Our Fall Gospel Meeting with Freddie Anderson, Carl McCann, Josh Linton, and Bruce Morgan begins today. This is a week in which the elders have asked us to set aside our normal evening schedules to focus on eternal things. Indeed, abundant blessings come from seeking first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33)! Let’s focus on some ways we can help in the success of OUR meeting:
Invite others to attend — All of us know someone who needs to hear the gospel of Christ. His word has the power to save (Rom. 1:16), and it is being preached at this place nightly! Our friends, our families, and our neighbors cannot afford to leave this life unprepared for eternity. If we fail to help people understand their need for salvation, we are not loving them as we should (cf. Luke 10:27)! The Lord’s church is not a parking lot for Christians; rather, it is a launching pad from which we receive strength and encouragement to accomplish Christ’s will in the world. Let’s launch out in faith to the glory of God!
Expect to grow — The word of God is like a seed (Luke 8:11), which will produce fruit in the lives of those who hear and do (James 1:22). This week we are exploring the, “Challenging Questions of Christ,” in an effort to challenge ourselves to greater holiness and faith in our living. Gospel Meetings are not just academic exercises in Biblical teaching, they help each of us grow as we ought (cf. 2 Pet. 3:18). Let’s be present for each assembly with the essential keys to growth: open minds, open Bibles, and receptive hearts!
Fervently pray for this effort — Our prayers are effective when offered to God in sincere and fervent reverence (James 5:16). We ought to believe more in the power of prayer as God works in us to accomplish His purposes (cf. Phil. 2:12-13). It’s entirely possible that many programs and activities of the church are not as effective as they should be because we have not been as prayerful as we should have been (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17). A great Gospel Meeting is ALWAYS shrouded in the prayers of faithful saints.
Encourage others to be attentive — Nothing is more discouraging to those who are teaching and preaching than an inattentive audience. Conversely, nothing is more encouraging than to know people’s lives are being touched for eternity with the message of Christ. Just imagine how much more encouraging we could be to each other if we were focused on the “furtherance of the gospel” no matter what the circumstances (cf. Phil. 1:12). We can be an encouragement to others (including the ones speaking) by showing interest in the lessons presented. In addition, our lives will be influenced for good as we accept God’s word in our hearts.
A Gospel Meeting can be both effective and beneficial, but it takes effort on the part of all involved. What are YOU willing to do to make our Gospel Meeting a success? — John Baker