Listen: 55 Question 3

In the early days of the church, we see from scriptures that the believers were meeting every day.  What a wonderful time that must have been.  Let’s read Acts 2:46, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.”  We have examples from the Word that the church began meeting each Lord’s Day: the first day of the week.  Let’s look at a few scriptures concerning the gathering of the church.  Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”  This shows us that the habit of the Lord’s disciples was the meet on the first day of each week to break bread.  This term indicates more that simple fellowship, it speaks of worship.  The term is often in reference to the Lord’s desire to be remembered as we read in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”  How important it is for the Lord’s people to begin each week in collective worship of our blessed savior.  We see in Acts 20:7 that after the breaking of bread, there was ministry given.

It was at this gathering of the church that the collections were received of the Lord’s people.    Let’s read 1 Corinthians 16:2 which says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”  We also read of the collection of the saints in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”  We learn here that giving to the Lord is a privilege, not a necessity.  While the Lord desires that we give back to Him out of what He has blessed us with, He is much more concerned about the condition of our hearts.

So we see from these portions that on the first day of the week, the believers gathered to worship the Lord, to receive ministry from the Word and to give money as the Lord had prospered each one.  Why is it the first day of the week, or Sunday that the church gathered?  This is not the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was the seventh or last day of the week.  It’s what we call Saturday.  We gather on the first day of the week to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection which happened on the first day of the week as we read in Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”

Is it necessary that we continue to meet on the first day of the week?  Is it important to be faithful in our attendance of the church gatherings?  Let’s look at Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  We should not forsake the gathering of the saints.  In fact, as we see the day of the Lord’s return getting closer, we need to gather together even more.  In these last days, we really need the nourishment, strength and encouragement that comes from being with fellow believers around the Word of God.  I can’t think of a better way for a family to spend their day together.