Summary: Preach Jesus, the Good News, evangelistic preaching from every part of the Bible.
I want to encourage the preaching of Jesus, the gospel, evangelistic preaching from every part of the Bible.
Our planet is bombarded by dozens of important messages. Reversing dangerous global climate change is a message that is very prominent. Saying no to drugs is an important message. Feeding the world is an imperative. Protecting endangered species before they are lost forever is a vital message. A community on the alert for signs of terrorism is an important message. Not drinking and driving is an important message. However, there is one message that is far more important than them all, the gospel, the saving of all human life, not just temporarily, but forever.
We will look at how the gospel can be preached from even the Old Testament and how to preach an evangelistic message.
The gospel is not only the gospel of the kingdom, but also the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1; Romans 1:16; 15:19, 29; 1 Corinthians 9:12, 18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 9:13; 10:14; Galatians 1:7; Philippians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 3:2).
Preaching is for the Gospel
In English the word “preach” is ambiguous. However, the Greek word translated as preaching is not ambiguous. The Greek word usually translated as preach is ????ss? (kerusso) and means to proclaim like a herald, openly and in public. In Greek, preaching is mainly public proclamation of the gospel. If we do a word search throughout the Bible, we will see that preaching is mainly used for spreading the gospel (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 24:14; 26:13; Acts 8:25; 14:7, 21; 16:10; Romans 1:15; 10:15; 15:19-20; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 9:14-18; 15:1). Certainly we can also teach the gospel (Acts 18:11). Most sermons do not actually preach or teach the gospel directly, but teach other related things.
Much of what we have popularly called preaching in this manual is actually teaching, along the lines of a one-room discipleship class, in obedience to Jesus' mandate to teach what he commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). It doesn't matter if the teaching is loud or soft, animated or calm, it is still teaching. It only becomes preaching in the sense of the Greek word kerusso, when it is public proclamation of the gospel.
Some churches have two services on the weekend, one for teaching and one for preaching. The teaching service is for the church and the homily is a teaching sermon. The preaching service includes a gospel presentation for the public. Other churches include an evangelistic preaching message at regular intervals as part of their regular Sunday service, perhaps once a month or once a quarter. Still others schedule an annual "revival" for a dedicated period of evangelistic preaching.
Preaching the Gospel from the OT
How can we preach Jesus from the Old Testament you may ask? When the church began, that was the only Bible the church had. The New Testament was largely unwritten at first. So they preached Jesus out of the law of Moses and the prophets (Acts 28:23), what we call the Old Testament. How can this be done? The following is only a very brief outline, highlighting only some of the many possibilities throughout the Old Testament.
Jesus is Creator (Genesis 1; John 1). Jesus is the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) that will destroy evil. As the ark saved Noah through water, Jesus' resurrection saves us through water (1 Peter 3:20-21). Jesus is the seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16-19). Christ's followers are inheritors of the promises to Abraham (Romans 4:11-12; Galatians 3:14, 29).
Jesus liberates us from bondage (Exodus 13:3, 14; Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:3; Hebrews 2:15). Jesus is our Passover lamb (Exodus 12; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Revelation 5). Christian Passover is Easter. As Israel was baptized to Moses in the sea and the cloud (1 Corinthians 10:2) so we are baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5) and into Jesus (Romans 6:3).
Jesus is our sacrifice (Leviticus 1-5; Ephesians 5:2). Jesus is our High Priest (Leviticus 21; Hebrews 4:14-15). Jesus is our festival bread (Leviticus 23:6; 1 Corinthians 11:24). Jesus made us clean (Leviticus 16:30; John 15:3).
Jesus is the Son of God (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:5-6). Jesus was resurrected (Psalm 168-10; Matthew 28:6; Acts 2:25-32). Jesus is our shepherd (Psalm 23). Jesus returned to heaven (Psalm 68:18; Luke 24:51; Ephesians 4:8). Jesus is exalted to the right hand of God (Psalm 110:5; 1 Peter 3:21-22).
Song of Solomon
Jesus is the bridegroom of the church (Matthew 25:1-10)