Our gospel meeting time is here! We are excited about our meeting this year. We have a speaker that we believe will be a great blessing to the congregation and to our friends in the community. Keith Parker comes to us from the Nashville, Tennessee area, Hendersonville, to be exact. He preached for the church of Christ there for sixteen years, and for the last several years has been involved in full-time meeting work. He preaches on lectureship programs all around the country, and is a great voice for the cause of Christ.
It is good for us to devote our time to thinking about the value of having such a meeting as this, and for the opportunities it presents to us as Christians.
1. Preaching Christ – To a Christian, preaching is sweet, sweet music to our ears. Sometimes we sing the song, “Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word.” There is something about Jesus that warms our hearts and fills each of us with hope. Jesus is a success story! Arguably, no one in history has died any worse a death than Jesus. But, death could not hold Him in its grips. He arose from the dead! That is good news! Paul wrote, “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23–24 ESV) A gospel meeting is like an afternoon shower to cool off a hot day. It is like Christmas in the middle of the year. It is like taking a vacation every night from the cares of the world. It is about Jesus! It is about God! It is about you!
2. Empowering Saints – If you are thirsty, you long for a nice drink. If you are hungry, a good meal is what you want. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6 ESV) There is no finer spiritual rejuvenation than hearing a good sermon. Life has a way to force all the spiritual energy a person has right out of them. When the energy is low, it is hard to get anything done. Impactful preaching will empower you to greater heights. We are heading into the fall season of the year. The holidays will come soon enough when rest and relaxation will be the focus. Get the energy you need to press on in your Christian effort by hearing the sermons that are planned. They will spur you on your way. This meeting will be like a fresh cup of coffee on a crispy winter morning. It will be like a tasty dessert after a meal.
3. Outreach Opportunities – The message we love and live by, the Word that gives us so much for which to live, is the message that others need as well. It is so easy to take for granted the blessings we have. Hearing gospel preaching regularly makes us think that others need to hear it as well. How many times have you sat, listening to a sermon, and thought, “Boy, I wish _________ could have heard that lesson!” Surely, you can fill in the blank with many people you know who need to hear the word preached.
One of the things most appreciated about our speaker is his wonderful ability to show the beauty of salvation in an illustrative way without offending our loved ones. The nature of the gospel will be offensive to some on its own. Remember, they were so offended at Jesus that they killed Him. However, we have a speaker who will not embarrass you when you bring your friends. He will do as Peter said in the long ago, “whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11 ESV) To your friends and loved ones, hearing the gospel message for the first time will be better than moving into a new house or driving a new car. It will be a new relationship, a new promise, and a new hope.
4. Connecting With One Another – Fellowship is so enjoyable. Seeing our friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, getting together to do the things we love doing the most—worshipping God! It gets no better than this. The world keeps Christians apart from one another. Yes, there is work, school, sleep, and other daily demands that keep Christians apart far too much. Undoubtedly, we have heard the illustrations about how individuals are like strands of rope; where on their own they have the potential of breaking with minimal stress. However, if you braid those strands together with other ropes, the resistance to breakage increases exponentially. We need each other, and we get much support from one another. A gospel meeting forces us to take much needed time to be together more often. For sure, the demands of life will always arise, seeking to distract us from our mission, but we must determine to never let activities overrun our spiritual times.
Perhaps there are other things we can say that would enhance our awareness of the need to take advantage of the blessing we have before us in this week’s gospel meeting effort. Can the meeting fail? It can only fail if we neglect it. There will be success. The preaching of the message, each time the doors are opened this week, will touch many lives. The desire we have is to maximize our opportunities through participation of everyone. Make the effort! Bring friends and family! Warm yourself in the glowing embers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray for our speaker. Keith Parker desires deeply that you pray for him in his efforts to share the gospel message. Pray for his physical strength and stamina. Pray for his family. Pray that the words he speaks will find their way into good and honest hearts. Pray that you have an opportunity to invite someone to attend the meeting, and when an opportunity arises, pray that the Lord will give you the courage to invite others to come.
It is going to be a great week!