I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! —2 Timothy 4:1-2
That is the compelling urgency for every minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it’s the call upon every follower of Jesus Christ. Preach the Word!
In the Greek text, this is an imperative. Paul is saying, in effect, “Put these things at the top of your list. Do them now and keep on doing them. What I am about to tell you—do it now and keep on doing it for the rest of your life.” The word there is kerusso, which means to herald, to publicly proclaim, to announce the word. It’s used one hundred twelve times in Scripture. It is the method of Jesus and the apostles. It’s the means of spreading the good news in the early church. This is not just a job of a few—it’s the job of everyone. When you see this word, think of proclaim. Proclaim the Word, all of us.
- The power of preaching is the means by which the world is converted.
Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”
- It is the very channel through which our faith comes to us.
Romans 10:14 says, “How shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? How can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher?” Without someone willing to proclaim to their neighbor the good news that is found in Jesus Christ.
- It is the protection against human strategy entering the church.
1 Corinthians 1:17 says, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.” Many stand up and want to be clever, to work and angle and tell emotional stories, and manipulate people with words. Preaching is the protection against that. Just stand up and let it fly! Just speak the truth and God will use it. It’s the protection against strategy in the church.
- Preaching is the thing the world despises most.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness. But to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
- Preaching is the demonstration of God’s power.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but in a demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
- Preaching is the compelling call upon the man of God.
1 Corinthians 9:16 says, “I have nothing to boast of for I am under compulsion. For woe is me if I preach not the gospel.”
It is the responsibility of every pastor, but also of every Christian. What pastors stand up and do week by week, you are to be doing in between, every day of the week. We are all to be preachers.
Martin Lloyd Jones said, “What is preaching? It is theology on fire. The theology which does not take fire is a defective theology. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit and should never be allowed to enter one.”
Charles Spurgeon said, “The preacher must throw his thought into his teaching. He must not weary the people by telling them the truth in a stale and unprofitable manner with nothing fresh from his own soul to give it force. Above all he must put heart work into preaching. He must feel what he preaches. It must be with him. It is never an easy thing. He must feel as if he could preach his very life away before the sermon is done.”
It is that kind of passionate communication of truth that is desperately needed in the body of Christ and in our church and in your situation. Be ready in season and out of season. Preach the Word!