bits from bob....

Why Should We Preach the Gospel?

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Why preach the gospel? In a time when the church seems to be losing confidence in preaching, when mission work often focuses more on benevolent care than on the message of Jesus, the question is an important one.

Why preach the gospel? The question must be answered from God's point of view, not from human understanding or thinking. First, we need to preach because of the value God places on a soul. God loves people because he loves their souls. God's love for the world, that is for the people in the world, caused him to send Jesus to save the world (John 3:16-17). The soul is more valuable than all the possessions in the world (Matthew 16:24-26). Jesus gave himself to redeem and purify his people (Titus 2:14). With his blood he purchased the church (Acts 20:28). Paul felt compelled to preach (1 Corinthians 9:16-17). When one recognizes the value God places on a soul, one cannot help but preach the Good News!
Second, we need to preach because of the importance God places on preaching. People cannot be saved and cannot develop faith by hearing the gospel unless the gospel is preached (Romans 10:14-15). There will always be some who devalue preaching, but God's plan includes preaching in order that people can be saved (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).
These two truths are sufficient to motivate preaching, but one may also answer the question, "Why preach?" by remembering that sharing the message was the last command Jesus gave to his followers (Matthew 28:18-20). Go make disciples, baptize disciples, and teach disciples. Paul also instructed Timothy to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

Consider two related questions: "To whom do we need to preach?" and "Where do we need to preach?" Since the gospel is God's saving power (Romans 1:16), the gospel needs to be preached to everyone, in every place, at every time. We live in a changing world. The world is shrinking, globalized, and urbanized. In a world of easy travel and less restrictive national borders, the world is everywhere about us. The world is coming to us, moving in next door, studying in our universities, working at our side, moving in our circles. In a technological world with instantaneous communication, online translation, and constant connections, the opportunities for preaching the gospel are almost boundless. In this kind of world, it is imperative that God's people remember one great truth: the world has a Jesus crisis. (See my article Jesus Crisis.)

Let us return to our original question: "Why do we need to preach the gospel?" The message to be preached is the good news of Jesus--the gospel. The message which Paul cites as of first importance is the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The message referred to in Romans 10:14-17 is the gospel. The unbelieving world needs the message of the gospel. The message to be obeyed is the gospel.
The gospel is important and needed for three reasons. First, the gospel can bring security to our lives here on earth--peace among people. Second, the gospel can bring serenity--it brings internal peace to one's life. Third, the gospel can bring salvation--peace with God.

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Last updated March 27, 2013