily harm to see one another. Is your longing for Christ and his church equal to your commitment to your human relationships?

Thirdly, and I know various Protestant traditions view this differently, if you do not meet regularly with the church of God then you are missing out on and failing to fulfill one of the Lord's ordained ordinances: the Lord's Supper. Throughout history, the Lord's Supper has provided grace to the body of Christ as they commune with Christ and his church through this sacred meal. To willingly keep oneself from this holy sacrament is of great harm to the individual and to the communal body. Not only this, but the evangelical church needs to re-capture the significance of this great and holy sacrament (ordinance).

Lastly, Christians for millennia have risked their very lives and certainly their physical safety to be together. Is a virus really something we can hide behind, saying the internet is an appropriate substitute? Would you substitute your groceries for pictures of food online? If you see the necessity and essential need for food and water, but deny the real need and essentiality of the church’s being together, then I conclude that your desires are very much out of sorts. Once people brought a paralytic to Jesus, cutting a hole in the roof of the house and lowering him down on ropes so he could be healed. Are you as desirous of Jesus and your brothers and sisters in Christ as was that paralyzed-sufferer, who could have endured much physical pain if the ropes holding him had broken?

Regardless of how you choose to respond to this article, I pray the Lord would reform each of our desires and affections in greater love and devotion for Christ and his church!

"Do not give up meeting together" (Hebrews 10:24).