Why I Want to Preach the Gospel of Christ
Kenneth W. Weliever
Foe approximately seven years prior to beginning "full time" preaching in May of 1970, I preached while attending high school and college either on an "appointment" or "part time" basis. During those years I encountered some rather interesting people, who, upon learning I desired to be "full time" preacher, wanted to know the reason for my intentions. I can remember one well-meaning sister who encouraged me with such remarks as: "You'll never get rich preaching!" or "It's going to be a hard life!" and even "I sure feel sorry for you!" Considerations like these and others like these and others prompted me to ask myself, "Why do I want to preach the gospel of Christ?" As I have given thought to this question, my reasons seem rather obvious and unphilosophical. Yet, many brethren seem to lack insight into not only the nature of a preacher's work, but the "whys" of him being a preacher. Therefore, let us consider the question before us.
In the first place let me emphasize the word "preach," which is what I want to do. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary informs us that the word is derived from a Latin word meaning "to publicly proclaim." Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon says that the Greek word euangelizo means, "to bring good news, to announce glad tidings." He further points out that the use of the word "preach" in the New Testament was especially indicative "of the glad tidings of the coming Kingdom of God and salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation."
Secondly, let us notice the phrase "gospel of Christ." By such I simply mean the teaching of Jesus done by Jesus and for Him through His inspired ambassadors. It is that body of doctrine that constitutes the system identified as "the Faith" which Jesus brought into existence by His victorious death when he blotted out and nailed to the cross the old Mosaic Law. In the scriptures, this gospel included the Kingdom that Jesus established. In the eighth chapter of the book of Acts Philip journeyed into the sin-sick city of Samaria and there preached Christ (v. 5). Yet in the twelfth verse of that account the writer says he preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. This gospel also embraces the Grace of God (Acts 20:24). And through the grace of the Almighty God comes salvation (Titus 2: 11). So, let every reader understand that my desire is to proclaim in a public manner the teaching of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and all that it embraces which pertains to life and godliness. But someone might ask, "Why?"
I want to preach the gospel of Christ because lost souls are starving for the bread of life and thirsting for the water of eternal life. Men, women, boys, and girls are wandering in a sin darkened world, searching for the true light that can bring sunshine and joy into their hearts and guide them through the winding pathway of life. Paul affirmed to the Roman saints that the only method by which man can be saved is the gospel of Christ," . . . for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. . . ." Nowhere does there exist a philosophy or a creed or a man-devised scheme that can do for the sinner what the gospel can do - that is, save him from sin.
Another reason I want to preach the gospel lies in the fact that the church needs edification. Paul instructed the young preacher Timothy to exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." Also this noble man of God in his final visit with the beloved elders of Ephesus spoke the encouraging words, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." Trudy, preachers are needed who will instruct the saints in the way of righteousness and exhort them unto holiness.
My third reason for wanting to proclaim the glad tidings of Christ reminds me of a statement made by the prophet Jeremiah. The prophet had suffered much for his preaching at the hands of evil doers, and his heart was saddened for the disobedient people. Yet, amid the discouragements and heartaches that surrounded his work, that great prophet of antiquity lifted up his voice: "Then I said I will not speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." This preacher of old had something to say and he had to say it. I once heard a preacher say that he really did not want to preach, but that others had persuaded him to do so. And upon hearing him preach, I fully believed that he had told the truth! My desire is to preach the gospel with zeal and enthusiasm, and with the love of God in my heart.
Finally, let me suggest that I want to herald the "good news" to please the God of heaven.
Paul wrote ". . . yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." (I Cor. 9:16). Although Paul was a special chosen messenger of God, it seems that each one who assumes the responsibility of "standing in the pulpit" ought to realize the seriousness of his commitment and feel the necessity of being a faithful servant of Christ by using the ability given him by God.
In conclusion, let me say that I want to preach the gospel of Christ in every place where the brethren permit me the opportunity to do so. May all of us who preach do so not for fame, or money, or worldly pride, but because we love the souls of lost men and desire an inheritance in that land of unclouded day where the faithful of all the ages shall dwell hymning praises and giving glory to the great I AM.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 43, pp. 9-10