Now the word preach has two different definitions and both are used in the Word of God. The first is what we discussed last week and according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is “To discourse on the gospel way of salvation and exhort to repentance; to discourse on evangelical truths and exhort to a belief of them and acceptance of the terms of salvation” in other words to preach in the position of a pastor, missionary, or evangelist. This is a ministry that, according to I Timothy 3:2, is only for qualified men (“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…”) It is hard to be the “husband of one wife” and be a woman.
The second definition is “to proclaim.” All Christians, men and women, are to proclaim the Gospel by telling others about Jesus Christ. If you will not tell your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers about Jesus you might want to check up on your salvation. Christ gave us a promise and a commission in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This commission is given to the local church which is made up of the individual Christians that have joined with that church. This means each of us is to proclaim the Gospel starting at home (our Jerusalem), then our Judea (our nation), into Samaria (our neighboring countries), and to the uttermost parts of the world! This is done through your personal witnessing and inviting folks to your church and then through the missions program of your church. Giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a person that does not know Jesus as their personal Saviour is the most important work that you can do for Jesus Christ.
Another way of witnessing is through your life and how you live it. This is often referred to as “lifestyle evangelism”. I must stress that this will never replace and was never meant to replace verbal witnessing, but how you live your life will give credence to your verbal witness. Let’s put it this way, if I were to come and tell you that Jesus loves you and He can wash away your sins and give you a new life and while I tell you this I am drinking a beer or smoking a cigarette would you believe much in that “life changing” talk? No, because anyone can see that the Bible teaches us in I Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” and in Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” The Bible goes a step further and says “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also…” (Habakkuk 2:15a) Our lives ought to reflect the change that Christ made in our hearts. To many “Christians” today are not proclaiming the Gospel either through their mouth or through their living. America needs preaching from God’s pulpits and from God’s people.