Each part of my life carries its own unique responsibilities. Family, work, friends, church, all have their individual needs that must be tended to. As a pastor I have certain responsibilities that are required of me. They are varied but all are important – caring for the congregation, peace-making, counseling, administration, writing, speaking. But none of these responsibilities are as important as preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the ultimate responsibility of every pastor for the care and protection of those God has given him to shepherd. As pastors we are held accountable for what we preach and teach.
The following is from 2 Timothy 4:2. It is an elder Paul the Apostle giving instruction to a young pastor. The words are hauntingly relevant for today. “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” I am to preach the gospel with patience – complete patience. There are those who will disagree with the gospel. Some in the congregation will want variety. Others will want more excitement even at the expense of what the Scripture teach. They will look for signs or want to be entertained. How one preaches becomes more important than what is preached. All of these things do not discourage me from continuing to preach the Good News. Man is dead in his sin (Eph. 2:1) and unable to save himself (Eph. 2:8,9). He is wicked apart from the grace of God (Romans 3:10). The death of Jesus on the cross satisfied the wrath of God against all who place their faith and trust in Him (Jn. 3:36; 1 Thess. 5:9; Romans 5:9; Acts 16:30,31).
I am not only to exhort them with what is profitable for their growth but I am also to rebuke what is unprofitable. The church is bombarded with false teaching, false teachers and congregants who are ignorant of the Scripture. The Bible is the full and complete revelation of God to humankind and it has been breathed forth by God himself (2 Tim. 3:16). It is entrusted to every pastor as God’s final divine authority and rule. It is to be preached. If we must become relevant to the culture and stop preaching the inspired Scripture then we have a cultural problem, not a Biblical one. The Bible calls extreme cultural relevance worldly. In other words, thinking like the world. The power of Holy Scripture has been stripped for the relevance of profane culture.
If you are a pastor “preach the word.” If you are a congregant make sure your pastor is preaching the word. Don’t settle for less when God has given us so much.