The Challenge of a Gospel Meeting

Introduction: 

   The time for our Gospel Meeting is only two weeks from today.  Brother Jerry Brewer is a sound gospel preacher who will preach the gospel of Christ in all its purity and simplicity.  Knowing Jerry, I am confident that he will preach the truth both in love and in a powerful manner.  But what about you and me are we making preparation toward having a successful Gospel MeetingGospel Meetings can be a very effective means in reaching the lost with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. 

   In the wisdom of God, it pleased Him that by “…the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).  That is, in the eyes of men, preaching may seem to be a foolish means of reaching the spiritually lost.  Yet, it is by that means in which God chose to reveal unto lost humanity what each individual must do to be saved.  On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached unto the Jews that the Jesus in which they were responsible for having been crucified had been resurrected and is Lord and Christ.  When penitent Jews inquired, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  Peter responded by saying, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37-38).  And in verse 40, we learn that he further exhorted them by saying, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” 

   Those first century Christians sought daily opportunities to reach the lost with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  At Acts 5:42, the scripture reveals, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” 

   When persecution was brought upon the church at Jerusalem, “…they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). 

   From these passages of scripture, we can see the need to proclaim the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Discussion: 

I.                   THE CHALLENGE OF HAVING A GOSPEL MEETING.

A.     A Gospel Meeting is a challenge to our faith in the power of the gospel of Christ. 

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 

Mark 16:15-16, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” 

Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” 

B.     A Gospel Meeting is a challenge to every member of a congregation in working toward making it successful. 

1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 

We are to “…be ready to every good work” as the scripture so emphasizes at Titus 3:1

The Son of God said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:  the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).  Just so, we will not always have the opportunity to reach out to others with the gospel.  The Apostle Paul urges us:  “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,…” (Galatians 6:10).   

C.     A Gospel Meeting is a challenge in revealing whether or not we are spiritually minded.

1.      Is our heart really in reaching the lost with the saving gospel? 

Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

2.      We should strive to reach the lost with the gospel because:

a.       We, as the church of our Lord, have been commissioned as God’s messengers to proclaim His saving gospel. 

1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” 

Ephesians 3:10-11, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” 

b.      The gospel of Christ is the only power to save. 

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 

c.       Those who do not obey the gospel will be eternally lost. 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” 

D.    A Gospel Meeting is a challenge in determining how much influence that we have in our community.

1.      When members of the body of Christ say, “I just cannot get anyone to attend the services of the church” are they revealing their lack of influence. 

Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 

2.      We have an example of a man who was not even a Christian who prepared for a successful Gospel Meeting. 

Acts 10:24, “And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea, And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.” 

E.     A Gospel Meeting is a challenge for us to confront the devil.

1.      Our attitude should be that we are in a battle with the devil for the souls of men, and we are not going to give an inch to him in our effort in reaching out to the lost with the saving gospel. 

1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 

1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 

James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” 

F.      A Gospel Meeting is a challenge for us to expose error. 

Ephesians 6:17, “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” 

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” 

1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 

G.    A Gospel Meeting is a challenge for sinners to obey the gospel.

1.      A Gospel Meeting turns the light of the gospel on the lives of sinners.  It will convict them of their sins and get results. 

Acts 2:36-41, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” 

H.    A Gospel Meeting is a challenge to unfaithful brethren to amend their lives and to once again become faithful unto the Lord. 

James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” 

Galatians 6:1-2, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” 

I.       A Gospel Meeting is a challenge for us to sing fervently psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs from the heart.

1.      Poor singing will kill any Gospel Meeting.  However, we can be thankful that we have a good song leader who leads the congregation in an effective manner. 

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” 

Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” 

1 Corinthians 14:15, “…I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” 

J.      A Gospel Meeting is a challenge for us to pray earnestly that our Lord will bless our efforts to reach others with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 14:15, “…I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:…” 

James 5:16, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 

Conclusion: 

   The day of great Gospel Meetings is not over.  A church does not have to be spiritually dead or indifferent like the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-16).  Our love for the Lord and for the souls of mankind should motivate us to reach out to our fellowman with the gospel of Christ.  Brethren, do we have the will and desire to have a GREAT GOSPEL MEETING?  It is my prayer and conviction that we truly do!

--Dub Mowery

 

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