Philippians 4:8

April 14, 2019 -- Volume 3.16

Why Should I Assemble on Sunday and Wednesday Nights?
By Bobby Witherington

This congregation, as a part of its efforts to glorify God, edify its members, and save souls, schedules regular Bible Study and Worship assemblies on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday nights. In addition to these assemblies, we have recently begun a men’s training class; some of our ladies meet monthly in the homes of different ladies for a Ladies Bible Class, and some of us are regularly involved in informal classes with various individuals, both with Christians and non-Christians. In addition to these Bible study and teaching efforts, we also schedule Gospel Meetings, which involves week night worship assemblies other than our regular Sunday and Wednesday night services.

Why so many assemblies? Are we trying to earn our salvation, or make God so indebted to us that He will grant us a home in heaven as a matter of obligation? No! A thousand times no! Jesus taught that after we have done “all those things which was our duty to do” (Lk.17:10) we are still “unprofitable servants,” having only “done that which was our duty to do(Lk. 17:10). Inasmuch as “all” of us “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), then none of us could be saved were it not for the “rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4), and the amazing “grace of God” (Titus 2:11). However, we are no more saved by grace alone than we are saved by faith alone. The faith which saves is an obedient faith (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). Moreover, Jesus, “by the grace of God” tasted “death for every man” (Heb. 2:9), and He made available to us “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). However, Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Heb. 5:9), and the gospel, which is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16), must be obeyed (1 Pet. 4:7; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).

When one, “from the heart” (Rom. 16:17), obeys the gospel of Christ, he is thereby “saved,” and God adds him or her to “the church” (Acts 2:47), that universal body, (Eph. 1:22-23), of precious souls who have been “redeemed with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). God, in His infinite wisdom, also made provision for His children to be members of local churches, or congregations, which consist of saved people who reside in various communities, and who have banded themselves together to work and worship in a congregational environment. Consequently, we read of local churches in such places as Jerusalem, Corinth, Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Asia, etc. (Cf. Acts 8:1; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 4:15; 1 Thess. 1:1; Rev. 1:4).

The local church, when fully organized according to God’s plan consists of “saints in Christ Jesus,” along with the “bishops” (or elders), “and deacons” (Phil. 1:1). Bishops, or elders, are men who have met certain biblically mandated qualifications (2 Tim. 3:1-6; Titus 1:5-9), and have been appointed (Acts 14:23) to shepherd, feed, or oversee, “the flock of God” which is “among” them (1 Pet. 5:7). In such arrangements there exists an overseer/overseen relationship, with the bishops (or elders) overseeing, feeding, or shepherding the local flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-4), and the members (the “flock”) submitting to them in keeping with God’s will (Heb. 13:17).

Local churches have work to do! Specifically, their work involves edifying or equipping the saints, benevolence to indigent saints, and evangelism (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 3:15; I Thess. 1:8), etc. And a necessary pre-requisite which is “part and parcel” to all that a church is and does in keeping with God’s plan, is its regular worship and Bible study assemblies. Hence, we are not surprised to read of the first ones who obeyed the gospel continuing “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We read of first century Christians coming “together to break bread,” of Paul preaching to them (Acts 20:7), as well as instructions pertaining to worship requirements when disciples came “together” to worship God (1 Cor. 14:23). In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, instructions were given pertaining to the proper observance of the Lord’s supper, which was to be observed “when” (not if!) the members came “together” (cf. v. 18). Sadly, however, even as occurred in the first century, there are many professed “Christians” who are very negligent with regards to attendance in the various assemblies of the local church. This is especially true as it pertains to Sunday evening and Wednesday night assemblies. Some have the attitude that “I make it to church on Sunday mornings; what more do they expect of me?” So why should the members of a local church attend on Sunday and Wednesday evenings and/or all the regularly scheduled worship and Bible study services?

1. Not Because there is a specific command which says “you must be there on Sunday and Wednesday nights.” However, we do read the record of the approved example of first century disciples “continuing daily with one accord in the temple,” and of the Lord adding “to the church daily who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47). The fact that “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47), implies “daily” efforts upon the part of God’s people to serve Him. And this fact is further confirmed by the fact that many continued “daily with one accord in the temple” (vs. 46). The indications are that the first converts in the gospel age spent much more time in assemblies with fellow saints than is generally spent today!

2. Sunday, the first day of the week, the day Jesus rose from the dead, the day the gospel was first preached, the day the church was established, for good reason, is called “the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10). Sunday evening is still a part of “the Lord’s day.” It is not our day! Could our time be better spent on Sunday evenings than that of meeting together with fellow Christians and worshiping God and studying His word?

3. We are commanded to not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:25). You will please note that mention is made of “the assembling,” not “the assembly.” When God’s people assemble to worship God, His people should not willfully forsake (absent themselves from) those assemblies.

4. To better enable ourselves to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). It is a sin for God’s people to forever remain “babes” when they have opportunities to become spiritually mature (through Bible study and worship) to “have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14). In the academic world those who attend all the regular classes, and keep up with their studies, generally speaking, are better educated than the ones who skip classes and do “just enough to get by” in order to graduate. Why do we think it is different in the spiritual realm?

5. To become more like God. It should be the objective of every Christian, through the worship of God and the study of the Scriptures to be “transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). If you want to become more like God, then spend more time in worship and more time in Bible study; that is, spend more time doing exactly what we do when we come together on Sunday and Wednesday nights!

6. The church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The more often members of the local church assemble for worship and Bible study, the greater becomes the effectiveness of the local church in spreading the gospel of Christ.

7. To better resist the devil. Satan is our “adversary” and we must “resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). In the long ago David praised God, saying, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psa. 119:11). The greater our biblical knowledge, the greater is our strength to resist the devil. Remember that Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). However, please observe that Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil, replied each time by saying “it is written,” and then quoted the scripture which applied to each situation (Matt. 4:1-11). Could it be that one reason why so many yield so easily to temptation is the fact that they are so biblically uninformed?

8. Christians must “redeem” (make the best use of) their time (Eph. 5:15). Can one make better use of his time than by spending it with fellow Christians worshiping God and seeking to become more informed in His word?

9. The elders have set aside these times for the local church to meet together for worship and for Bible study. Elders are the shepherds and overseers of the local church (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-3). As shepherds, they are obligated to lead “the flock of God” in paths of righteousness, but they can’t lead if “the flock” refuses to follow. Unless they encourage something contrary to God’s will, the members of the church are commanded to “obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account...” (Heb. 13:17).

10. Love for God is reflected in obedience to His will (Jn. 14:23), and heaven is a place of worship (Rev. 4). If I don’t want to worship God in this life, I would be a misfit in heaven! – Rise Up and Build, February 4, 2018.