by Keith Parker
If I had 100 lives to live, I would want to live every one of them as a preacher. If I had 100 sons, I would want every one of them to be preachers. If I had 100 daughters, I would want all of them to marry preachers. God only had one son and this one son was a preacher. The world is in desperate need of good preachers.
In 2012, God gave me the opportunity to preach in 45 different congregations of churches of Christ all across the nation from California to the Carolinas. There were over 600 public decisions for Jesus. Over 550 disciples responded for prayer, and 59 were baptized into Christ. Not only do we need more preachers, we need more preachers who will preach evangelistic sermons. Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2). He also encouraged Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5). To God be the glory when people respond in a positive way to evangelistic preaching.
How can we more effectively do evangelistic work? How can our preaching be more evangelistic in nature? First, it starts with love—our love for sinners, our love for scripture, and our love for the Savior. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). If Jesus loved us enough to die on a cross, then certainly we can have enough love to hide behind the cross and preach “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Think of someone who is not a Christian, perhaps a neighbor, a relative, or a friend. Love motivates us to preach the truth. “Speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
Second, we should preach evangelistic sermons because we want people to have life—eternal life. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46). Life is precious. Most people don’t want to die. God put within us a desire to live. Can you imagine life eternal? A place where there will be no death, disease, or disobedience (Rev. 21:4). A place where there will be love, light, and the Lamb (Rev. 21:23). In Heaven, there will be peace, not pain. Blessings, not burdens. Treasures, not trials. The Savior and the saints, not sin and sorrow. What a place—what a life!
Third, we should preach evangelistic sermons because we don’t want people to be lost. The same Bible that speaks about life, also speaks about being lost. Unfortunately, to many people Jesus will say, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). I want you to imagine that the house in which you live is on fire. You don’t know it, but I do. How would you want me to tell you? Would you want me to be calm and relaxed? Would you want me to quietly and unenthusiastically extend a warning? I don’t know about you, but if your house were on fire and you were in danger, but didn’t know it, I’d become emotional. I would raise my voice, scream, shout or do whatever it took to get your attention. I would with passion and fire warn you about the fire. You know, preaching brother, that’s how we ought to feel about people being lost. As Isaiah said, “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1).
Preachers, we are nobodies who are trying to tell everybody about the Somebody who can save anybody. So preach the word! Preach evangelistically!
Keith Parker travels around the country preaching the gospel and encouraging churches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.