Roland S. Barnes writes:
It is my conviction that God’s people, redeemed by His grace through the Lord Jesus Christ, ought to worship Him privately or publicly, morning and evening, each day of the week, and especially on the Lord’s Day. Yet attendance in churches that continue to have a Sunday evening service is down. The congregation which I serve probably has an attendance in the evening which is about 50% of that which is present in the morning. That is good when you are comparing it to other churches that have evening services, from whatever denomination. Yet, it is also a sad fact that there are many, many churches that have discontinued their evening worship services altogether. With the advent of television, other media, sports, and all else that takes place on Sunday, worship in the evening is on the way out. For many, worship on the Lord’s Day has become a matter of getting the perfunctory hour of worship out of the way so one can go about doing whatever he would like for the remainder of his day, not to be disturbed again until the next Sunday morning. For the first nineteen and one-half centuries of the Christian Church it was not like this. As far as can be determined, for nineteen hundred and fifty years (more or less) the Church accepted the reality of morning and evening worship on the Lord’s Day as a recommended practice based upon a solid Biblical foundation. It was thought, “Surely that is what we ought to do on the Lord’s Day.” No one even questioned it. When I was a boy growing up in Georgia, as far as I know, every church of every denomination worshipped on the Lord’s Day, morning and evening. Even as an unbeliever, I grew up in the church worshipping on the Lord’s Day, morning and evening. Our family was in attendance. Why did we do that? Why was that the practice of the Church for over nineteen-hundred years? Was this only a well established tradition with no Biblical foundation? Was this a practice imposed upon the Church by medieval theologians who could think of nothing better to do on Sunday? Did they required the people of God to worship twice on the Lord’s Day, morning and evening, with no more solid basis than an arbitrary assertion of will? What is the rationale for having a Sunday evening service on the Lord’s Day? It might seem strange to some even to raise such a question, but the realities of our day require that we consider it. I am sure that even those who are regular attenders of evening services of worship have battled with members of their own households about whether they should return again to worship on Sunday evening. In this paper I would like to present some suggested reasons why Christians ought to worship on the Lord’s Day, both morning and evening.