By Tim Cantrell – Antioch Bible Church
August 2023

1. It’s the Lord’s Day – Sunday night church shows that we are sincere when we confess in our Declaration of Faith: “We believe that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, in which we gather for corporate worship in the name of our Saviour who rose on the first day of the week” (1 Cor. 16:1; Rom. 1:10). Not just the ‘Lord’s Morning’, but a whole day consecrated to the risen Christ, declaring that the tomb is empty and our Saviour lives! Isn’t that what we declare in our catechism?:

Question: “Why is Sunday called the Lord’s Day?”

Answer: Sunday is called the Lord’s Day because Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, and the early church gathered on that day for corporate worship in Jesus’ name.

2. It’s the Lord’s Word – Who would not want a second helping of God’s delicious, satisfying Scripture if it was offered?! Or can we live “by bread alone” (Matt. 4:4)? Surely we love God and His Word so much that we feast on biblical preaching at every opportunity (Ps. 19; Ps. 119), knowing the unique blessing God has promised when He speaks to us “in the congregation” (Ps. 22:22; 40:10; 68:26). Will we grow as Christians by hearing less biblical teaching instead of more (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Tim. 3:15-4:5)? Of course not!

In an increasingly dark, post-Christian age, we need strong, deep expository preaching more than ever.

3. We love the Old Testament – Sunday nights at Antioch tend to be when we study the Old Testament, which was the only Bible that Jesus and the early church had available at first. By “devoting yourself” (Acts 2:42) to sit under regular preaching from both Testaments, you show that it is not mere lip service when we say we must be whole-Bible Christians, and that all of Scripture is “God-breathed” and “living and active” (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12). It is hard to grow as a Christian and as a church unless we are receiving a healthy breadth and depth of teaching on a wide range of biblical texts, doctrines, themes and topics. A Sunday-morning only Christian is a malnourished one with an imbalanced diet.

4. We are the Lord’s body – Missing Sunday night church weakens our church covenant about how we will not “forsake the assembly” (Heb. 10:25) and will “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) and actively encourage, care and watch out for one another (Heb. 3:13), and use our gifts and every opportunity to build one another up (Eph. 4:11-16; Rom. 12:4-8). Why would we ever want our habits to suggest to our fellow members, ‘I have no need of you’, and ‘You have no need of me’ (1 Cor. 12)? My starting point as a slave of Christ is not how I can be served, but how I can serve others, knowing the far greater blessing of giving than receiving (Acts 20:35; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). How else will we warmly welcome, evangelise and disciple new people at church if we’re absent from half the gatherings?

5. It’s family night – Sunday nights are uniquely suited for aspects of church family life that cannot be squeezed into a Sunday morning – like corporate prayer, baptisms, mission reports, catechizing, testimonies, plus more congregational singing, more sweet communion at the Lord’s Table, and more church meals together! As I child I remember Sunday nights were a highlight to play outside with my friends while my parents fellowshipped with their friends; it was a big let-down if we missed it!

6. Our shepherds love us – “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you” (Heb. 13:17). If you only show up at half of our Sunday meetings, you make it twice as hard for your pastors/elders, and other church leaders and mature members (fathers & mothers in the faith), to care for your soul, to watch out for you, to befriend, counsel, and get to know you.

7. It frames our week – It’s the one day of the week we can publicly praise God “morning and evening” (Ps. 1:3; 92:2), which sets the tone for doing that in our homes privately (and in family worship) every other day of the week. On Sundays, we get to bring our morning and evening offerings to the heavenly temple, like God’s priests of old would do at the earthly temple (Num. 28:1-10; Ezra 3:3; Lev. 6:20). Corporate worship is detox from the previous six days of being surrounded by idolatry, and it launches us into the new week with a whole day framed by pure worship from start to finish. Our worship habits are the most foundational and influential of all our habits in life.

8. We follow godly footsteps – Morning and evening Sunday worship was the norm for the first 1950 years of church history. Do we need the Lord and His Church less than our forebears; or have we become wiser than they? Or have we succumbed to the spirit of the age that marginalizes God? Why settle for the minimum instead of giving the maximum to our Lord who gave His all for us? (In fact, only in the last century did Saturday become a non-working day; we actually have more leisure and family time than many of our forefathers.) Why “move the ancient landmark” of a good and godly practice (Prov. 22:28)?

Says one pastor: God’s people through the ages have prized the second service. Christian children growing up with Sunday evenings at church remember them with a special fondness. Most Christians, I suppose, have the memory of a special spiritual atmosphere that attached to evening worship. We are, after all, talking about only another hour or two out of the entire week. Surely we should have a very good reason why we would not make a special effort to be in God’s house, to sing his praise and hear his Word, twice on the Lord’s holy Day. A day devoted to his worship and to the refreshment of our souls in him is very naturally a day that begins and ends in God’s house, among God’s people, with his Word in our ears and his praise in our hearts (

9. It rebukes secularism – We gather because we know we are living in the last days and we can “see the Day approaching”, so we yearn for our Lord’s victorious return (Heb. 10:25; Tit. 2:13). Every Lord’s Day together makes us cry even louder, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus”, because it is a foretaste of that future, never-ending corporate worship service around the throne of the Lamb in glory (Rev. 4-5). Pastor John Benton writes: Secularism sees everything just in terms of this life. But by coming to church on Sunday night we are making a statement. We are saying ‘No’ to the view that this life is all. We are saying we are looking forward to Christ’s coming kingdom. And, by having two services on a Sunday, we are saying, ‘This is not a mere duty, we are enthusiastic about this!’ (

10. Our nation needs it – “Our needy nation is not going to be turned around and saved by seeing a lot of empty churches on Sunday nights. People are going to be challenged by seeing full churches, and hearing enthusiastic singing and thinking, ‘What’s going on there?’” (J. Benton)(1 Pet. 3:15). Sunday nights are another way for us publicly to shine light and pour salt for Christ into this dark, decaying and godless society (Matt. 5:13-16; Php. 2:15-16).

In closing – Tim Challies states: An evening service counters our culture’s obsession with convenience and low commitment in matters of family, life and religion. It can be downright difficult to get the family out the door once on a Sunday, not to mention twice and your neighbors will be convinced that you’re crazy for doing it. Let them! The evening service also counters our Christian culture of expecting little from people and, for that reason, being intimidated to ask much from them. Experience shows that when a church sets the expectation for the evening service, the people rise to it and soon wouldn’t have it any other way. (

As another pastor advises: There is a quality of spiritual life that develops and thrives around the worship of God twice on the Lord’s Day. Something about being in church with God’s people twice every Sunday has a wonderfully positive effect, producing not only Christian individuals but a whole Christian culture, a community lifestyle distinguished by its caring, Christlike quality, and a missionary zeal that reaches out to the whole world.(

Or as one of our deacons recently told me, “I just come on Sunday nights because I love my Lord and I want more fellowship with Him and His people.” As Martyn Lloyd-Jones once stated, “When you read Acts 2 about the Spirit-filled, first church in Jerusalem at Pentecost, you realise they would be asking, ‘Must we only meet twice, and not more?!’” (Acts 2:41-47)