"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 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." Heb 10:23-25
While it is true that none can get to heaven simply by virtue of knowing or associating with people who are on their way, doing so can help us along our way. Each of us is responsible for our own relationship with Christ, however, Christ would have us relate to (love) one another as well as himself. The Christian life is designed to be lived in fellowship with fellow believers. The benefits for doing so are countless.
One important benefit is the availability of help in times of need. This need can be just about anything, but perhaps the most important need is when faith begins to waiver. We have all been there. We have all wondered what life is all about, what it means when bad things happen to good people and if all of this is really real. The help available from stronger members of the body in times like these is surely represented in the proverb, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity" Prov 17:17.
The fact is, at one time or another, in one way or another, we need each other. This is why the Hebrew writer encourages us to avoid missing the appointed times of assembly, be it worship, bible study, prayer meetings or what have you. When the saints gather, it is most surely for a purpose designed to encourage, edify and educate all who are present. What effect do you suppose that the activities a person is doing instead of assembling with the saints has on their eternity?
Beloved, it is wonderful that we show up for Sunday morning worship services. Unfortunately, that is often the only time we see some of the family. Of course it is understood that not everyone is going to be able to make it to every event held at the building, or every single small group meeting, but the difference between the attendance on Sunday and the other times of gathering is astounding. Absences during non worship times are a way of life for most, rather than an occasional incident and even absences from worship are a way of life for some. Failure to establish the relationships and receive the teaching available during the assembly can be a dangerous thing. It is often these that complain that no one comes to "check on them" when in many cases, not enough presence was established to realize that 1 was missing from 100.
We are not just the "called out" but the called together. When one misses, not only do they deny themselves others but they deny others themselves. Let us endeavor to be together on earth as we will one day be together in heaven.