The First Sunday Evening Service
The First Sunday Evening Service is a sermon teaching us that after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his assembled disciples in a closed room, and said, “Peace be unto you.” It was the very first church service held on a Sunday evening.
It used to be that Sunday evening services were held as a tradition. But since the 1980s, a growing trend among churches was to stop holding evening services. The bible does not tell us to hold evening service but to set aside one day a week to honor God. Keeping the Sabbath which is on Saturday is fine. Christians celebrate “the Lord’s Day,” when the Lord Jesus Christ resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week. The bible teaches us that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together and so most churches hold services on Sunday.
The first evening church service occurred on the same day as the resurrection. Jesus arose early in the morning, that is why most churches commemorate Easter with sunrise services. The first church met at the Temple daily, early in the morning.
On the same day of the resurrection, Jesus appeared to people in various places. That evening the disciples were gathered together shut in a room, in fear of the Jewish religious leaders who had plotted Jesus’s crucifixion. Jesus appeared and greeted the disciples and calmed their hearts, knowing they were afraid, troubled, and confused. He showed His hands and side. Then the disciples were glad because then they knew He was real and alive. Their hearts were changed, the Savior was there with them and they were happy.
Christ came into the world to save sinners and He tells his disciples to do the same, to preach the Gospel to save mankind. Jesus breathed on them so that they could receive the Holy Ghost and forgive sin in His name. Whatever we do in this life will have eternal results.
Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to the brethren. He missed the blessings Jesus gave. Thomas relied on what he had seen, Jesus being crucified and having died. The following Sunday, Jesus appeared again to the disciples with Thomas present. The disciples’ spirit was higher because they had seen the Lord. Jesus told Thomas to place his hands into His wounds. Thomas realized it was Jesus and worshipped Jesus as his Lord and his God. Years later, Thomas went to India and preached the Gospel and many became believers. Thomas was killed for his ministry by those who did not believe.
Jesus told Thomas that evening, that he believed because he had seen, but blessed are the people who believe and have not seen Him. Jesus says blessed are those who believe the words of the Gospel that the apostles spoke. Words for us even today to be saved so that we can believe and have life everlasting.
The First Sunday Evening Service sermon starts with verses from John 20:19-24:
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
21 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
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