"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)
I know that some of you are not involved with a "local" church. If you're not involved, I know you've been hit with the infamous Hebrews 10:25 stick by well meaning believers who are worried that you'll drift off into error if you're not regularly sitting on a pew Sunday mornings under the covering of a pastor. Recently, I was reading these verses and I was once again struck by the fact that this verse is not really promoting attendance at a local "church."
This is another case where the religious mindset has majored on the minors. The emphasis in this scripture is really about encouraging one another in such a way that love is stirred up which results in good deeds.
As believers, we're called to encourage one another but, when the emphasis is put on meeting together, we tend to meet for the sake of meeting. As a result, we've come to believe that we've fulfilled our Christian duty when we've attended a meeting even if no one has been encouraged and anyone who doesn't attend regularly is suspect.
However, when the emphasis is correctly placed on encouragement and building one another up, love will be produced which will be visible to all. Out of this love, good deeds will naturally flow. The naturalness of this life of grace will not only affect the community of believers but it will also be visible to those who are in the world.