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Preparing for our Gospel Meeting (Part II)
Bible study on preparation.
Note: The term "gospel meeting" is an expedient expression for a series of lessons, often lasting 2-6 days.

Our meeting with David Bonner will be here soon, so we're busy making preparations.

Preparation is Necessary
We learn from the Old Testament that preparation is necessary. When God announced to Moses that He was coming down and meet with the Israelites, He told them to prepare by consecrating themselves and washing their garments (Lev. 19:10-11).

In the New Testament we're also commanded to prepare ourselves. We must prepare our minds for action, and be holy in all our behavior.

  • "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy'" (1 Pet. 1:13-16).

Here are some of the examples of preparation to do the Lord's work in the New Testament.

  • Jesus was prepared for burial by a woman anointing Him with perfume (Matt. 26:6-13).
  • Apostles prepared to observe the Passover with Jesus at which time He instituted the Lord's Supper (Matt. 26:17-30).
  • The church at Corinth prepared the contribution they would send to relieve saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9).
  • Philemon prepared to receive Paul into his home, so the church could benefit from his presence (Ph'm. 1:22).

Just like Christians in the first century, we must prepare to do the Lord's work, including preparation to assemble with the saints.

Prepare to Attend
We must prepare ourselves to attend the upcoming gospel meeting, just as with all our assemblies. We have to prepare ourselves and our families to faithfully attend the services, and get the most out of each meeting as possible.

For example, David Bonner has already made many preparations to attend the meeting. He has changed his work schedule to attend, which I imagine includes rescheduling patients. And he's already made airline reservations, which get him to Tampa at 3:25 a.m. the day the meeting begins.

All of us must make preparations. Some of us may need to change our work or school schedule. But I hope none of us will have to fly in at 3:00 a.m. to get to the meeting, like David.

Prepare to Help
There is work for everyone to do in the congregation. And there's work each person can do to help with the gospel meeting.

You can be hospitable to David Bonner and his family throughout the week, providing meals and personal fellowship while he is in Tampa.

You can arrive at the building early and greet individuals attending the meeting; you can help with the facility each evening so it is ready for the next assembly; and you can pray for David and the efforts of the week.

These are things that usually need to be done, but check with the elders for more ideas, and there might be something more specific you can do to help.

Prepare to Participate
Any time we assemble, participation is important. Can you imagine assembling with the saints and there's no participation? Or maybe you've visited brethren and the participation has been half-hearted, and you've been discouraged rather than encouraged.

One of the ways we encourage one another during our assemblies is by participating with our whole heart.

  • "'God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth'" (Jn. 4:24).
  • "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Heb. 10:24-25).

We should begin preparing now to participate during the gospel meeting. And then prepare each day of the meeting, so we worship God in spirit and truth, giving Him our best.

Prepare To Invite People
Even if you're already inviting people to the gospel meeting, it helps to prepare.

Personally, I like it when brethren let me know they are having a gospel meeting. Sometimes they call or email. Sometimes they put a message on a social media site. Sometimes they send a postcard or flyer by postal mail. And sometimes they tell me in person.

It encourages me when brethren think about me, and go out of their way to invite me to a gospel meeting.

We must prepare in order to encourage people by inviting them to our gospel meeting. Then when the time approaches, we have to do the work of inviting.

And especially with the lessons we have planned for this meeting concerning evidences, there may be unbelievers we can reach with God's word more than ever before, and help them come to Christ through the gospel.

The Lord is blessing us with an amazing opportunity to learn from His word during the upcoming gospel meeting with David Bonner.

Preparation is needed, to get the most from the meeting for ourselves, our families, and people who may visit.

Let's make the most of this opportunity by being prepared.