URGENCY IN PREACHING THE GOSPEL
After His resurrection, Jesus said: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. "
Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15.
While being asked about how his work was going a preacher replied, "We're holding down the fort….." To which was the reply, "We need to be STORMING THE CASTLE!!"
1. In that "Great Commission" is an urgent obligation for every Christian
A. Not just something we need to "get around to sometime"
B. But what should be # 1 PRIORITY
C. It is truly an urgent matter. It always has been and will always be.
D. When Jeremiah was given the word of the Lord, and people ridiculed he answered: ''And if I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name. " …………"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Jer.20:9.
E. John's message was: "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"
F. Jesus said: ''I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day the night cometh when no man can work." John 9:4.
G. When some of the Jewish leaders would have silenced a multitude that was praising Jesus, He told them:
"If these should hold their peace, the stones would cry out" Lk. 19: 40.
H. When the apostles were arrested for preaching the gospel and ordered to stop, they answered:
"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" Acts 4:20.
I. Each of these great servants of God had a great sense of urgency in their preaching.
They would allow nothing to stand in their way.
Acts 8:4, Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
It is still just as urgent to preach the gospel today.
If you think about it…..Even more so
because there are so many more people upon the earth.
I. IT IS URGENT BECAUSE THE WORLD IS LOST.
A. ''All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way." Isa.53:6.
B. Paul says, in Rom. 3:23, ''All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
C. We see evidence around us constantly that Satan rules in the lives of most people in the world. It seems that irreverence and immorality rule the day
D. We can also see the devil's influence in our lives, if we will but look.
1 Pet. 5:8, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Since Satan will always try to destroy the gospel and its influence, it is all the most urgent that we preach it
1. In many nations the Bible and its teaching are forbidden. It might soon come to be that way here. It is already that way in our public schools…. The prophet Amos relates...
Amos 8: 11, ''Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, ''When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.
E. Isaiah tells us that sin separates us from God….''Your iniquities have
separated between you and your God your sins have hid his face from you."
1. But the wonderful news that the world should know, is:
"God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16.
2. So, the message of the gospel is that: God loves us, Christ died for us, and we can come back to God through Jesus Christ.
3. His ministry upon earth was to ''Seek and save the lost." Luke 19:10.
F. Let us notice what Paul says concerning the destructive work of Satan.
2 Cor. 4:3-4, "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God"
1. The gospel enlightens, but Satan would keep the world in darkness. Eph.5:11
AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE TO:
(Eph 5:11 NASB) And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them:
2. It is urgent that we be ''Lights in the world, holding forth the word of life." Phil. 2:16; Mt. 5:14-16.
II. IT IS URGENT BECAUSE JESUS DIED TO SAVE SINNERS.
A. Paul wrote: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." 1 Tim. 1:15.
B. To accomplish our salvation, His death on the cross was necessary.
1. This is borne out in such scriptures as: Heb. 2:9, 15; 9:22; 10:4;
2. What a waste this would be, if He died for sinners and then we don't tell them about it.
3. If He cared enough to die on the cruel cross, we should care enough to carry that message to those still in bondage to sin.
C. The urgency of the gospel is further shown by the fact that there is no other savior than Jesus Christ.
1. He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jno. 14:6.
2. Peter tells us in Acts 4:12, ''Neither is there salvation in any other.. "
3. Paul said of His death, in 2 Cor. 5:14, "He died for all."
4. There is no other sacrifice, there is no other Savior.
a. If the world had an option, the preaching of the gospel might not be so urgent.
1) But there is no option. If one is not saved by Christ, he will be lost forever.
2) This makes our preaching the more urgent.
III. IT IS URGENT BECAUSE THE GOSPEL CAN AND DOES
A. The work of the followers of Christ was very simple nearly 2000 years ago:
1. They were told: "Preach the gospel to every creature...Preach the word.. Preach Christ, and him crucified." Mk. 16:15; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Cor. 1:23.
B. This was their theme and their life.
1. Paul wrote in Rom. 1:16, ''I am not ashamed of the gospel..."
C. And they lived such lives as to prove that statement true!
1. ''In season, out of season" in every place and in every tongue, they preached the gospel.
2. Why? Paul said: ''I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation." Rom. 1: 16.
D. Theirs was an urgent message, for that gospel is "able to save your souls."
E. Souls are lost, and the gospel can save them: how can we dare not tell them?
F. We should all carry the view of Paul expressed in 1 Cor. 9:16.
"Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel!"
G. Jesus pointed out the process by which one comes to God.
1. "They shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." Jno. 6:45.
2. Unlearned people cannot come, they must hear and learn in order to come to God by Jesus Christ.
a. ''without faith it is impossible to please him." Heb. 11:6.
b. ''Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
3. Without the gospel, none could believe!
a. And, believing, the lost must repent, Lk. 13:3,
b. but “Godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation.” 2 Cor. 7:10
4. Only by hearing the gospel and learning our relationship with God and the effect of sin is ''godly sorrow" possible.
a. As hearing leads to faith, so faith leads to repentance.
H. Whenever one has heard, believed and repented, what then?
1. The Ethiopian eunuch asked a question and received the answer:
Acts 8:36-38, And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may. " And he answered and said, ''I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. "And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him.
2. This is the result of preaching the gospel: Even as Jesus promised.
3. Without the preaching of the gospel, one could not believe; without faith one could not be baptized scripturally.
4. When believers, in Peter's day, asked, "What shall we do?" Acts 2:37.
The gospel answer is found in Acts 2:38.
a. Still true today.
I. Paul wrote of the judgment to come in 2 Cor. 5: 10; then added: "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. "
1. Paul's attitude of urgency is clearly seen in this statement:
2. He wrote again in 2 Cor. 5:20, "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
a. Then, just three verses later he said, “behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6:2
3. We too, must beseech, plead, persuade, and encourage people to hear, learn, believe and obey the gospel with all urgency.
J. When God spoke His ward by Jeremiah in the long ago, the prophet said:
1. "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.. .Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?" Jer. 8:20-22.
a. The only balm or salve for lost souls today is the gospel of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.
b. Yes, there is a balm in Gilead that will make the sinner whole.
c. This balm must be applied to the lost, for they cannot be saved without it.
d. And it will not be applied unless we preach it.
IV. PREACHING THE GOSPEL IS URGENT BECAUSE:
A. Death is certain. Heb. 9:27.
B. The Judgment is Sure.
C. Hell is so horrible. Rev. 20:14-15.
D. Heaven is so Beautiful.
E. Eternity is so Long.
1. Yes, we must hasten to preach the sow-saving gospel to a lost and sin-sick world.
2. Let us now capture the urgency of the situation and arise and hasten because the harvest is white and the laborers are few.
3. How many sows will be lost in a Devil's hell because you and I do not recognize the urgency of preaching to them the gospel?