Preaching For Today
2 Timothy 4:2
Is preaching relevant and useful today? People have asked this question throughout time. We have a long list of preachers who have gone before us who left a legacy of solid Bible study and practical application. These preachers had love for the Lord and respect for His word. Preaching can be as effective now as it ever has been if the preacher truly preaches, not just with his mouth, but with his life, also. Preaching is the means God uses to transfer His message to men, and we must be about our Father’s business.
Preaching is relevant because the word of God is relevant. Consider with me 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Whatever good man can ever do is instructed in the Bible. Further, it leads us in doctrine: what we must believe, and in reproof: what we must not believe. Scriptures direct us in correction: what we should not do, and in instruction in righteousness: what we ought to do. There is no part of life left untouched by the Bible. In His word, God completely equips us to make it safely through this world and into the next.
There is a long list of preachers from the past. This list will start with Noah. When Noah preached God’s word to those in his world, many likely thought him to be crazy since they had never seen rain. “Now this Noah says that if we do not change our ways, rain will flood the entire earth. What manner of insanity is this?” It was clear later that Noah was not the insane one. Consider Ezra the scribe. The walls of Jerusalem were finished, and all the people of Israel were gathered together at the Water Gate to hear the law read by Ezra. Ezra read the law in front of all the people, and they lifted their hands before him and worshipped the Lord, saying, “Amen, Amen.” Ezra and the Levites read the law before the people for seven days. Nehemiah 8:7-8 says they explained the law so that the people understood. They had a seven-day revival at the Water Gate, with preaching every day. The people were moved, convicted that their lives were not what they ought to be, prayed, wept, put on sackcloth and ashes, and repented of their sins. Preaching did some good.
There are many others in the Old Testament, but the New Testament is full of them, too. First and foremost is Jesus, the Christ. Matthew’s gospel account is built around five sermons presented by Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount, chapters 5-7; the sending of the twelve, chapter 10; the parables, chapter 13; humility and forgiveness in chapter 18; and the destruction of Jerusalem and return of Christ, chapters 24-25. Mark said that Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). Luke begins Acts in this way: “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach …” (Acts 1:1).
Jesus was a preacher. He passed this on to his apostles and closest disciples in Matthew 10 and in John, chapters 13-16. Peter used the “keys to the kingdom” on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 souls were added (Acts 2:41). Stephen preached in Acts 7; Ananias preached to Saul in Acts 9; and Peter preached to Cornelius in Acts 10. The list goes on and on: Philip to the Eunuch, Paul to Felix; the book of Acts of the Apostles is filled with preaching. Paul told Timothy to instruct these things to faithful men that they may not teach strange doctrines (1 Timothy 1:3). We must teach others to preach and teach so that the word of God may be perpetuated and not be overtaken by strange teachings. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2). –1301 West Virginia Ave., Parkersburg, WV 26104. firstname.lastname@example.org
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