Preaching the Gospel
When you have questions about how to do something, you usually ask your parents. We learn most of the things we know from them. But how would you learn if you had no one to help you? In response to this type of situation, Paul asked: “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). Paul continues in verse 15 by saying: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” He later encouraged Timothy to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). Preachers are not simply to work a couple of hours on Sunday preaching and teaching God’s Word. Preachers are to be “on call,” ready to teach someone about Jesus whenever an opportunity arises.
Some people believe that preachers have control over the church, but this is untrue. They have the authority to preach, but they do not hold a church office. They are to submit to the leadership of the elders, as all church members should. It is the responsibility of the elders to make sure that preachers preach the truth and set a good example for the community.
In the New Testament, we read about many faithful Gospel preachers. Stephen stood up in the middle of the Jews and preached about Jesus. The Jews hated him for preaching the truth and they stoned him to death. The apostles traveled all over the world preaching in synagogues, public squares, in schools, and in homes. One time Paul preached until midnight! Peter preached to the first Gentile converts in the house of Cornelius. Another man named Apollos was a great preacher who could proclaim God’s Word in a powerful way.
When we look in the Bible, we discover that not every member of the church is asked to stand up and preach publicly. Paul instructed the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, and to be good motherly examples (Titus 2:4), but he never told them to be preachers. We learn from this that even though not every one can be a preacher, everyone can play a role in teaching others about Jesus and helping them be saved.