Jack Carroll - Sidney, Manitoba Convention - Sunday Morning, November 8, 1914

Most of us have begun to date the beginning of the year from the convention.  We begin the week by coming together in His Name to seek to encourage and help each other so that through the week we may be able to get the victory.  Every healthy saint looks upon the first day of the week as the most important day.  It is a day upon which they rest and seek to give God an opportunity to work in their hearts.  By coming together thus on the first day of the week, we are giving our testimony to those outside.  We make clear that in all our worship and service we can do without a public building and hired preacher and even without our own preacher which outsiders consider absolutely necessary.  So the saints should never without very good reasons absent themselves from the meeting on the first day of the week.  What would you consider to be a good excuse for not being in your right and proper place on the first day of the week?  An excuse you can offer the Lord?  Sickness unto death is the only reasonable excuse any man or woman can offer.  Rain or shine, it is your duty to your neighbours, to your brethren in the church to be there.  Your absence will be felt not only in the church but the neighbours are looking on, and they will say it won’t be long until they are back.  They watch for your halting and are glad when they see you stumble.  One of the surest proofs that the Lord is your master is seen in the fact that on His day you are in the place He intended all His saints to be.  By going even when difficulties are great, weather bad, roads impassable, you are encouraging yourself and gladdening the heart of God.  If your friends make it a habit to come to your home on the first day of the week to hinder you from going to the meeting, make clear to them that because the Lord is your master, you have to be in a certain place at a certain hour.   It is wonderful how world, flesh, and devil make some excuse for giving God a second place.  We keep the first day of the week not because we have to but because we love to.  The promise is not to two or three dozen.  The Pharisees had a law that unless ten men came, there would be no meeting.  Ten hundred women might come, but they would not count.  Two or three can have a glad happy fellowship meeting that will strengthen and encourage them and cause them to purpose to be true to Him no matter what it costs.

 

Those in the home where the church meets are responsible for having it comfortable, not too hot and not too cold.  The danger in Manitoba is that you will be roasted and get sleepy.  Consider the comfort of your guests.  If there are children, the parents are responsible for keeping them quiet.  For the short hour the meeting is, there should be the very same discipline there is at school.  The parents should insist upon the children being there as long as they have a right to control them.  Try and woo them.  We need to consider each other so that our fellowship may not be hurt.

 

The married women in the church at Corinth were inclined to ask questions when someone was speaking.  Confusion and disorder became the rule, so Paul had to administer a rebuke for their lack of consideration for their brothers and sisters.

 

Let us see to it that we allow the Lord to warm our hearts before we come to meeting.  Try and get a crumb for yourself and for your brother and when you come to meeting try and pass it on.  I have known meetings to be hurt by saints going too early.  You waste a lot of time by useless gossip.  Consider the people in whose home the church is to meet.  Don’t come too late.  It shows lack of consideration for your brethren when you persistently come too late.  Punctuality is the soul of business.  The more we consider each other, the more the love of God will triumph in our hearts.  There are heights and depths of the love of Christ that we have not known. We can go a long way towards doing our best along every line to make the meeting tell for God.  If others come into your meeting, give them your testimony in a nice simple way.  Don’t preach at them. The very simplicity of the meeting will very often appeal to an honest mind and heart.  Would you break bread if strangers are in?  I don’t think it would be right not to.  We don’t attach any great sanctity to the bread and wine.  If they do take it, it won’t do us any harm.  If they come continually and think that by so doing they are made one with us, then you could show them different. Most people will recognize it is for those who have given their testimony.  Some have taken their stand through coming to the meetings of the saints.

 

Large meetings are not helpful because all do not get a chance to take part.  If we met together in such great numbers as today, we would soon become useless.  Moses’ way was as many as could eat a lamb, 15 or 20.  I never like to see any more, for they get in each other’s way.

 

The elder’s business is to be overseer, not to lord it over God’s heritage and lecture the saints.  A good overseer is a man that can get others to do the work.  I have found that ability to get others to do it is as valuable an asset as being able to do it yourself.  You can pour in oil where there is any friction.   An elder is a man that kind of rules the thing and the others don’t know it.

 

Church means called out or separated.  It is used several times in the New Testament but is never applied to a building.  Jesus is called the head of the Church.  Just as my head controls my hands, so He wants control of the members of the church.  We become members of His body by submitting to Him.  Our past is blotted out.  We were enemies, and opposed and the son of God steps in and makes our peace with God.  I cannot sit here and talk about the things of God apart from realizing the value of the death of Jesus.  We are not bound together by any official relationship; we are bound together by the spirit — unity of the spirit and the bond of peace.  We are His bride.  He is our Bridegroom and if we love our Bridegroom, He has become to us the fairest of ten thousand, the altogether lovely one.  He never disappoints.  We may lavish our love on others, but it will disappoint.

 

There are two ordinances that we are to keep.  The first is baptism and the second, communion.  We believe in baptizing divine babies.   We baptize because we believe they are already the sons of God, not to make them the sons of God.  Baptism means, “Good-bye, world, flesh, and devil and all I know to be wrong and welcome everything that is after the pattern of Jesus."

 

The Old Testament Passover Feast was eating the lamb.  It was celebrated in the homes of the people.  It was a home feast.  The New Testament Passover Feast is eating the bread and drinking the wine.  Jesus kept the Passover in the home of a poor water carrier and there He instituted the new Passover Feast, breaking the bread and drinking the wine.  It was an opportunity for calling to memory what God had done for them, and so we are afforded the same opportunity.  It is another way of saying, “Jesus is my Master, Lord and King.  I remember His self denial and sacrifice and I want to be truly one with Him.  I want to eat and drink worthily in His presence.”  I could not partake of the bread and wine and at the same time feel malice against some brother.  That would be hypocrisy.  It causes us to search our hearts and purpose to let go of everything that hinders.  It was never intended to be a sad feast, but a glad happy feast, once again remembering Him and consecrating ourselves to His service.