This past Sunday the family joined the church of Christ Southside at 3217 Old Cavern Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220, in assembly.
Our visit presented an opportunity for me to teach their Sunday school class. Study centered around avoiding assumptions that all who claim Christ are indeed in Christ (Galatians 3:26,27) – even among those whom we assemble for worship with. Consideration was given to Cornelius’s need for obedience to the gospel in baptism (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Romans 6:1-11), though already a God fearing, righteous and prayerful man. One brother commented after class that before that mornings discussion, he had assumed as a Christian, that people’s salvation was there buisness. That if they were going to be saved, they’d ask the right people the right questions or be exposed to the gospel message and obey it on their own. That he had little more to do with the process than just being a godly example. He shared that now he was beginning to see that God had a more direct role for him in influencing other’s salvation.
The sermon which followed, by a local brother (Phil), was about being active in the work of the Lord. Though unplanned our two lessons complemented one another beautifully. Perhaps the providence of God.
At the close of class and before worship, I had the pleasure of meeting a young man in his early twenties who was visiting for his third time – Seth. Before sitting down I asked a couple of the local brethren if they knew anything about Seth’s faith. They admitted that they did not.
Following the worship assembly, Seth, sitting near the back, hopped up and managed an exit that included only a few handshakes with accompanied, “Glad to see you again” and “Hope to see you next Sunday.” Seeing this, I hurried to the back and caught Him outside just as he was leaving to walk home. Having invited him to join our family and possibly other local brethren for lunch he gladly accepted. No local brethren ended up being available to eat together with the four of us visitors.
Over lunch I made it a point to ask Seth about his faith. The discussion that followed revealed that Seth believed he was saved through a prayer of repentance when a teen. Also that he had only recently been baptized and this as an outward sign or confession of a salvation he believed he received years before (in prayer). I asked him if he was open to our discussing some Scriptures with him and he said yes. So the four of us (Holly, Zoe, Seth and I) spent the next half hour discussing scriptures dealing with baptism’s role in accepting salvation in Jesus (1 Peter 3:21, Colossians 2:11,12, etc…).
Our lunch ended with Seth suggesting that he was going to reexamine baptism’s role in salvation. That he also intended to continue assembling with Southside.
Upon our return to Southside’s evening study a brother asked how our afternoon with Seth went.
Brethren, in addition to studying and worshipping with congregations you visit, might their be opportunity to do more? I encourage you to be open to the opportunity. Might you be able to strengthen brethren’s work among the lost by your visit? Sharpen their awareness of people’s souls, yours and other visitors, by discussing it with them? Might devoting the Sunday of any given trip to these endeavors, while avoiding crowding our time that day with seeing the sights, benefit the church in that area?
Keep thinking souls brethren!