The 18th Century preacher, John Wesley, once said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”
Wesley clearly believed in preaching.
The early Apostles preached Christ through the Holy Land, into Asia-minor and all the known world. You couldn’t have stopped them if you tried because God was doing the work. Their words went out with the power of the Holy Spirit. Necessity laid hold of them and love constrained them in the face of opposition and persecution.
If we stop preaching, we will not see a movement like this again?
It’s not the “old way”. A newer and better way has never been invented. Cultural relevance has very little to do with the success of preaching. With gospel-content, the power of the Spirit who raised Christ from the grave, and willing vessels, preaching will change the young, the old, the rich and the poor. All who believe will be radically transformed.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Faith in Christ brings forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God. Preach this with boldness and proclaim it with passion just as it was in ages past. Is passion really necessary? It’s not a matter of necessity. It’s more a matter of response. How would you respond if you held in your hand the only cure for cancer and you only had a matter of time to get it to the right people? You would well up with excitement, passion and zeal as carried to cure, no matter the distance, to save those who needed it. When you fully embrace the reality that the gospel is God’s power to save, and that those who believe will receive eternal life, you will say with Paul, “I am eager to preach the gospel to you also.”
The apostles turned the world upside down with the finest preaching this world has ever known. It was truth, it was bold, it was risky and it was theologically accurate. They knew Jesus, His ways, His life and His doctrine. They firmly held to grace, love, hope and faith. They believed in trinitarian doctrine, regeneration by the Spirit and a new birth that resulted in genuine repentance and sincere faith. They preached this message to the end and became martyrs; true and faithful witnesses to the glory of Him who loved this world to death.
We need to follow their example today.
Whether on the streets of our communities or in our churches; whether to a friend or a perfect stranger, the gospel must be preached. It must be heard. We must boldly tell the world the message of the crucified and risen King of glory until all have heard. Study to show yourself as one approved by God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, but rightly divides the Word of truth. Do it for the glory of Him who called you, not for the praises of men. Do this for the sake of all the souls out there who have yet to hear and be saved.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” Earlier in Chapter 4 verse 17 he said, “That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.That’s the way it must remain.”
If living as a follower of Jesus and getting the message of salvation to the world was intended to change over time, then would Paul have said such things to the Churches of his day? Would the Holy Spirit have inspired men to write and preserve such words over the millennia if the intention was to change it all today?
The bottom line is that preaching is not the old way. It’s a solemn way. It’s the way of Jesus, Paul and all the Apostles who proclaimed truth to their world. We cannot change it now. Let’s go out and preach the Gospel today.
Romans 10:14 “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”