Our Gospel Meeting

Today we are privileged to start a gospel meeting. Let us not take this opportunity to study God’s word lightly. Let us not take this opportunity to have fellowship with one another less than seriously. Let us not take this time to be evangelistic with any less zeal than we would the most important event in our life. The gospel of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed this week! It is a time for us to rejoice, invite, reflect, and show our love for God and for one another.

Gospel Meetings are too often looked at today as relics of days gone by. Many disparagingly say that the gospel meeting is not what it once was. And as long as this is our attitude toward it, then it will be exactly that. Do we get excited about studying God’s word. Do we delight in the preaching and teaching of the gospel? Our attitude makes a great difference when planning for and attending a gospel meeting. All good works start with good attitudes. All works that are destined for failure involve at one point or another attitudes that consign those works to failure. Let’s resolve in our hearts and our minds to have the proper attitude toward this gospel meeting and let everyone know that we appreciate and love the gospel!

Gospel meetings are times when we get to enjoy fellowship with one another. I love my Christian family and I want to be with them as much as I can. We should view our Christian family with no less love than we would our own earthly families. We recognize the importance of spending time with our earthly families. Do we recognize the importance of spending time with our spiritual families? Our gospel meeting is a time to do exactly that and to show forth the love that we have for one another.

Gospel meetings are times when we can work to evangelize our community. There are souls who are in need of the gospel of Christ right here in this city and county. They need the truth of God’s word or they will be lost. Do we believe this? Many times we invite our affluent friends and family members and they do not come because of their self satisfaction? Do we remember the words of Jesus? Go out into the highways and byways and invite the poor, the mame, the sick, and the blind! All need to come and hear the gospel. Let’s not limit our invitation to those who we think are “good prospects,” but invite all to hear the good news proclaimed.

Gospel meetings are a time to show that we love God more than anything. Yes we all have earthly concerns with which we must deal on a daily basis. Yes we each have responsibilities at work, bills to pay, property to maintain, and many different concerns with which we are forced to deal on a daily basis. But we also recognize that things that are truly important are things that we WILL take time to do. Are our efforts in the kingdom of God any less important than these other things? They are, in fact, the most important efforts that we can make on the face of the earth. Do we believe Matthew 6:33 when it comes to the yearly gospel meeting? Let us seek first God’s kingdom this week as we MAKE the time to come and hear the gospel preached.

Yes, our gospel meeting is a time for zeal, fellowship, evangelism, and love for God. As we read in Hebrews 10:19-25 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

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The Mission and Work of the Church — Evangelism

Jesus mission while he was upon the earth was to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Inasmuch as the church belongs to her Lord (Matt. 16:18), she is to be about that same mission as well. Within that mission, there are those who need to be saved and there are those who are saved. Evangelism concerns itself with the former category. There is no doubt that the church needs to be in the business of evangelism. The church is God’s plan for man’s salvation today and as such needs to sound the message of the gospel to those who are not saved. This is epitomized in the great commission. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19, 20 ASV). The twelve had the specific charge to get this done within their lifetimes. The church was the instrument through which this charge was carried out. Today, the church stands as the instrument for world evangelism as well.

Often times when we think of world evangelism we think about supporting evangelists in other parts of the world. While the concept of world evangelism certainly includes this, we should not think of world evangelism as exclusive of our own communities. World evangelism includes THE ENTIRE WORLD. We cannot fulfill the great commission without taking the gospel to our “neck of the woods” as well. We find, in fact, that this is exactly the pattern that Jesus had for the apostles. In Acts 1:8b we read, “

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Why is Doctrine So Important?

The word “doctrine” in the Bible simply means “teaching.” Today we generally use the word “doctrine” to refer to a precise teaching or set of teachings while the word “teaching” itself refers more loosely to overall general concepts. Too, doctrine seems to have a religious connotation while teaching may connote the religious or secular. So while in our modern day language “teaching” and “doctrine” have distinct nuances, there is only one word in the language in which the apostles wrote and both English words “doctrine” and “teaching” are translated from it. So when we speak about the doctrine of the Bible we are speaking about the teaching of the Bible. Why is teaching so important?

Doctrine is important because Jesus thought it was important. Jesus said in John 7:17, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” In this context Jesus is saying that the one who truly seeks after God will come to an understanding that Jesus’ teaching is from God and that it is important to understand this because that is the way to life. Notice also John 8:31, 32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The words that Jesus taught are often used to represent within the scriptures the whole of Jesus teaching. The words in which Jesus was instructing others to abide is His teaching–His doctrine.

Doctrine is important because faith is based upon hearing doctrine. Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our very faith, the things that we believe, are the result of hearing the word of God which is the source of all of our teaching. The teaching, the doctrine, is that in which we place our direct faith and our trust because it is through the words that are taught that we come to know about our relationship with God. No man can come to know God under the New Covenant without having been taught and without having learned. John 6:45 states, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” We come to the Father through the teaching, through the doctrine.

Doctrine is important because we must believe the right doctrine. The Bible teaches that to believe the wrong doctrine will lead one astray. In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 we read, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” When we believe a doctrinal lie, it will lead to the condemnation of our soul if we don’t recognize that lie and correct it. Someone once said, “Jesus did not come to this earth to make people religious; He came to make people religiously right!” We must believe the right doctrine if we are going to have hope for salvation.

Doctrine is important because ultimately the decisions that we make and the actions that we perform will be based upon what we believe. When it all boils down to it, we act based upon how we believe. Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man?.” Jesus said it is based upon what is in our heart that we act, whether for good or evil. There is not a single action that we do that was not first conceived within the mind. And it is within the mind–the heart–where faith resides. Based upon the things that we believe we make decisions in our life every day. And so it is with confidence that when others act inappropriately, we can confidently say that their beliefs are inappropriate as well. So we preach the doctrine of Christ in an effort to get all who are in sin to repent and to fashion their minds anew around the blessed freedom that results in believing the truth.

What do you believe, dear friend? Do you believe the words of the Bible or do you believe the opinions and traditions of men. Believing a lie will lead you astray. But believing the truth and acting thereon will bring one to eternity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

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