Preaching Articles

For me, it all starts by communicating ten words, “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.” This is the crisp and effective message that transforms lives and secures our eternal destiny. There is a power in this Gospel that is awesome. It is imperative that you are confident in the message you are communicating and that you communicate it as clearly and simply as possible. As I often explain, “The Bible is 66 books, but the Gospel is ten words—Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.” It is the preaching of the Gospel that makes evangelistic preaching effective. In order to preach the Gospel, it is crucial that we have a clear understanding ourselves.

We also need to have a heart to communicate the “good news” of Christ to a lost and dying world. You don’t just want to preach to your audience. You want to communicate with them.

It’s been said that too many speakers are like Christopher Columbus. When he started out, he didn’t know where he was going. When he got there, he didn’t know where he was. When he got back, he did not know where he had been. If you understand what you are about to present, that will not be the situation. What is clear in your mind will become clear in theirs. To communicate and not just speak, you must understand that every Gospel message must tell your audience three things:

1. You are a sinner
2. Christ died for your sins and rose again
3. You have to trust Christ

This way, they know their condition, God’s remedy, and their need—to trust Christ. When those three truths are objectively explained, you have communicated—not just spoken.

I find that expository evangelistic preaching is very effective in presenting a crisp, clear Gospel message. Presenting your message in this fashion allows them to hear what God said first. That way, they leave knowing that if they have a struggle with what you said, their struggle is ultimately with God, not you. God’s Word is alive. That’s why to take a particular text and explain it to lost people in a way that is powerful and relevant lends force to your message. However, if you are preaching to reach the lost, don’t assume they have a Bible with them or know where to find the text you are preaching on. Carefully direct them to the text. Also remember they probably aren’t familiar with many stories from the Bible or may not even understand common Christian terminology, so speak their language.

By the way, that does not mean that every expository message that you give has to be directed to lost people. But appealing to lost people through an expositional message directed to believers will be the subject of a future article. The point I’m making is whenever possible, when you speak to lost people, do it through an expository message prepared just for them.

Unfortunately, evangelistic speakers too often have a reputation for being condescending. While we have to explain to people that they are sinners, we don’t have to say it in a way that is pompous. Remember that we are to preach a Gospel of grace, not guilt. The audience needs to recognize they are sinners, but also hear that there is hope for our sinful condition.

When preaching the Gospel message, it is imperative to use repetition. With the fast-paced lives we lead, many of us have lost the art of listening. Repeat whatever is necessary in light of your text, your situation, and their need. The main thing you repeat is the “big idea” in your message. Watch your audience; if they looked confused, restate things in a different light or use an additional illustration.

As you preach crisp and effective Gospel messages, your enthusiasm for the Savior must be displayed. Enthusiasm is contagious. Get excited about the message God has given you to preach and what Christ did on the cross. If you are not enthusiastic about your Savior, they won’t be interested in knowing Him.

Do the above items guarantee that people will come to Christ? No! But that’s not your responsibility. Your job is to bring Christ to people through crisp, clear, evangelistic messages. God’s job is to bring people to Christ. You do your part, and God will do His.

Dr. R. Larry Moyer is a veteran evangelist and a frequent speaker in evangelistic outreaches, training seminars, churches and universities around the world. Born with an inherited speech defect, Larry vowed to God as a teenager that if He would allow him to gain control of his speech he would always use his voice to declare the gospel. In 1973, Larry founded EvanTell, where he now serves as President and CEO. He has written several books on evangelism and frequently contributes articles to ministry publications.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Ron Hoffmann

commented on Jun 21, 2011

Once again, Larry gives us a very accurate and practical piece of advice. We've been using Evantell's materials for years in training our people in speaking a clear and simple Gospel message to their friends and relatives. His emphasis on Grace is a very needed remedy to the "works" orientation of the person who does not know our good God!

Bert Foster

commented on Jun 21, 2011

I like Larry's summary of the gospel, but I think it is too brief. It does not explain why Jesus rose from the dead. he rose from the dead to give us new life in the Holy Spirit. People need to hear not just why Christ died on the cross, but why he rose again. I like Larry's emphasis on keeping the core gospel message simple and clear. A good reminder for me!

