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Sunday, September 11, 2016 pm

 

A GOSPEL MEETING
(Based on a lesson by Joe Price)

 

Beginning 3 weeks from today, our fall Gospel meeting will begin with JR Bronger of Danville, Indiana.  Preparations are being made in many ways for this meeting.  It is my hope that WE are each doing what we can to make this meeting as successful as possible.

While we have gospel meetings twice a year, from time to time lessons like this one will be presented to remind us of why we are engaged in such works and what we can/should be doing as we prepare.

The challenge for me is to come up with different ways to remind us of these things.  So tonight I present an approach that I came across this past week (from Brother Joe Price) which addresses this.  It is called A GOSPEL MEETING and using the letters of that phrase we are reminded of some things associated with this effort.  So let’s get started here.

 

ASSEMBLING ourselves together.

-          A continued point of emphasis.  Hebrews 10:25 speaks of how we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.  “Forsaking” is a present tense verb related to our assembling.   I have noted this has reference to WHENEVER we assemble as opposed to a specific, once a week, assembly. 
Acts 2:42 says they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, etc.    The verb here is identical structure to Heb. 10:25. Again this show ongoing action.

-          Assembling with the saints as often as we can during this effort will be the best way you can show your support and approval of this effort. 

 

GATHERED to hear the gospel proclaimed.

-          We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Paul reminds them that he declared to them the gospel preached, received, in which they stand and by which they are saved IF they hold fast.

-          We are not here to hear the teachings and philosophies of men.  1 Corinthians 2:1-2

-          We are coming together to hear the gospel proclaimed – Acts 2:42 – they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine.

-          Acts 10:33 – Cornelius and his household gathered “to hear all things commanded you by God.”

-          During this gospel meeting we will hear the plain gospel proclaimed.

 

OPPORTUNITY for us to grow in Christ

-          2 Peter 3:17-18 – Peter concludes his letter with the admonition that they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

-          As Christians it ought to be our desire to grow.  Philippians 1:9, Paul’s prayer for them was that they abound still more in knowledge and discernment so that they could approve of things pleasant.

-          Gospel meetings, while taxing in many ways, are intensified opportunities for us to grow as we ought to.   Let us resolve to avail ourselves of this opportunity.

 

SHARE the good news with others

-          We have emphasized the importance of seeking the lost.  The great commission is about making disciples – Matthew 28:19-20.  Luke 24:47-48 speaks of repentance and remission of sins being preached in His name to all nations

-          1 Thessalonians 1:8, the church there was commended because from them the word of God sounded forth throughout the region.

-          Our gospel meetings are an opportunity for us as the body of Christ here in Bellflower to share God’s word with others.  It is an opportunity to invite our friends and neighbors with more opportunities (convenient to them) to come and be introduced to the true gospel.  Many churches today have eliminated these efforts or abbreviated them.  Such could be lost opportunities to share the word of God with others.

 

PREPARATION – preparing to be here, preparing our minds to properly worship.

-          Ezra 7:10, he prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD and to do it and to teach it.

-          Christians are to be a prepared people.  We are sober and watchful.  
2 Timothy 2:21 speaks of cleaning ourselves to be useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.  Our feet are shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15)

-          Any worthwhile effort takes work and preparation.  Similar with this effort to that of other things, in a sense the degree of success will depend upon how much effort we put into it. 

 

EXAMPLES to others

-          We know that the absolute best way for us to teach begins with our example.  In that people see what is important to us.  We are to let our lights shine – Phil. 2:15. 

-          This gospel meeting is an opportunity for the world to see that the Lord and His church are important.  They are our priority.  Does the world see sacrifices in our efforts? Or do they just see a religion of convenience?   

LOVE will motivate us –

-          1 Corinthians 16:14 Paul says, “Let all that you do be done with love.”   We continually emphasize love in our studies.  We will not repeat that here.

-          But we do note that when our love is what it ought to be, doing those things pleasing to Him will be at the forefront of our lives.  Efforts such as this provide opportunity for us to demonstrate our love for one another (John 13:34-35). our love for God (Matthew 22:37), as well as our love for our neighbors (Matthew 22:38)

 

MINDING the things of the Spirit as we follow His pattern

-          Romans 8:5 says that those who live by the flesh mind the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit

-          Through the gospel, the Spirit convicts the world – 1 Thessalonians 1:5 Paul notes that the gospel he preached was in power and the Holy Spirit.  1 Peter 1:12, again by the Holy Spirit the gospel was preached. 
This is because, He, the Helper, guided them into all truth.  John 16:13

-          If we, or the world, is to be fully convicted, it will be because the gospel is preached in its purity and simplicity.  During this gospel meeting, the truth will be proclaimed.

EDIFIED – a benefit of our assemblies.  

-          In our studies we have established that worship is primarily about God.  And that is something we must ABSOLUTELY understand. 

-          However, as we worship God, we are edified or built up.  Something we need. And it is a product of worship – 1 Corinthians 14:12, 26. 

-          We need continual edification.  Of course edification comes when “every part does its share” – Ephesians 4:16.  

-          This gospel meeting is an opportunity to edify and be edified.   Will you do your part in that?

 

EXPOSING the works of darkness –

-          While not pleasant, a necessary task of preaching is to expose error.  To save the lost they need to be convicted that they are lost!  Ephesians 5:11 calls for us to do this very thing. 

-          Preaching not only exhorts, it also reproves (convinces) and rebukes (2 Tim. 4:2-3).  There is a reason the gospel is described in terms of a sword – Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17, cf. Matthew 10:34, etc.

-          In this gospel meeting, error will be exposed and proper truth proclaimed.  Who knows whether or not, an invitation will cause someone in the world to repent, OR cause us to reflect on error in our lives and equally repent of that.

 

TAKING time to worship God.

-          As already noted, we will assemble to worship God.  John 4:24 – it must be “in spirit and in truth”.

-          This means that as at other times, we will do what we are supposed to do according to His patter. 

-          Worshipping Him is a privilege and it is something we ought to look forward to.  Psalm 122:1, Psa.84, etc.

-          Consider all that God has done for us, He is worthy of our praise and worship!  Let us resolve to give that to Him!

 

INVITATIONS are needed

-          Having established what we need to be doing for this effort and some of its benefits, we now focus on our need to get to work.

-          We need to be inviting others to be here.   We have talked about the opportunities that will be presented.  But HOW will that happen if none are invited.  Romans 10:13-15 speaks of salvation coming to those who call on His name, but it won’t happen unless they hear, and they won’t hear if no one is sent. 

-          Furthermore, there is the INVITATION that is offered to make our lives right.  At each assembly we offer an invitation.  Acts 2:40, just like Peter on the day of Pentecost.  The invitation of Jesus – Matthew 11:28-30

 

NOW is the day of salvation

-          2 Corinthians 6:2 reminds us that now is the day of salvation.

-          While our Lord God is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9), we don’t know how much longer this world will last.  And there is the uncertainty of life.  2 Corinthians 5:10-11, James 4:14, etc.

-          That is why when we have opportunities, we must avail ourselves of the NOW!

 

GO and make disciples of all nations

-          Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15 – the great commission.  The life of a Christian is about going and doing.

-          As we conclude this lesson let us do so with the reminder that we have to get to work.  If we don’t nothing will be accomplished. 

 

A gospel meeting will begin in just a few weeks.  Are you getting ready for this?  Think about it!