PREACH THE WORD | 22 JANUARY 2019

Families and Friends of Christ Our Redeemer, A pastor was trying to reach out to a dying man who had spent a lifetime laughing at the concept of a Savior and Jesus’ blood-bought salvation.  During the months before the man’s departure, the minister would occasionally stop by to see him.  If he couldn’t stop, he would send the fellow a short note of encouragement.  The minister was always careful not to let the door slam shut that the Holy Spirit had opened. Finally, the time of the man’s ending was near.  Aware his clock would soon stop ticking, the sick man sent for the minister.  He began the conversation saying, “I didn’t ask you here so you could amuse me with religion.  I did, however, want to thank you for your kindness.”  Understanding the rules of conversation, the minister inquired, “May I ask one question?”  The man responded, “Yes, one question, as long as it isn’t about religion.”  The minister spoke.  “I’m preaching tomorrow.  Quite a few people will be there to hear me.  Some, like you, may soon be facing death.  Here’s my question.  What shall I preach about?”  There was a long silence.  The reply finally came.  “Pastor, preach Christ to them.  Preach Christ.” That was, of course, the encouragement Paul gave to a young Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2-4.  “Preach the Word.  Be ready in season and out of season.  Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth.”  Even though doing what Paul encouraged is not always popular, over the centuries, every true preacher has taken the apostle’s words seriously.  Why?  Because there is no other savior who can forgive sins and save souls.  In God’s Word, we find life and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.   From one who sticks to God’s Word as the source of life and truth, Pastor Steve