Frequently  Asked  Questions

Can the Lords Supper be offered at Sunday evening service?

 Let's look at a verse, which we find an example for when we are to take the Lord's Supper.

Acts 20:7 ∂ And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.  

This example for when to partake of the Lord's Supper says on the first day of the week. It does not say what time of day to partake, although given the definition for Supper it would seem more appropriate to partake in the evening.  So how do we determine when to take the Lordís Supper? What commandment do we have? Sense the first day of the week lasts for 24 hours must we meet for the entire 24 hours? What is needed here is an expedient.  An expedient is an aid used to help fulfill a command. 

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

These verses gives us authority to use an expedient, but it must be lawful first, this means not to add or remove from the command, it must edify, and it cannot be bound or turned into law. 

So let's use an expedient to solve our problem.  Will set a time of 11:00 AM for the disciples to come together. Now we have solved our problem of when we are to meet.  We created an expedient to help us fulfill the command to come together. Let's check our expedient to see if it fits the entire requirements to be scriptural. The first day of the week for our time keeping starts at midnight Saturday night until midnight Sunday night. Anytime during this 24 hour period would be the first day of the week. Anytime during this 24 hour period would be lawful to meet to take the Lord's Supper. Weíve set our time to come together at 11:00 AM Sunday morning.  This is a lawful time to come together. What other requirements do we have for partaking the Lordís Supper, which our expedient may affect?

1) Disciples must come together. Acts 20:7∂ And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.  

                     This fits within our expedient.

 

2) We must tarry one for another or schedule it to be taken together. 1Co 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.


                    This fits within our expedient.

 

3) The individual must take it in a worthy manner, which means to remember Christís death. 1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
 

        This fits within our expedient.

 

 4) There must be a prayer before each item is served.   Mt. 26:26 ∂ And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
  

This fits within our expedient.

 

So no law is broken by our expedient. All the requirements to take the Lord's Supper can be met. 

Now how many expedients can we have? Are we limited to a number? No, we have song leaders, songbooks, microphones, overheads and on and on. As long as it is lawful, edifying, and not bound, we can have as many expedients as we want.

Now we have another problem. The time we set to come together hinders some of the member from coming together. Another expedient is needed to accommodate the other disciples. Here is where the problem starts.  Some want to bind the expedient to just 11:00 am. Our expedient has now bound a time, which is not lawful. An expedient cannot be bound.

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

There must be a certain time set in order to tarry one for another, but the number of times is not breaking any laws. It would not be expedient to come together many times, but it is not possibly to get all members together at one time. No matter what time you decide on it just will not work. Because of the time we live in we do not have perfect working hours.  We may have a sick child or an elderly parent living with us that cannot be left alone.  Some would say ďwell God would understand if you missĒ and I agree with that.  But, sense the time, which we partake, is an expectant, why canít we just allow for another expedient and meet in the evening. Would it be lawful? Yes. Is it on the first day of the week? Yes. Are the disciples coming together to break bread?  Yes. Are we tarrying one for another or schedule it to be taken together?  Yes, just as the morning service is scheduled so is the evening. The individual must still take it in a worthy manner. Thereís no reason why they canít do this. Is there a prayer before each item is served?  Yes.  It edifies to have an opportunity to partake in the morning and in the evening.  Every requirement for the expedient to take place in the morning is just as lawful to take place in the evening.  When I go to meet in the evening it is to do all of the apostle doctrine, including taking of the Lord's Supper.  Whether or not I have taken the Lord's Supper in the morning, I come together in the evening for this reason as well as doing the other apostles doctrine.  I do not take the Lord's Supper twice. I do think on Christ's death while others are partaking.  I come a second time on the first day of the week, for the continuation of an expedient to allow everyone an opportunity to fulfill his or her obligation.  That obligation is not limited to just some of the apostles doctrine, but all of them.  We cannot come together on the first day of the week and call it a class and then leave.  If you are going to come together a second time on the first day of the week you cannot cut out the giving of our means or the partaking of the Lord's Supper.  This would be unscriptural. 

Can we say the reason for coming together is for partaking the Lord's Supper? Is this the reason for coming together? Most people say yes it is the reason we come together.

1Co 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Now wait, isn't this telling me to give on the first day of the week. Is this verse telling us to do this at a different time than when we come together or is it inferred that this could be done anytime on the first day? If I'm sick, can I not give at the evening service?   If I'm working an unusual schedule and have to miss 2 or 3 weeks in the morning, but can make it in the evening does that mean I don't have to give?  Does this mean the preacher will have to take a reduction in wages because half the people work at the same place I do? 

Now I said all that to say this. What if when I was able to give, say at the evening service, and it was rejected? I was told no you missed your chance. Does anyone have the authority to reject me from fulfilling a command that is between God and me? If the example given is the first day of the week and when the disciple come together to break bread whether it is one disciple or many, who has the authority to deny a person to fulfill that command.  Some say well you see it says the disciples come together to "break bread".  How can we do anything if we don't come together?  Don't you come together to sing, pray, give your offering.  In the same verse, Act 20:7 Paul preached.  How can you come together on the first day of the week and sing, pray, teach or preach, take up an offering but no we can't offer the Lord Supper because we are not "all" coming together to do this.  You cannot pick one verse out of the bible for any finial say without harmonizing it with other scripture.  The disciples where following the apostles doctrine.  Act 2:42 classifies fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer all as being required.  Can we put more importance on one item of worship than another?  If we are going to meet a second time should we do all of the apostle doctrines or should we leave some out.

Acts 2:42 ∂ And they continued stedfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

If the disciples are not coming together to do all of the apostle doctrine, including break bread, than they have no need to come together.  Can you call it a class? Not if "the disciple are coming together on the first day of the week.  We are told what to do when we come together on the first day of the week period.  Coming together is coming together.  The evening is the first day just like the morning is the first day. All items of worship are supposed to be done on the first day of the week.  If all the things we are suppose to do on the first day of the week are done except the Lords Supper, it's just an uncompleted service.    When someone is traveling on a business trip and stops in for the evening service, they will expect to be severed the Lords Supper.  To not serve the Lords Supper when every other requirement has been fulfilled would make the Lord Supper a congregational act only. Withholding the opportunity to partake on the first day when the disciples are gathered would be taking away from whatís written.  If there is a split understanding in the church, the evening meeting should be suspended until everyone can come to an agreement. If everyone agrees on not serving the Lords Supper, than there should not be an evening gathering. We are to be like-minded. Having half the members get up and excuse themselves before the Lords Supper is served is not like-minded, not to mention rude. Definitely not loving one another. Some make their members who desire to partake the Lord Supper, go into a classroom separate from the others. Is this tarrying one for another?

Oh that right, we are told to tarry for one another!  This simple means to set a time in which we are all aware of, so we can partake in a orderly manner. This doesn't mean we have to partake one time only and not again. What if someone is baptized at the end of the lesson after the Lord's Supper has been given. Do you not offer the Lord' Supper to that person? Once I was serving on the table, when it was over I sat down by my wife and she said, "I was skipped" I ask did you say anything?  She replied "no but I waved my hand and I could not get their attention". By this time the song had started so I told her I'll say something after the last song before we are dismissed.  She was served with no questions.  Should she have been rejected because everyone else had already partaken?  Was she guilty of sin for not tarrying one for another?  Are the men serving the Lordís Supper guilty of sin for not tarrying one for another? It is a commandment. If you believe tarry one for another means to wait until "everyone" is together than you would never be able to partake.  Everyone is never going to be together the same time.  It would be a major effort to check before serving the Lord's Supper to see if everyone is present. What about a mother in the nursery who may have gotten skipped? How far can you take "tarry for one another"? Does the front row tarry for the back row? Do we need someone to give us a "ready, set, go"?  Can you think on Christ's death if you are concerned about putting the bread in your mouth at the same time? 

Bottom line, there are many expedients done today that were not done in the early church.  If they are lawful, edifying and not bound or made into law, than they are authorized by God.

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