The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 to, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Why Preach the Word? Because preaching is important to God! The Bible says that God has “manifested His word through preaching” (Titus 1:3). Jesus told his disciples that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Paul stated that “it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe”
(1 Corinthians 1:2). In another place the same apostle said, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). The Bible emphatically declares that preaching is important!
What Kind of Preaching Do We Need?
1) Bible-based – The apostle Paul would tell the young preacher Timothy to “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Paul did not tell him to preach psychology, denominational dogma, the traditions of men, nor the latest in self-help psychobabble. He told him to preach the word! Why? Because only when the word of God is preached can men be saved (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18; James 1:21). Preachers need to make sure that their sermons are grounded in the text of Scripture
(2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Plain – The words of God’s prophet Habakkuk fit well here, “Write the vision on tablets and make it plain, that he who runs may read it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Not only should we write the gospel plainly we must speak it plainly as well. Brethren need to hear forthrightly that denominationalism, materialism, and worldliness of every sort are sinful! Brethren need to know the importance of putting the Lord’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) through diligence in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). Preachers must be plain-spoken, pulling no punches whatsoever. 3) Heart-penetrating – If preaching is Bible-based and plainly spoken, then it ought to be heart-penetrating. When God’s word goes forth, it will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). When the gospel was preached in the first century is “cut” or “pricked” men’s hearts (Acts 2:37). Let the gospel preacher preach “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2), for the message of the cross will have a “heartpenetrating” effect.
- Christ-centered – The Lord Jesus Christ ought to be exalted in every sermon preached. He is “King of kings and Lord of Lords” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16). He should be at the heart of every message preached (1 Corinthians 2:2). And it must be remembered that He cannot be exalted unless His bride, the church is exalted as well (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:22-33). People need to hear the story of Jesus so that they may write on their hearts every word (Matthew 4:4).
Brethren, let us not dare forget the great need we have for Bible-based, plainly spoken, heart-penetrating, Christ-centered preaching in the church of our Lord today! For this is the kind of preaching that can save the world (Mark 16:15-16).