Fernando Villegas

commented on Jun 21, 2011

I appreciate the overall premise of preaching the Gospel with clarity, but unfortunately Mr. Moyer's article displays the same mistaken assumption that was present in a similar article recently--namely, that the preaching of the Gospel is primarily for the lost. It most certainly is not. On the contrary, the Gosepl is even more important for those who have already accepted Christ's call to be his disciples. The Gospel is the story of how God is working in history to restore his creation that has been broken by sin. That story creates the context in which we live lives that reflect the truth that we are part of God's new creation. Unfortunately, our desire for clarity has caused us to reduce the story of the Gospel to a ten-word propositional truth that has stripped away the life and power of the Gospel and led to the assumption that the Gospel is Christianity 101. Here's an alternative: instead of clarifying the Gospel by presenting it as a propositional truth, why not clarify the Gospel by presenting it as a story that is repeated week after week, not just in the preaching but in every element of the worship service--in the hymns, prayers, testimonies, etc. Why not present the Gospel as a story that speaks to all who are willing to listen, whether they are listening to Christ's voice for the first time or whether they have been following him their entire lives? After all, the Bible itself tells us that Christ spoke to people primarily through parables!

E L Zacharias

commented on Sep 18, 2018

Great point: The Gospel in the worship service. Here is a link to a full study of this, if you want to pursue it further. It is from a symposium of THE GOOD SHEPHERD INSTITUTE -- Pastoral Theology and Sacred Music for the Church, which includes Paul Grimes on 'The Theology and Structure of the Divine Service,' | //

John E Miller

commented on Jun 23, 2011

Of course much more could be said! Of course the Gospel is for the saved as well as the unsaved! The fact is that if more preachers preached in the way that Mr Moyer suggests, many churches that are emptying would be filled and many churches that are filled by folks who only profess Christianity would be jolted out of Laodicean lukewarmness.

Larry Moyer

commented on Jan 16, 2014

Thanks for your comment John. Keep up the good work.

Fernando Villegas

commented on Jun 23, 2011

John E Miller, you wrote, "Of course, much more could be said." Well, then, why not say it? Why reduce the Gospel to ten words, or three bullet points. While they are clear, they are grossly incomplete. Both the ten-word proposition and the three bullet points limit the Gospel to the salvation of human beings. But the Gospel is about so much more than just the salvation of human beings. It is about the renewal of ALL of God's creation. Read Revelation 21-22 again. The final chapter of this story is about new heavens and a new earth, and we are invited to enter into that new creation! Your salvation and mine is only a PART of the story, not the WHOLE. And Mr. Moyer's presentation of the Gospel does not reflect that. All I am saying is that if we are going to preach a crisp, clear Gospel message, that message must be contained, not in some abstract propositional truth, but in the story that God has revealed to us through his Word.

E L Zacharias

commented on May 5, 2018

Moyer & all, I appreciate the call to preach the Gospel. "Woe is me," said Paul, "if I fail to preach the Gospel!" The whole of it is this: "When I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because I am obligated to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If my preaching is voluntary, I have a reward. But if it is not voluntary, I am still entrusted with a responsibility (1 Cor. 9:16). *. I think / hope we agree on this, that the central message of the Bible is the redemption of our lives through and by Jesus: He suffered and died for our sins, so that we may no longer be slaves to sin, but live in newness of life. It is the whole work of God to save us; it is the whole work of the pastor to proclaim that, winsomely, in a way that fits our situation. * Moyer, thank you for your article; you not only call for clarity in that message but also the reminder that we not stray from that task. It is the Gospel "of the cross," not any other gospel (social, glory, liberation, suffering, etc), for there is no other name under heaven, by which we must be saved. Blessings on your work. Don't worry so much about pleasing the critics; if you water down the Gospel on their account you will end up in a distant shore, neither pleasing them or your conscience. That's what happens when you let the critics steer your ship. Stay the course. Sharpen your approach, most surely, but steer them by the Constant, which is Jesus Christ. Let the Spirit fill your sails. It is the will of God that you preach, to the best of your ability, and let God do his work, convicting the heart and healing the soul.

Join the discussion