Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 17, 1957
NUMBER 24, PAGE 6-7b

The Importance Of Preaching

James C. Curtis, Huntsville, Ala.

The importance of preaching is seen when we consider the fact that the religion of Christ is necessarily a taught religion. No one can be a Christian without being taught. No one is a Christian just because his father or mother is; one must be taught the truth, and obey same in order to be saved. If a person wants to be wise unto salvation, he must hear the words of the blessed Christ, who said; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (John 6:44-45.) From these words of our Saviour we learned the following; (1) that to be raised up at the last day we must come to the Father, (2) we are drawn to the Father (3) we are drawn to the Father by being taught his word, "It is written and they shall be all TAUGHT of God." We conclude then, that no person ever becomes a child of God by feeling that he or she has been saved nor because "My Mother was this or that." You your own self must hear Jesus as he says; "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise (in God's sight) man which built his house upon a rock. (Mt. 7:24.) It is a matter then, of "hearing" the word of God yourself in order to become a child of God, and if this child of God remains faithful, he must continue to hear the word of God. Preaching is absolutely indispensable to becoming a child of God and remaining a faithful child of God. (John 8:31-32.)

Are We About Our Father's Business Preaching As We Should Be?

Since the above is true, can we set idly by and see so many people lost, without hope, and never having known that Christ; "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel?" (II Tim. 1:10.) Can we lay down on our job of preaching when so many congregations of the Lord's people are needing sound preaching, and in some cases are not getting it? Will Christ accept our excuses when and if we were to tell him in that great day, that preaching requires too much of us? I am afraid nay my dear brother.

Must Deny Self Many Times To Do Effective Preaching

Christ is our example in every good work, in preaching he is our example, just as he is in living a good clean life. We must be willing to give up whatever is necessary in becoming more pleasing to him in our preaching of the gospel to the world, and the Church. As to what is required of one in preaching the word, take a look at Christ in his sowing the seed of his kingdom, and fashion your preaching after him. He said; "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Mt. 8:20.) This shows that in preaching, as Jesus was constantly doing at this time, we must not think too much of this world's goods. Many of our able and faithful brethren in the past century have been willing to sacrifice their all to preach the word. I read in the Gospel Advocate of June 7, 1928, page-536, where the beloved Bro. J. D. Tant would plow all day and go 16 miles to preach at night. Now I would not have you to misunderstand me brethren, I am not trying to say that the Bible forbids the support of the preacher, in fact the very opposite is true, the word of God abundantly teaches that they who preach the Gospel should live of the gospel. I'm just saying that we must give our all to preaching the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and leave the rest to God. Many of our Gospel preachers, faithful and able, could be receiving more, yea, much more in salary for their support, if they would only compromise with some unfaithful (as a result of not knowing the scriptures nor the power thereof) Church members on the current innovations pestering the Lord's people at this time. My dear preaching brother, we who preach God's word must stop, as of now, saying "I'm on the fence on these matters." I know personally that some of my close friends who preach the Gospel oppose such innovations as "The Herald of Truth," "Benevolence Institutions," and other "Super Human Schemes" but because of a nice salary, and brick house to live in, they sadly succumb to the pressure and/or temptation. Can you imagine Jesus or Paul yielding to such? NO!

"We Want The Church To Remain Pure" They Say —

Well! if you do, my brother, why don't you, in the spirit of Christ, come out on the current controversial issues that are aggravating churches everywhere? That's your convictions isn't it? Then preach the word, let's don't stand back and say "sick 'em Fido" "Old Fido sure is a good fighter;" you are at this same time standing a far off watching the fight. Do you think it is Christ-like or fair for you to remain silent on these things that you believe to be wrong and therefore unscriptural? You and I have a charge to keep, a God to glorify, and although some might not endure sound doctrine, you, at the same time will save your own self and help to keep the Church free from apostasy. In the words of M. Keeble "when Paul said; be instant in season, out of season, he just meant "preach it when they likes it, and preach it when they don't like it." This attitude toward preaching, is the only thing that will save our souls from hell, and keep Christ's bride true to him. So take your stand, brother, you are going to have to face it one time or another, don't wait till you do something you regret.

You make the load heavier for those who are faithful to the charge "preach the words", when you remain silent on these issues.

Just as it makes it hard on those who give as they have been prospered to carry all the financial burden, and as a result lose their own soul for not giving, I am also afraid some of my brethren are shunning to declare all the counsel of God, making it very difficult in many instances for the preachers of the Gospel who will declare all the counsel of God and endanger their own souls. When I think for a moment how long some of my brethren have stood off the, onslaught of innovations for so many years now, I bow my head and say "thank you Lord, Thank You, My loving heavenly Father, for your Church, and for such faithful and able men as Curtis Porter, Roy Cogdill, Charles Holt, B. G. Hope, John T. Lewis, C. E. W. Dorris, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Homer Halley, and many, many more, by whose not being afraid to 'preach the word', I can enjoy preaching to a well informed Church in a great many cities of this fair land of ours."

The effect that sound preaching will have on people, will vary, depending upon the heart of the individual.

It does our hearts good when people receive the word gladly, as did those in Acts 2:41. On the other hand, we should not become too discouraged when people will not hear God's word gladly. Just as preaching will bring peace, it will also many times cause an uproar. Read Acts 4-5 for an account of Peter and John who almost lost their salaries, OH! excuse me I should have said their lives, by preaching to please "God" instead of "men". (Acts 4:19.) Jesus said something about his mission was not to bring peace but a sword, so if you hear some softy brother going around crying peace, peace, when there is no peace, then you will know that that brother is just not doing his duty toward preaching. "Come on out on it, my brother", come on out on it, you will save yourself and those that hear you.