What My Absence In a Gospel Meeting Organized By The Church Say About Me
Our annual gospel meeting is about two weeks away. What is your reaction? Are you excited about it? Do you plan to attend all the nights of the gospel meeting? Or, are you disinterested?
Do you know why the church organizes a gospel meeting?
A gospel meeting is organized for the unbelievers as well as for the believers. The gospel meeting is organized for three main purposes:
1. To save souls through the proclamation of the gospel.
The Great Commission demands that we go out into the world to save souls (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16). The most important work of the church is to save souls and members must be involved in doing it. Every saved member must be interested in saving souls.
2. To provide opportunities for friends, neighbours, and strangers to hear the gospel.
Paul asks this important question: “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). In a gospel meeting, the church hands out pamphlets to let neighbours and strangers know there is a gospel meeting which has an important message that concerns them.
3. To edify the members.
In a gospel meeting, members get to listen to how faithful preachers deliver soul-saving messages. As a result, they learn how to be better fishers of men. They are also reminded about their salvation and about how much God has loved them, and that the Son of God died for them (Romans 5:8). Their faith will be strengthened by the preaching of the gospel message.
What Does My Presence Say About Me?
1. My priorities – I will leave what I am doing and participate in the gospel meeting.
2. My love for souls – I am concerned for the souls of men.
3. My love for the church – Because I am a member of the church, and I will support its mission.
4. My attitude towards the gospel meeting – The church has organized an event to save souls, and I am excited about it, and want to play a part in it.
5. My influence towards others – I want to be an influence of good, and encourage the preacher, the organizers, and the church members.
What Does My Absence Say About Me?
1. I am not interested.
2. My priority is ME.
3. I do not care if souls are lost.
4. The preacher is not worth listening to.
5. I am selfish and live for myself.
6. I am telling those who attend they are wasting their time.
7. I do not support the activities of the church.
8. I don’t think the gospel has the power to save souls.
9. I am a bad influence.
10. I don’t care about the good news of Jesus and His crucifixion.
Your presence is edifying, while your absence is demoralizing! Empty seats have an adverse effect on those who are present. The visitors will be wondering why the church members themselves are not present. They will be thinking: if their own members are not interested, why should they be interested?
Your absence also affects the morale of the preacher who is invited to preach. He will be preaching to empty seats, and no one likes preaching to empty seats.
Your absence also affects the morale of the elders and those who organize the gospel meeting. They have spent much time, energy, and money in organizing the meeting. They are saddened that their members do not care about spiritual things.
Your absence affects the new Christians. They are left wondering: where are others? Where are their bible class teachers? Where are their leaders? They are discouraged, and they will end up staying away from future gospel meetings also.
Our Lord warns us about becoming a stumbling block to the weak Christians: “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:42).
The following point is extracted from a sermon (https://executableoutlines.com/topical_sermons/gospel-meeting-keys-success.html)
Don’t tell me your excuses…
Tell it to your brethren who are discouraged by your absence
Tell it to the visitors who wonder why the members don't support their own meeting
Tell it to the lost who wonder if the gospel or Christ's church is worth it
Tell it to those who have the same reasons not to attend, but come anyway!
Tell it to the Lord, who came to this earth and died for you!
The gospel meeting is near, let us be excited about it. Let us tell our friends about it. Let us decide that we will be there to support and encourage the preachers, members, elders, and visitors.
Let us be a blessing to the church which we are a member of:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).