“He commanded us to preach.”

Acts 10:42

 

Recently, I read an article in a religious periodical which suggested that one of the greatest problems in our churches is that we spend too much time preaching. What nonsense!

 

Our Lord’s last great command was this: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel.” This was Paul’s dying charge to Timothy: “Preach the Word.” And preaching was the one business of the great apostle’s life. He wrote, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” God never called anyone to discuss the gospel, to debate the gospel, to refine the gospel, or even to share the gospel. But he does call men, whom he has gifted and qualified for the work, to preach the gospel. And he sends them forth into the world for that one purpose. And he gives but one reason for doing so: “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

 

This is the one business of God’s servants. And it is not only the primary purpose for our assemblies, it is the only purpose for our assemblies. The local church is to be a sounding board for the gospel of Christ, nothing more and nothing less. Not all of God’s saints are gifted for preaching, but they all are engaged in the work. By their love, their prayers, and their generosity, they hold up the hands of God’s servants.

 

I say this is the one purpose of the church with good reason: gospel preaching is the means of salvation. — “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Gospel preaching is the means of edification. God gives his church pastors according to his own heart, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”. And gospel preaching is the means of sanctification. — “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

 

Well is it written: “How beautiful (greatly desired) are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” God save us from those who would turn aside his church from this great work. Let us press on, as the Lord enables us, preaching the gospel to every creature.

 

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,

And publish abroad His wonderful Name;

The Name all-victorious of Jesus extol,

His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

 

God ruleth on high, almighty to save;

And still He is nigh -- His presence we have;

The great congregation His triumph shall sing,

Ascribing salvation to Jesus, our King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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