So What Is It You're Preaching?

End Times. Marriage. Prosperity. Families. Forgiveness.

The Body of Christ has become a hodgepodge of preaching specialists. Over in one camp we have those who preach about the Holy Ghost and his gifts. Over in another we have the prosperity preachers who tout their Weeks of Increase and Money Cometh seminars. In another we have prophecy experts with their charts and maps about End Times. And yet still in other places are the revivalists, the prayer wonks, and newfangled Israelites. And each camp hawks its own temple paraphernalia--How to Operate in the Gifts of the Spirit, God's Financial System, The Soon to be Revealed Antichrist, The Coming Armageddon, yada, yada, yada. And each camp claims that it's on the cutting edge of "what God's gonna do" tomorrow or the next day.

If Paul were living today, at first blush you'd think that he'd be front row and center at every little campmeeting between here and Kookamonga. He spoke of sowing and reaping and how "my" God would supply the Corinthians needs. He preached about the son of perdition and the snatching away of the church. He wrote of Israel and how it would be engrafted back in. He prayed for his young churches that Christ would be formed in them. He spoke in tongues more than anybody and was so anointed that they tore his work aprons off him to use them to heal the sick and cast out demons.

But if you took a minute and read about what he had to say about his own ministry, you'd see that he stayed on one message (and probably wouldn't have been invited back to any of our campmeetings):

αποκαλυψαι τον υἱον αὑτο ἑν ἑμοι, ἱνα εὑαγγελιζωμαι αὑτον ἑν τοις ἑθνεσειν (Galatians 1.18, Greek)

To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (KJV)

to reveal his Son in me so that I could preach him among the Gentiles (NET)

to reveal His Son in me, that I might proclaim him good news among the nations (Young)

Was well-pleased to reveal his Son in me that I might announce the glad-message regarding him among the nations (Rotherham)

Notice what he said and what he didn't say (Young's is the best translation). He didn't say that he "might preach some things about Christ" or that he "might preach about the Blessing" or he "might teach about the Holy Ghost" or some other variant. He stated forcefully that "he might preach Christ" and it was that preaching that brought about the tongues, the healings, the prosperity, and every other little campmeeting ditty (see also Acts 4.8 - Philip preached Christ and the demons fled).

Give me a preacher who preaches Jesus—his death, burial, and resurrection—and I'll be the first guy to saddle up for that rodeo.

GospelPeter Smythe