“Preach the Word”
“JEHOVAH has made preaching the most important work any of us could do in this world.” So stated The Watchtower, issue of December 15, 1949, which considered in detail the subject “Preach the Word”. This preaching work has to do with the permanent rescue of obedient persons from the death-dealing effects of the first man’s fall.
Why did the greatest man who ever lived quit his secular employment in the prime of life? To preach! What did that One, Jesus Christ, instruct his associates to do? Preach too! And what did he tell those outside his circle of apostles? Preach also! (Luke 9:1, 2, 6, 59, 60) Furthermore, after his death and resurrection, Jesus again laid upon his followers the obligation of being his witnesses among all nations to the uttermost parts of the earth. Preaching of this message therefore became not only a work of great importance but also one of world-wide consequence.—Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8.
Opposition and persecution were not to stop this preaching work. Saul of Tarsus, in fact, became acquainted with it during raging fires of hate in the days after preacher Stephen was taken out and stoned to death. But this did not prevent this man Saul from becoming Paul the apostle, who later wrote: “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16) Paul’s preaching work took him far afield. Under all kinds of hardships, trials and afflictions he carried on. He never quit his preaching. He fought a good fight. And when his course was about over, and while lingering in prison, he was well-qualified to counsel his friend and companion Timothy. (Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 11:23-28; 2 Tim. 4:6, 7) Wrote Paul: “I earnestly beg you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, Preach the word.”—2 Tim. 4:1, 2, NW.
Paul thus made his charge and appeal to Timothy as strong as possible, before God and Christ, the “higher powers”. (Acts 10:38-42; 1 Ki. 22:14; Dan. 3:17, 18; Acts 4:18-20; 5:29, 32; Rom. 13:1) Let no human court, political power or religious system presume upon God and Christ, or attempt to countermand the apostles, by interfering with or forbidding the preaching work of Jehovah’s witnesses today in this time of “his manifestation and his kingdom”. And because this command to preach does not originate with men or the “Watchtower Society”, but with Almighty God, His witnesses put the gospel-preaching ahead of everything else in their lives, and, if the need be forced upon them, are willing to go to a Hitler or Communist slave camp and there die a slow death.
What, how, where, when, and why preach? Paul says “preach the word” of God, which should be studied and used to teach, reprove, correct and train others. (2 Tim. 3:14-17) By example, Paul showed how and where this preaching was to be done: “In public and from house to house,” in conformity with the pattern cut out by Christ.—Acts 20:20, 21, 25, RS; Matt. 4:12-17, 23; Luke 8:1; 9:1, 2; 10:1.
And when is it possible to preach? “Be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season,” Paul admonishes. (2 Tim. 4:2, NW) You may be all tired out from the day’s work, or you may be languishing in a filthy jail, and yet the occasion is a very “favorable season” for the listeners. You therefore preach. You do this in order to save life. We are living in a critical time. This world’s end is upon us. There is no time to lose. Your life and the life of others is at stake. So “preach the word”!—1 Tim. 4:16.