“If you DECLARE the gospel and don’t LIVE IT – you will confuse people.
If you LIVE the gospel and don’t DECLARE IT – you will condemn people.”
— Steve Wilson
Preach the Word!
Preach the word…a simple command. It’s certainly easy enough to understand. That’s what Paul told Timothy to do…
“…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2 Tim 4:2)
Listen to the seriousness…the gravity of this charge that Paul gives in this prelude…
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:” (2 Tim 4:1)
A charge like that makes it very clear how important preaching is. The phrase “solemnly charge” is translated from one word that carries the idea of giving a forceful order or directive. And to top that off, it’s given “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus.”
Question: How much more weight can that charge carry?
In fact there is no task in ministry that is more important than preaching. It is the God ordained means to convey His truth. Any other ministry that a church does is secondary, which makes preaching paramount. It really is all about the “Primacy of Preaching.”
Jesus certainly thought so…
“But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” (Luke 4:43–44)
…And if Jesus makes it preeminent, who are we to make it less???
The sad reality is…that is not what attracts many people to a local church. Instead for many it’s tradition, friends, family, fellowship, geographic location or children’s programs.
But what should be the attraction from a Biblical perspective? Here is a quote from a must-read book called Jesus Christ: The Prince of Preachers, by Mike Abendroth…
“The preaching of God’s Word — that must be at the very center of God’s assembled flock. Biblical preaching has hit the skids and has been replaced with the latest popular gruel that is deficient in nutrients because it is ashamed of the words of Jesus and His apostles. People attend worship services with consumer mentalities and the wrong object in mind. They go to please ‘me,’ not to worship God…They raise their hands to music with a fast tempo, supposedly ‘feeling’ the Holy Spirit, but when the preaching begins, all the hands go down.”
Abendroth makes this very telling statement…
“The obsolescence of preaching in not happening before us, it has already happened.”
“The church has exchanged her preaching birthright for a watered-down stew of…programs that are designed to fill the pews. This ‘stew’ will not fill the person in the pew with hygienic, sound, meaty doctrine, which is critical for healthy Christian living. We need men at our sacred desks today who will not apologize for cutting the Word of truth straightly, in context, with boldness, directed at the heart, and carefully exegeted.”
Well guess what Grace Community Church of Bowling Green…we have those men!!!
The fact that God is pleased to let us have this rare gift is a privilege that is immeasurably awesome. Please hear me on this…there are tens of thousands of Christians who are starving to have what God has so graciously given us. Please…let’s not ever take this for granted. Instead of hammering the preacher, we need to be thanking God for using him to hammer us with the truth.
Let’s back up to last Sunday’s sermon.
Question: How convicted was I?
Were you convicted? I hope you were. If so then please join me as we “take it squarely on the chin.” Then let’s get up off the floor and get to work; doing what Jesus Christ commanded us to do…declare the gospel.
This should be our motivation as we live the gospel. You see…if preaching is proclaiming, and it is…then in a sense we should all be “preaching.”
“…and how will they hear without a preacher?” (Rom 10:14)
After all…these instructions come from the Prince of Preachers who is the object of our preaching.