OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


          Most congregations within the churches of Christ have Sunday evening worship services.  They also have a mid-week Bible study that takes place on Wednesday nights.  These two gatherings are very important to some members of the body of Christ.  They hold them dear in their hearts and would not think about missing either gathering.  There are others, however, who have no interest in the Sunday evening assembly or the Wednesday night Bible classes.  These individuals continue in their secular activities while spiritual matters are conducted without them.  They are indifferent to these assemblies for many reasons.  Most argue that they do not attend because these gatherings “are not commanded in the New Testament.”

          Those who are faithful in their Sunday evening and Wednesday evening attendance long for these two assemblies to become important to every member of the church.  These two periods will become important only when certain things happen in the lives of those who do not attend them.  First, Sunday nights and Wednesday evenings will become important when these individuals grow in their love for God.  God is supposed to be the supreme object of the Christian’s love.  Jesus commanded, saying:  “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).  Is it in God’s best interest to worship Him?  It is in God’s best interest to come before His throne and give Him thanks?  Surely it is.  When one grows to realize these actions are the expression of love toward God, he will make time in his schedule for them.

          Second, Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights will become important when those who do not attend develop a deep desire for the truth.  Truth, according to Jesus, is the Word of God.  “Sanctify them through thy truth:  thy word is truth” (John 17:17).  Truth is that which feeds the inner man (Matt. 4:4).  Truth is supposed to be loved by the child of God (II Thess. 2:10).  The wise Solomon exhorts us to “buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Prov. 23:23).  One Sunday nights, the truth is proclaimed by a faithful minister of Jesus Christ.  On Wednesday evenings, the Word of God is being studied in classes designed for various age groups.  If an individual really desires to know and understand the truth, he will plan to be at the places where truth is dispensed.  He appreciates this blessing because he longs for truth.  “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6).

          Third, the Sunday P.M. service and the Bible classes on Wednesday evenings will become very important when those who refuse to come appreciate their need to be an example to others.  Paul exhorted Timothy to be an example, a pattern, for other believers to follow.  “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Tim. 4:12).  Paul was exhorting this young minister to do that which he also did (I Cor. 11:1).  All Christians are setting an example for others.  This example is either positive or negative.  This example is either of faithful service or unfaithful service.  When a child of God is seriously aware that others are following his lead, he will desire to lead them down the path of righteousness.  Surely, this path includes worshiping God on Sunday nights and studying His Word on Wednesday evenings.

          Fourth, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights will become important when those who do not attend learn that spiritual things must be one’s priority.  Jesus taught this lesson to Martha while visiting in her home.  Martha was concerned about the physical well-being of her guests.  Her sister, Mary, was concerned about spiritual things.  Instead of helping her sister, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus in order to feast upon His teaching.  When Martha approached Jesus about Mary’s actions, He impressed the lesson of having one’s priorities properly ordered upon her.  “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, Thou art careful and troubled about many things:  but one thing is needful:  and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her” (Luke 10:41-42).  Jesus said Mary had chosen “that good part.”  What she had chosen was to hear, study, and learn Jesus’ words.  On Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights, Jesus’ words are being proclaimed.  Those who have their priorities in order will definitely want to come and sit at His feet.

          Brethren who do not attend on Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights need to grow.  They need to grow in their love for God.  They need to grow in their desire for the truth.  They need to grow in their understanding of the importance of their example.  They need to grow in the area of spiritual priorities.  When they grow in these things, they will be at every assembly of the saints.  It will take a major event in their lives to keep them from being present.  Those of us who are faithful on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights long for the day when they really understand these things.