established a number of congregations, participated in the work of the early Christians’ governing body, wrote fourteen letters under inspiration, repeatedly was imprisoned and doubtless finally suffered martyrdom for his faithful preaching. While in most of these respects we could not think of imitating Paul, there are ever so many ways in which we can.—2 Cor. 11:23-33.
For example, Paul became all things to people of all sorts, that he might win some. Once a ruthless persecutor of Christians to the death, he became as gentle as a nursing mother in teaching others. We today likewise want to be gentle and become all things to people of all sorts, meeting people on their own level, and so win them by the good news and not by our personality or learning.—1 Cor. 2:2-5; 9:16-22; 1 Thess. 2:7.
Though Paul was able to preach effectively to learned philosophers and even kings, he did not neglect preaching from “house to house” and wherever he could find people willing to listen. Are we zealously doing the same?—Acts 17:17-34; 20:20; 26:28.
More than that, we read that Paul preached “with boldness,” and that he preached “thoroughly.” (Acts 14:3; 20:21) Are we ever alert to preach with boldness, or do we at times shrink back from an opportunity for incidental witnessing because of the fear of man? And are we thorough in our preaching; among other things, making faithful use of the house-to-house record? One brother, witnessing in a Brooklyn apartment building one Sunday morning last October, on the top floor found only one out of seven families home. Returning on Wednesday evening to call on the not-at-homes, he found five of the six at home and one of these subscribed for the Awake! magazine.
How do we respond to the usual run of objections met at the doors? Do we let them turn us aside or do we give a thorough witness by offering some tactful reply?
There are still other ways in which the apostle Paul set a fine example for us to imitate as we let people hear through our preaching. He worked night and day so as not to become an expensive burden to others, making tents to pay his expenses. More than that, in spite of all the hardships he had to endure, he never grumbled, complained or rebelled. He learned in whatever circumstances he might find himself to be self-sufficient, to be content. Do we avoid needlessly burdening others in one way or another? Have we learned to be self-sufficient, content?—Acts 18:1-4; Phil. 4:11-13; 2 Thess. 3:8.
Let us ever bear in mind as we let the people hear through our preaching that if the people believe the good news, not only will it be a means of their eventually gaining everlasting life, but, even now, by accepting the truth they will gain many blessings; they will find themselves living in a better moral climate, will know greater happiness and contentment, and will find that their relations with others are improving.—Prov. 10:22; Rom. 12:18; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Tim. 6:6.
So let us be diligent to let as many people as possible hear through our preaching in the few short remaining years before Armageddon, and to do so in imitation of the apostle Paul!
Questions From Readers
● How could Jesus promise, as recorded at John 11:26, that those exercising faith in him would never die, since Christians do die?—M. F., U.S.A.
As reported at John 11:25, 26 Jesus was, in effect, promising everlasting life. He said to Martha, the sister of dead Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all.” The import of these words is similar to his earlier statement: “Most truly I say to you, If anyone observes my word, he will never see death at all.”—John 8:51.
The individuals hearing Jesus could, if they faithfully served God, have the expectation of reigning with Christ in heaven. (2 Tim. 4:18; Rev. 20:4, 6) After Jesus’ death and resurrection the call for members of the kingdom