By David J. Riggs

   A. Our Gospel Meeting with_____________is just two weeks away.
   B. Let's ask and answer a few questions about Gospel Meetings.
      1. Hopefully, this will help us to make our Meeting a          

         successful one.

I. WHY HAVE A GOSPEL MEETING? First, let's look at the
   negative side. What are some wrong purposes for having a Gospel
   Meeting? The purpose of a Gospel Meeting is not: Chart #1
   A. To raise funds or to promote some institution.
      1. We won't be begging for donations from outsiders. We will
         not be promoting some human institution, such as a Bible
         school or a benevolent society. 
      2. I once went to a Meeting where a preacher encouraged
         giving to a Bible college. Also, I once went to a Meeting
         where collections were taken up each night.
      3. The church obtains it funds by free-will offerings on the   
         first day of the week. 1 Cor. 16:2. This is the only passage
         in the N.T. on how and when a collection is to be made.
         a. We also partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of
            the week. Acts 20:7 Some denominational churches take
            up collections each time they meet, but partake of the
            Lord's Supper only quarterly. Why do you think that is
   B. To arouse emotions or to create excitement.
      1. There will be no highly sensational or emotional type
         a. There will be no speaking in tongues or thrilling
            personal testimonials.
      2. Christianity is basically a religion that appeals to the    
         intellect, not the emotions. John 6:45
         a. It is true that emotions can be stirred as result of the
            preaching, but it is only a byproduct, not the primary
   C. To entertain or to feast.
      1. We will have no professional singers, musicians, or clowns.
         We will serve no meals or refreshments. Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor.
      2. I once went to a so-called "Conservative Christian Church"
         which took a break in the middle of the services and served
      3. We will only feast on the spiritual food, the Bread of Life,
         the Word of God.
   D. To amuse or to amaze.
      1. We will use no tricks or gimmicks, to amuse or amaze
      2. We have no fantastic feats or claims of miraculous healing. 
      3. There will be no personal counseling workshops to help
         people overcome their personal problems.
      4. The Word of God will be preached and it will be left up to
         each individual to make personal application as the need may
   E. Not to embarrass or to scare.
      1. No one will be walking around the audience asking people if
         they are saved. No one will be asked to raise their hand,
         stand up, or in any way be identified before the audience.
      2. There will be no frightening stories to scare people into   
         some kind of commitment.
      3. I heard of one service where a preacher got very excited and
         ran and leaped over the pulpit stand.
      4. We will do all things decently and in order. 1 Cor. 14:33,40
   F. For the sake of custom or tradition.
      1. We are not having the Meeting because it is the tradition of
         the fathers. Matt. 15:9
      2. We will do whatever is Scriptural, whether our fathers have
         so done or not.

   A. To teach the Word of God. True purposes for a Gospel Meeting:
      Chart #2
      1. It is a teaching effort sponsored by the church. 1 Tim. 3:15
      2. Anytime the Word of God is preached, it will accomplish
         much good. Isa. 55:10-11; Heb. 4:12
   B. To worship God in spirit and in truth.
      1. Our Creator seeks true worshipers. John 4:23-24
      2. We will joyfully sing praises to His name. Psalm 63:5; Heb.
   C. To exalt the Lord, Jesus Christ.
      1. We have a wonderful Savior who is the Sovereign Lord and
         King of all. 1 Tim. 6:14-16; Rev. 1:12-18
      2. We want to, once again, experience the gracious blessings
         which flow from our relationship to the Lord. 1 Pet. 2:3
   D. To lead lost souls to Christ.
      1. Many are in sin and don't know it. The Word will convict
         people of sin. John 16:8
      2. By the Word we are taught to deny ungodliness and worldly
         lusts. Titus 2:11-12
      3. Through the Meeting, sinners will be encouraged to come to
         Christ for cleansing. "There is a fountain filled with blood
         Drawn from Immanuel's veins; And sinners plunged beneath
         that flood, Lose all their guilty stains."
   E. To edify and encourage the saints.
      1. We all need to be revived from time to time; thus, the old
         term for a Meeting was "Revival."
      2. There are many pressing things which demand our attention
         and time; however, we want to take a break from it all and
         study the Word of God.
      3. There are many temptations and hardships that we must face
         from day to day. 1 Pet. 5:8 Our Meeting will build us up,
         encourage, and fortify us in these. Acts 20:32; Psalm 119:92
   F. To provide a spiritual feast for all to enjoy.
      1. Isa. 55:1-3
      2. Our meeting will provide spiritual nourishment for our      
         souls. Let us rejoice in it. Psalm 119:111

   A. Attend every service myself.
      1. First of all, I need to determine to attend every service
         myself. Heb. 10:25
      2. Everyone needs strength and encouragement. Let's take
         advantage of a golden opportunity.
   B. Invite my friends and acquaintances.
      1. Why should I be a personal worker? Because it is
         commanded. To build up the church. To strengthen myself.
         To follow Christ. To save souls. To be like the early       
         church. 2 Tim. 2:2; Prov. 11:30
   C. Bring someone if possible.
      1. Bring a relative, friend or neighbor.
      2. More have probably been converted in this way than any
   D. Welcome all visitors.
      1. Make them feel welcome.  Show hospitality. Rom. 12:13
         Demonstrate a genuine interest. Phil. 2:4
   E. Join heartily in the singing. Sing enthusiastically. Psalm     
      1. Sing heartily to the Lord. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16
   F. Pay attention.
      1. We attend all services, not only from a sense of duty, but
         because of the good we obtain.
      2. We will get out of it what we put into it. When we listen
         intently and earnestly, it will benefit us tremendously.    
         Jesus often said, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him     
         a. In other words, "Listen carefully; pay attention; strive 
            to understand; for these things are vitally important."
   G. Come early if possible.
      1. Those who run in at the very last minute, or a few minutes
         late, are not showing enthusiasm toward the kingdom of
      2. Let us demonstrate zeal and enthusiasm. Show that we are
         happy to be here.
      3. Be consumed with zeal for the Lord. John 2:17 David
         mentioned this of himself as well. Psalm 69:9 
   H. Pray for the Meeting.
      1. Pray for the visiting preacher, for the song leaders, for   
         the lost to come to obedience, for the saints. Eph. 6:18-20
      2. Pray that the church might be benefitted from the Meeting.
      3. Pray that the Word of God might have free course in the
         hearts of all. 2 Thess. 3:1

   A. Let all of us work as though the success of the Meeting        
      depended on us, because it does.
   B. The Meeting will be successful and pleasing to God if all of us
      do our part.

Chart #1
The Purpose Of A Gospel Meeting Is Not:

To raise funds or to promote some institution.

To arouse emotions or to create excitement.

To entertain or to feast.

To amuse or to amaze.

To embarrass or to scare.

For the sake of custom or tradition.

Chart #2
True Purposes For A Gospel Meeting:

To teach the Word of God.

To worship God in spirit and truth.

To exalt the Lord, Jesus Christ.

To lead lost souls to Christ.

To edify and encourage the saints.

To provide a spiritual feast for all to enjoy.

Chart #3
What Can I Do To Make Our Meeting Successful?

Attend every service myself.

Invite my friends and acquaintances.

Bring someone if possible.

Welcome all visitors.

Join heartily in the singing.

Listen attentively to the preaching.

Come early if possible.

Pray for the Meeting.