“…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” — Mark 16:15. We see the importance of preaching the Gospel all throughout the new testament.
In Mark 16:15, Jesus instructed believers, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” But what did Jesus mean when He said that we were supposed to “preach”? Did He mean that every believer must have a pulpit ministry where he or she publicly stands in front of a church and preaches to a congregation? What does the word “preach” mean?
Background On Preaching The Gospel
The word “preach” comes from the Greek word kerusso, which means to proclaim, to declare, to announce, or to herald a message. It was the message proclaimed by the kerux, who was the official spokesman or herald of a king. Because the kerux was the appointed, official representative of the king or government, his specific job was to announce with a clear and unquestionable voice the desires, dictates, orders, recent events, news, policy changes, or message that the king or government wished to express to the people.
The position of this kerux (“spokesman” or “herald”) was viewed to be the highest, most noble, privileged position in the kingdom because his position gave him routine access to the king that was afforded only to rare individuals. To be the king’s kerux was an honor and supreme privilege that necessitated the highest level of professionalism and excellent performance.
When the king wanted to give a message to his people, he summoned the kerux. The kerux came to the king’s throne room with writing instruments and paper in hand; then, he carefully and accurately penned the communication that the king desired to express to his people.
After the king was finished dictating his message, the kerux was allowed to freely speak to the king and to ask questions of clarification to make certain he understood every point of the king’s message. Because this man was speaking on behalf of the king, there was no room for mistakes in his delivery of the message. When he finally stood before the people to announce the message given to him, it had to be accurate, precise, and faithful to what the king wanted to express to his people.
Preach The Gospel to the Heart
As important as it was for the kerux to accurately understand and communicate the king’s message, it was equally his responsibility to capture and convey the king’s sentiment, heart, and emotions on these various issues. Thus, the kerux was expected to deliver his message with emotional impact in order to properly represent both the word and the heart of the king.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s consider again what Jesus meant when He commanded that all believers go into all the world “to preach” the Gospel. Since kerusso (“to preach”) is the message of the kerux (“the king’s spokesman”), it is clear that by using the word “preach,” God is communicating several very powerful messages to you and to me.
A lot of people want to use the Gospel to speak to the brain but they miss that the Gospel seeps into hearts as well. It changes the heart and the mind when its preached. Too many so-called Christians believe in a Gospel that is only about the head. Its steeped in logic and a belief system that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can only be studied. This is a very heady faith that makes no sense to most people of the world. Most people can’t understand how faith works when you have to have a doctorate just to understand it.
There needs to be a balance. Preaching the Gospel needs to speak to the head with logic and to the heart with passion. Both of these help and build on each other. Sometimes things in life don’t make sense, and it’s your heart that pulls you through. Knowing that Jesus rose from the dead does not always make logical sense, but its the passion of knowing what belief and being saved by faith has done in your life. On the flip side, sometimes our feelings get in the way, and its the logic that will pull you through.
First, as a believer, you must learn to see yourself as the representative of Jesus Christ. Although you may never stand before a public pulpit to preach, it is a fact that your life is your most important pulpit. What you say and do in your life reflects on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Second, as a believer, it is essential that you spend time in the Presence of the Lord so you can hear His Word and capture His heart. You should never think of the time you must spend in God’s Presence praying or reading the Word as laborious or dreadful. It is a high honor that God has given you. He beckons you to come into His throne room so He can speak to you, share His heart with you, and then empower you with His Spirit to take the message to people desperately waiting for it. Never forget that you possess a position of great privilege.
Third, as a believer, it is imperative that you learn how to dress appropriately and how to speak kindly, courteously, and in a way that brings honor to Jesus. If your appearance communicates a low standard because you dress like a slob, never comb your hair, always look unprofessional, or allow yourself to remain overweight (yes, I know this last one affects many people, but what I am saying is true) — this is exactly the image you are imparting about Jesus Christ.
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. …” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 ESV
Ambassadors of Christ Should Be Preaching The Gospel
As the representatives of Jesus Christ, who has been glorified, has sent us in his stead into the world of men. With this level of responsibility of the kingdom of God, we seek to manifest the will of God in heaven on earth.
As the envoy of Christ, we bear with us the message of the testimony of the son who died, was resurrected, and likewise glorified.
In preaching the gospel, we have to communicate to the people we have been sent to in ways that they would understand.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” – Luke 24:45 – 48
In preaching, we communicate our witness of his power and glory over death, that all men would receive his eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
A preacher once articulated that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” to the Father, and we are “the way, the truth and the life” to Jesus.
What he meant was ambassadors point men to Jesus glorified by the testimony of all he did for them on their behalf such that, in believing in the truth of salvation, they may become sons of God.
Preaching The Gospel – Why is this important?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. – John 3:3
The word see means “enlightened eyes”, “regeneration”, “awakening”, or “made alive unto God” of the human heart.
The essence of our preaching is for the hearts and mouths of men to bear witness unto salvation.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:10”
The Gospel is what the Bible is all about. From the time sin enters into the picture in Genesis 3, the Bible is pointing towards this ultimate redemption plan. God never planned to leave his people lost and without him. No matter how far he drifted, he always had the good news of Jesus Christ ready for us. To preach anything different is such a shame.