I Will Just Keep Preaching It
God has given me health, strength and opportunity to preach for many years and to share His message in many different places. Thoughts have recently come to me about how long I have preached the simple message of Christ and Him crucified. Thoughts have also entered my mind about how much longer I might have to preach. It has always been my goal to preach truth, the whole truth and only the truth in a way that it would be simple enough for all to understand. Today many in the world and in the church seem to want change. But I have no interest in those changes. I will do my best to just keep preaching it like it is until I die.
I will just keep preaching that there is a God in heaven. Our God is a mighty God. He is good all the time. Paul wrote, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) God is the ever present, all powerful Creator of the universe. He knows everything about us and He cares deeply about our eternal destiny. I will just keep preaching that there is a God in heaven.
I will just keep preaching that the Bible is the word of God and that people should study it daily. There are so many books today. However, the Bible is different from all others. The Bible is the inspired word of God. In John 17:17 it is declared that God's word is truth, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." Scripture must be studied with a desire both to learn and obey. No book can ever have such an impact on your life as the Bible. It is the word of God!
I will just keep preaching that man has a serious sin problem. The stupidity of youth guarantees that none of us will ever live our life sinless. The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) The miseries of this life are caused by sin. Sin brings a terrible pay day. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Christians must be on constant guard against sin!
I will just keep preaching that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world. Peter said "We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) Jesus died, was buried and rose again to make our salvation possible. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) God demonstrated His love by sending His promised Son, the Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to be crucified. God paid for our sins Himself. The Lord is good, just and merciful beyond our understanding. I will just keep preaching that Jesus is Lord.
I will just keep preaching that only those who obey the gospel will be saved. Jesus Christ saves all who obey the gospel and only those who obey the gospel. In Hebrews 5:9 we read, "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." Only those willing to obey Jesus will be saved. Jesus said, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) Gospel obedience includes hearing God's word (Romans 10:17), believing in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repenting of all sins (Acts 17:30), confessing Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) Disobedience is a tragic thing. Those who fail to obey are condemned. The Bible teaches that few will be saved and many lost. (Matthew 7:13-14) Only those who have learned truth and been obedient to it will be saved. Let's face the fact that the majority will be lost. You cannot expect to enter that narrow gate without gospel obedience.
I will just keep preaching the truth that Christ has only one church. The church is Christ's body. God "put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6) I want to be in the church that is in the Bible. If you are not a member of that one church mentioned in the Bible you certainly should be!
I will just keep preaching that how you live is important. Your relationship with God and the way you live your life will determine your eternal destiny at the Judgment. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10) How people think, talk, hear and do will determine where they will spend eternity. How are you living? "Are you living right, should you die tonight, is it well with your soul?" Satan tries to hinder people from obeying the gospel. He also tries to cause us to be indifferent. Complacency or indifference is a terrible spiritual state. "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:15-16) There is no such thing as pleasing God while being just a casual Christian. How you live is important!
I will just keep preaching that God deserves our true worship. Jesus said, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24) God desires, God deserves and God expects our worship. Singing (Ephesians 5:19), praying (Acts 2:42), preaching (Acts 20:7), giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) and the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-30) are the items of worship ordained by our Father in Heaven. That is how He has chosen for us to worship. Faithful Christians worship faithfully!
I will keep preaching that life passes quickly and Judgment is coming. In James 4:14 life is said to be like a vapor. "Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Think of the funerals you have attended. Read the obituaries in the newspaper. Think of those who have gone on. As they are today we all shall soon be. Life passes by quickly and we all know this to be true. The Bible teaches that after death Judgment will come. "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Can you even imagine what that great day will be like -- that great Day of Judgment and accountability? Do what you will for God now. There will be no second chance after death.
Do not put off doing what you know you should. Opportunities pass quickly. Are you doing that which meets with God's approval? Is your life built on truth? "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA