The Purpose Of Preaching
Many folks do not understand what the purpose of preaching is. In the religious world today, there are many charlatans and “entertainers” who parade under the guise of preaching. Because of the shenanigans, dishonesty, and outright hypocrisy in the lives of so-called “preachers,” many are disillusioned and confused about the purpose of preaching. According to the Bible, what is the purpose of preaching?
In answering the above question, we must first realize that Christ commands us to preach. Jesus told His apostles, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15-16). In Matthew’s account, Jesus said, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). In obeying Jesus’ command to “preach the Gospel,” we are sharing with the world the greatest news it will ever hear: the message of salvation in Christ!
The purpose of preaching is to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). The Word of God must be taught that it might be heard, believed, and obeyed. In preaching the Word, preachers are called upon “to reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). To “reprove” means to open people’s eyes to sin and error and expose it. To “rebuke” means to stir hearts and convict the hearers of the need to correct sin and error. To “exhort” means to make plain the Christian duty and encourage the hearers to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12). Someone has said that the purpose of preaching is “to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.” As preachers preach the Word, they must speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
The purpose of preaching is to “preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, became a man that He might die, be buried, and rise again “according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). As we preach the Word, we must preach “Jesus” (Acts 8:35). In preaching “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2), we will preach obedience to the Gospel through death and burial with Christ in the waters of baptism, to be raised to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
The purpose of preaching is to “persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11). We must preach concerning death and the judgment to come. The apostle Paul “reasoned” with Felix “of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come” (Acts 24:25). In preaching, we must tell people of Heaven and warn them of hell. Paul wrote, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Heaven should be our number one goal in life, and, if we miss Heaven, the only alternative is hell! As we strive to enter Heaven, we must be concerned about the lost and love them enough to teach them the Gospel that is God’s power to save (cf. Romans 1:16).
The apostle Paul wrote, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Every faithful preacher takes seriously the responsibility of endeavoring to “preach the Word.” As a hearer of the Word, do you take seriously your responsibility of receiving the proclaimed Word? “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22). –1311 Sanlor Ave., West Milton, OH 45383.
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