What do the words ‘Gospel Meeting’ mean to you? What do you think about when you see these two words? For me, it has always meant good food, good speakers, good topics, good sermons, and good times spent with Christian brothers and sisters. Growing up, I always looked forward to the yearly Gospel Meeting because I knew we were going to have a great week of fellowship and spiritual growth. To me, it was one of the highlights of my year. Are these some of the same thoughts that go through your mind? While these are great and perfectly fine thoughts to have about a Gospel Meeting, have we limited what a Gospel Meeting can be?
This year, I want to challenge everyone to think about this Gospel Meeting in a different light. While it is perfectly fine to look forward to growing spiritually and gaining a better knowledge of God’s Word, I want to challenge us all to look at this next week as an opportunity to bring lost souls to Christ. I want us all to look for opportunities to feed OTHERS for a change. Jesus said in Mark 2:17, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” I want to challenge every one of us to look at this Gospel Meeting in light of Jesus’ words in this verse.
So many times we put such an emphasis on the edification and spiritual growth of those who are already “well,” that we leave out the very ones that Christ came for… “Those who are sick.” If Christ was in charge of this Gospel Meeting, what might be His greatest priority? If Mark 2:17 or Luke 19:10 are any indication, His main priority would be to seek and save the lost by calling sick sinners to repentance. Christ’s emphasis would not be on those who are already well or those who are already righteous. His emphasis would be on those who do not know Him and on those who are in need of the good news. We live our lives assuming everyone around us has already made a decision about God, about religion, about Christianity, and about faith. Sometimes I think we can be guilty of being aware of the sick around us and just not caring that they are sick.
We spend so much effort in making sure our own members are present at worship that we often neglect the seeking of new souls, new members, and new families. We should not seek them in an effort to fill pews, but in an effort to fill up the eternal Kingdom of God. You see, Christ’s goal for this Gospel Meeting would not be to feed those who have already been filled, but to fill the bellies of those who are destitute of spiritual food. Those who have received the living water and the bread of life are intended to SHARE that living water and bread of life to others. So many times every one of us are guilty of hogging the good news, the living water, and the bread of life in Jesus Christ all to ourselves. We hog it while our friends, co-workers, family members, and neighbors all around us are starving for the abundant life we have found in Christ.
What are we going to do different this time to ensure that Christ’s main focus is our main focus? We are going to take the past two E.T. messages and practice them out this week by being purposeful and intentional every day this week. We are going to be purposeful by taking on the purpose Christ had to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10,) and we are going to be intentional by determining within ourselves to find opportunities to invite those lost to our building this week! I want to challenge every one to invite two people this week to our Gospel Meeting. It might be your neighbor, your co-worker, your family member, your friend, your boss, your barber, your grocer, your banker, your classmate, your coach, your teammate, your every-day person that you run into all the time that needs to be here to hear about Jesus! I cannot wait to meet your guests and watch as they hear about Jesus and all that He has done for us! Bring them all to the Great Physician and watch Him call the sick to repentance.
Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism