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La Feria, TX 78559
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A Squeaky Wheel Gets Oiled
By Leonard "Buck" Groves
I once knew a man whose philosophy in life was, "A squeaky wheel always gets oiled first." Any good maintenance man will fix a squeak first, if for no other reason than to stop that irritating noise and feel that he has accomplished something. Just like a rattle in a new car! How many times did you take it back to the garage to get it fixed? There is no doubt that we spend a lot of time fixing squeaks and overlooking much larger problems that we have. This man has been known to complain about something for months to his foreman until something was done about it at his work place--just to keep him quiet and happy.
There are also squeaky wheels in the church. They squeak over many things, and hinder the church from doing greater things for the Lord.Whether from a lack of faith or just plain laziness, one of the loudest squeaks is, "It just can't be done." Good faithful elders and many Gospel preachers listen for years to these squeaks and still try to keep a positive attitude toward the work of the church. I know of many elders and preachers who could write a book on this subject alone. It would surprise you how long the list of squeaks would be, and the sad part is that many times the church is split asunder. We cannot ignore this problem and must deal with it. When a right and prayerful decision has been made, the squeak may continue, but it must not keep us from going forward in the work of the Lord. Someone has said, "The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it."
One of the most dangerous squeaks today is, "Gospel meetings are a thing of the past, they cost too much money, and after all no one comes to them anyhow." I don't know how many times I have heard older brethren talk about three week Gospel meetings. I have never even heard of two-week Gospel meetings, and can only remember a few one-week meetings that went from Sunday through Saturday.We just keep whittling away at Gospel meetings until we come up with "min-meetings," or weekend retreats. If we keep going at this rate, our next generation may not even remember what a Gospel meeting was. When we begin comparing our meeting with the three thousand baptized on Pentecost (Acts 2:41) and the five thousand (Acts 4:4) and the multitude in Acts 5:14, they do not look too good. But when the Gospel is preached, the seed is planted (Luke 8:1). Gospel meetings have been successful in the past in building up the church, and reaching out to the lost. I can still remember being baptized into Christ the following Sunday after a Gospel meeting that I had attended.
Why is it that we can plan a week's vacation, a year in advance with much anticipation of success, but give up on Gospel meetings that will last just as long? All the good that a well planned Gospel meeting can accomplish, will stop a lot of squeaking against having Gospel meetings. When we invite our religious neighbors to attend a Gospel meeting with us, they are more likely to come during that week than on a Sunday invitation. Having the church working together on a Gospel meeting helps make for peace and unity and a sense of accomplishment. A feeling that the early church had when they continued daily with one accord in the temple (Acts 2:46).
The great commission is still in effect to "go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16). One of the ways we can carry out our great responsibility is with Gospel meetings. We can also reap a closer fellowship with other congregations of the Lord. This gives us an opportunity to be together with those of like precious faith, and show to the world what unity is all about (John 17:20-21).
Gospel meetings, lectureships, and Bible studies are fine teaching tools to help get the job done in preaching Christ to a lost and dying world, and keeping the church strong. May we never give up on them, pray for their success and show how important they are by our attendance and constant work and prayers. Remember there are still many of us who have a love for Gospel meetings. Let us not allow them to die!