Why an Evening Service? (Part 2)
Previously we considered some reasons for an evening service. First, the pattern of evening and morning established at creation; second, the 4th Commandment; third, the pattern established in the Tabernacle and Temple worship; fourth, the virtue of thanking and praising God expressed in Psalm 92; and fifth, the example set by Jesus and His apostles in the New Testament. Let’s consider five more reasons.
A sixth reason is that preaching, the public reading of Scripture, and public prayers are all effectual means of grace entrusted to the church by which God calls and perfects His saints (Acts 2:42; WSC 88; WLC 154; WCF 25:3). It stands to reason that two public gatherings of the church on the Lord’s Day provides two occasions for us to receive the means of grace.
A seventh reason is God’s special presence. God is omnipresent. That means that He is present in all places at all times (1 Kings 8:27). Yet, there is a way in which God is present with His children that He is not present with the rest of the world (1 Peter 3:12). So too there is a way in which God is present during corporate worship that He is not present with individuals or families (Psalm 100:2; Matthew 18:20; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 10:16; Hebrews 10:25). This we call God’s “special presence”. We begin every worship service with a call to worship; because we believe that God, by His word, invites His people into His special presence for worship. An evening service is another opportunity to join with God’s people and enjoy His special presence.
An eighth reason is a personal reason. As a Christian I have been continually blessed by evening services in which I receive the means of grace, enjoy God’s special presence, and participate in Christian fellowship. Sometimes my flesh has resisted returning for the evening service, but my spirit is always refreshed by it.
A ninth reason is a practical reason. As a husband and a father, the schedule of morning and evening worship help me lead my family in observance of the Lord’s Day. When the day is structured around morning and evening worship, it’s much easier to rest from “worldly employments and recreations” (WSC 60).
A tenth reason is a pastoral reason. As a pastor it is my responsibility to assist you in your growth in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). A principle way that I can be of use to you is by ministering God’s Word among you. Evening services give me additional opportunities to try and do just that.
At this point someone might ask: “Do I have to attend evening services too?”
However, I’m not sure if that’s the right question to ask. Knowing that God has set aside an entire day for us to spend time with Him and His people, and that He has freed us from all of our other obligations and concerns for that day, it may be better to ask: why wouldn’t we want to attend as many worship services as we can?