Summary: A.A. and N.A. believe that they invented the Intervention! However, it is a Biblical concept practiced in the early church!
From Hebrews 10:24-25
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Have you ever heard of an "intervention?" I guess I can describe it as a group of family, friends, co-workers, etc. who gather to confront an individual with his substance and\or alcohol abuse. They confirm their love for the individual while sharing with that person the impact his behavior is having on their lives.
What a great NEW idea! Oh, wait! Jesus taught this concept. He said if your brother offended you to go directly to him and deal with him. That’s an intervention! Jesus said if he wouldn’t listen then you go to him a second time with a witness or two. That’s an intervention! And if he refused to hear you, then you were to bring the matter before the church. That’s an intervention!
When Paul wrote to Corinth about the man who was carrying on a sexually immoral relationship with his father’s wife he told them to stage an intervention! Breaking fellowship with this man was an act of live.
When Paul confronted Peter about his hypocrisy regarding the Gentile believers and the Jewish believers-- well.. that was an intervention!
God’s people are to intervene in one another’s lives. Both A.A. and N.A., the big anonymous organizations recognize the strength in uniting to fight an abuse problem. That’s why when people feel like they are going to fall they might "go to a meeting!" This is what God’s people have already been doing for a long time.
The purpose of the church is to work together to overcome sin and to continue working on building God’s kingdom. We are to call one another to good works. We are to rebuke, reprimand and encourage one another.
The author of Hebrews meant a bit more than church attendance in verse 25. There were those who not only were not meeting with Christians, but were disassociating themselves from the community of believers. It is one thing to stop going to church, quite another to declare that you have rejected the doctrines and practices of the church. However, the first step towards rejecting the things of God is usually to reject the fellowship of the church.
Perhaps, as you read this, you have disassociated yourself from our local church. Maybe you’re just being lazy about making it to church. If you are part of us then you should want to be involved with us.
Notice he uses the word “spur” (King James uses “provoke”). Do you know what spurs are really used for? Any serious horseman knows that they are not to punish an animal, but simply to get the attention of an inattentive or lazy animal. When my kids started riding, we put them on a sweet old plug named J.J. J.J. was a fine horse when a real rider was on her back. You put a kid on her back and she just decided she didn’t have to do anything. We called her rubber gut because the kid could kick all day and the horse wouldn’t hardly move. However, we put a set of spurs on the kid and J.J. began to realize that they might not be strong, but they could make her uncomfortable in her laziness and so they could get her to go. Spurs are to get the attention of a lazy or inattentive horse.
In Christian circles we have some lazy and inattentive believers who are not really moving forward in their walk with Christ. We need to encourage them, but we also need to be willing to make them a little uncomfortable so that they will feel the need to move on towards maturity.
J.J. was a bit barn sour. A barn sour horse is one that feels most comfortable in the barn, or stall. She would turn and start to head home if her rider didn’t pay attention. When the spurs were applied she would jump and realize that the rider was turning her towards another direction. We need to apply spurs to folks who are more comfortable at home than serving the Lord.
Towards the end of the chapter-the author says:
"Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."