Does Hebrews 10:25 teach that regular church attendance is a requirement for salvation?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that being a registered member of their church, and subsequently, regular church attendance is a requirement for salvation. Does Hebrews 10:25 teach this?
Hebrews 10:25 (ESV) - 25 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.
When we examine Hebrews 10:25, we see it teaches the importance of fellowship, but does not say that church attendance is necessary for salvation.
This verse speaks of fellowship, not specifically of worship services.
Perhaps the first thing to notice in this verse is that it doesn't actually say anything about worship services. Worship services are a primary form of fellowship, but it is unwarranted to take this verse that speaks of fellowship in general and claim that it says that the act of regular attendance to worship service is necessary for salvation.
This passage speaks of assurance of salvation, not of salvation itself.
This verse says nothing about fellowship being a requirement for salvation. However, the language is so serious because fellowship can provide us with an assurance of our salvation.
Hebrews 10:22-23 (ESV) - 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
So how does fellowship give us assurance? Through fellowship, we encourage one another to persevere. It is one of the primary means of sanctification, which is the process of a Christian becoming more and more like Christ. Sanctification does not save us, but it is the process God uses after saving us to make us more like Christ and to give us assurance about our salvation.
Hebrews 10:24 (ESV) - 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Also notice that we are called to stir up one another to love and good works, this verse is teaching us just how important fellowship is to sanctification as well as a person's duty in that fellowship.
Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV) - 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
The next verse teaches that if we live our lives in deliberate sin and do not have the desire to be in fellowship and to stir each other up to love each other and do good works shows that we may indeed not be saved and should not expect salvation but judgement. Why? Because your life doesn't show fruit of salvation, it isn't that doing these things save you, it is that these are fruit of salvation.
Hebrews 10:25 does not tell us a requirement for salvation, but gives us a command so that we can have assurance of our salvation. Additionally, it does not speak specifically of worship services, but of fellowship in general. Should we attend worship services and fellowship with believers? Yes! Should we consider it a requirement of salvation? No! This would give us a reason to boast in our salvation and we cannot boast in our salvation.
The INC abuses Hebrews 10:25 when they make a command to fellowship become a requirement of salvation. In doing so, they say the blood of Christ is not sufficient for salvation.
Galatians 2:21 (ESV) - 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.