I love gospel meetings. As a preacher, having the opportunity to sit down and let someone else instruct me about Godís greatness is always very encouraging. I love being able to see my fellow saints on a daily basis. It always fills my heart with joy to know that we have been given the opportunity to be edified so frequently. And I love seeing the visitors that have been invited throughout the week. I love seeing the results of the effort you have put in to invite people to the meeting; to see the church being evangelistically minded.
With that said, gospel meetings donít really seem to last that long do they? Sure, we are tired by the end of the week, especially those that have made it each night, driven great distances, or hosted the preacher (and his family) at some point during the week. But the week is over and this week we all go back to our normal lives (whatever that might be). We arenít hosting anymore, we arenít gathering with the saints daily, and we arenít getting that daily shot of edification. And what else along with those things we donít do, we often set aside personal evangelism until the next gospel meeting.
While I understand that it is good to make a big push for evangelism during the gospel meeting, why would making a big push for evangelism this week be any different? Were there all of a sudden less souls that needed saved? Were there all of a sudden less people that needed preached? Did you all of a sudden care less about your unsaved friends and family? (If we are honest with ourselves we really do know that the answer to these questions is no). Evangelism should never be something we do just a couple of times a week. Evangelism is something that we should be doing all the time.
Evangelism is at the heart of Christianity. Solomon wrote that the one that wins souls is wise (Prov. 11:30). In Proverbs, the wise man is synonymous with the righteous man. ďThe fruit of the righteous is a tree of life (Prov. 11:30).Ē It does not say we act like the tree of life, it does not say we pretend to be a tree of life, it does not say that we are sometimes the tree of life. The fruit of the righteous is the tree of life. The righteous are soul winners. The righteous are giving life to others. The righteous do not occasionally tell others about Jesus, the righteous canít help but to spread the good news of the gospel.
Jeremiah put it like this, ďIf I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot (Jer. 20:9).Ē Jeremiah did not have an easy time telling Godís word. He was not only not welcome in the Temple, he wasnít welcome in Jerusalem. He was thrown in prison, even cast into a pit and left to die. God even warned Jeremiah that his work as a prophet would not be easy. It looked as if the hardships had its toll upon Jeremiah. He wanted to quit. He wanted to stop talking. But, in his heart there was a burning desire to share the word. He couldnít stop talking about God no matter how much he wanted to stop talking about God. Do we really have this same burning desire? Can our friends, family, even our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ say of us that we cannot help but to talk about the goodness that is Christ Jesus.
Brother Outcalt said something last Sunday morning in his sermon that I thought was a great point. If God is your number one priority then you are going to end up talking about it. If you believe that God is indeed someone that is worth waking up for then you are going to be telling others about it. Hockey and Basketball playoffs are in full swing, baseball season is heating up. People ďget up earlyĒ to see those recreational activities. And those recreational activities are always on their lips. How often are we really talking about God? Is it more that football? Is it more than baseball? Is it more than hunting? Is it more than whatever hobby it is that you are into?
What you need to be doing this week, and the weeks that follow is talking to those that you invited to the gospel meeting. Talk to those that you invited that didnít come. Ask them to study in your home, or their home. Tell them that it is okay that they didnít make it out to the meeting and let them know that they are invited to next Sundayís worship service. Also talk to those that did come to the meeting. Follow up with them. Ask them over for a talk concerning what they heard; seek to answer any questions that they might have. Remember, if they came to services, then they have already showed you that they have an interest in spiritual things. -WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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The Meeting is Over, Now What?
Volume 6 Issue 20