Preaching the Gospel
Whenever God chooses a people, He not only satisfies them with the hope of glory, but graces them with a ministry, a service, a work in His name.
Within a couple of months of their leaving Egypt, God told Israel through Moses "You shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an Holy nation." (Exod.19:6). They were to minister God's Name and holiness to the nations so that His Name would be honoured.
They failed to uphold the honour of God and God said "They have even defiled my holy name by their abominations: wherfore I have consumed them in mine anger" (Ezek.43:8).
AN ELECT RACE
In spite of the overthrow of Israel and Judah, in spite of their sufferings as people, they failed to learn any lesson from their experiences. When Jesus came to bring them renewed life and salvation they rejected him. It is written that the Kingdom was to be taken from them and given to other people (Matt.21:43). Peter wrote "You are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God's own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
We have the hope of glory, but we have the task that Israel failed to fulfil, to show forth the Name, honour and purposes of God. We have to cry, to proclaim, to herald, to preach the good news of Christ and the Kingdom of God, as well as the goodness of the loving Father (Rom.10:5).
HOW SHALL PEOPLE HEAR?
The Apostle Paul posed an ever present problem in regard to the richness of the Lord's mercy towards people who would turn to him. How shall they hear without a preacher? who will proclaim to the people the wonder and the ways of God's love? (Rom.10:14-15, Isaiah 52:7) "How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things."
He does this not only to show how wonderful this task is, but that it is the duty of every child of God to proclaim this good news. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel" (1Cor.9:16). There is such wonder in our call that it would dishonour the love of God to withhold it from others.
If, as Paul wrote, God raised up Pharaoh that His name might be published abroad in all the earth (Rom.9:17), what does he expect of us, His saints, whom He had raised to heavenly places in Christ? The Father expects that His children will preserve the majesty and honour of His name in all that they say and do.
Paul wrote that servants should count their masters worthy of honour "that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed" (1 Tim.6:1). Humility, modesty, love, and the goodness of God must be portrayed in the lives of His children so that His honour is sustained. That is the imitation of God (Eph. 5:1).
THE WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
In our lives we preach or proclaim the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways (Rom.11:33). James wrote, "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17).
We are heralds of Jesus, our Head, who is to come again. He was the perfect word of wisdom of God made flesh. He is the peacemaker, He is our righteousness, and every one of us dishonours God if we withhold from others His arm of salvation.
Today the world longs for stability, for peace, for solutions to economic problems, for the hope of a brighter future, but it finds only discord, darkness and self destruction.
This is a programme every ecclesia and individual should be fully engaged in. The coming of the Lord is now much nearer than when we believed. If we preach true doctrine to people then we should have less time for unprofitable and foolish questionings. How then should we preach? We should love in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). It is true that we should preach by example as well as by word. The integrity of our response to our daily work and the ervice we give to any who need our help are witness to the compassion of a loving God to all men.
Our faithfulness to our ecclesia preaches more strongly than our words. The constancy of an aged sister who walked along the street Sundays and week nights to her meetings in all weathers, after several years aroused the curiosity of a middle aged couple who stopped her to ask where she went - and two more were added to God's household. In health or in sickness, living or dying we preach Jesus Christ. Invite more friends to your home Bible study.
THE VALUE OF LEAFLETS
Leaflets left on a bus or train have sown seeds that have yielded fruit. Give them to everybody who can read.
EVERYONE CAN HELP
What matters is that each of us should strive in ways that best suit us to witness to God's truth and love. There is joy in the possession of these divine gifts and satisfaction to be enjoyed in this life for everyone who is prepared to sacrifice for them, for such "shall receive a hundredfold now in this time ... and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:30).
We bear the Name of God, our Father, we have received His wisdom, we have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus and we need to prepare for his coming Kingdom. Let us be wise in loving and generous in giving the life - giving gospel to all who will hear. (Daniel 12:2-3) "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt ... and they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."
Bro. Charles Daka (Mufulira, Zambia)