Monday, June 28, 2021

What To Preach!

By Ron Thomas

    I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables (2 Timothy 4:1-4, ASV)
    What is a preacher to preach? Since there are least 52 sermons a year (one sermon each Lord’s day), that means he is given much opportunity to say a lot. Consider the passage above. From 4 verses we learn some things he is to preach, such as: (1) God will judge the living and the dead. While we live on this earth, His word is a constant message of warning to those who live contrary to His will, but also a constant message of hope and reassurance to those who love Him.
    The Lord will judge the hearts of all those who hear His message of hope and salvation, and (2) the Lord Jesus will appear a 2nd time. As He appeared the first time, those who watched Him ascend to the glories of heaven were told that He will descend in like manner (Acts 1:9-11). When He descends from the glory of heaven, He will call all the dead in Christ up, then those living. This all takes place in a moment of time, ...having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15).
    (3) Jesus has a kingdom. The word “kingdom” is a broad word that encompasses all that is within the realm (reign) of God’s creation. There is a special kingdom of the saved, called the church, the body of Christ. ... the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body...But as the church is subject to Christ ... Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it (Eph. 5:23-25).
    (4) Everything the Lord taught is worthy of study and teaching (cf. John 12:48). Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
    (5) Because people do not want to hear the Word of God, all the more reason for a preacher to be urgent in season and out of season, which means, in practical terms, preach it when they don’t want to hear it and when they do.
    (6) Not every preacher is worthy of his vocation. There are many preachers who do not know the word of God as they promote themselves. Paul calls them teachers after their own lusts, that is, they preach what sounds good (cf. Isaiah 30:10), but in doing so, they do not have the blessings of the Lord in that which they preach/teach. Because of this, the brethren need to be warned, lest they follow the path of those preachers toward destruction.
    Perhaps more can be gleaned from the above passage. A preacher has a lot to preach just in the points above; he will always have a message, but if he struggles to generate a message, then maybe the Message of God has not penetrated the preacher. 
- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.

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