I Charge You to Preach the Word!

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:1-2


I'd like to have us turn in our Bibles to 2 Timothy. . What we want to do in a few minutes is have the four of our elders who are present come up and we are going to lay hands on our brother Brandon. This is not something we have invented. Men were recognized by the laying on of hands in the Scriptures and that's what we want do. And after we do that, we want to baptize a couple of folks, and then we are going to recognize the church in Austin in a formal manner. In 2 Timothy 4, there is one of the strongest charges and I am not personally aware of a stronger charge in all of Scripture than this one. Maybe somebody can think of one, but I don't personally know of one. , "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus." Now, let's just stop right there. I am going to read this and this is no longer from Paul to Timothy. This is from Timothy to Brandon. But the charge stays the same because the grounds of this charge are the same. The God who was present then and Christ who was present then and the Christ who is going to come back and judge all men is here now! We stand is the presence of Him just like they did then. This charge stands now. This through this Gospel age is the charge of God's ministers. So this, is a God-inspired charge. I am going to speak it now and I'm speaking it, really to every man here should have ears to hear, who would take upon themselves to preach or teach in one of Christ's churches. But right now, this is very personal. This is aimed right at the heart of this guy right here. Brandon, "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead by His appearing and His Kingdom, preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience in teaching. For the time is coming..." and I tell you this, it's not just coming, it's here. "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 and wander off into myths." Father, we cry out to You right now. Lord, I pray that You would help me now as I open up Your Word. Lord, we ask that God-given help would be a reality in this place. Oh Lord, we desire for this Grace Church Austin; we desire for their first officer - Lord, we want these things to be of Your making, of Your manufacture, of Your gifting; Lord, of Your blessing, built on the right foundations. That's what we desire. And we know this is one of those right foundations. Lord, would you please empower this, especially to the heart of our brother Brandon. I pray in Christ's name. Now, as I said before, I am not personally aware of a stronger charge in all of Scriptures than this one. "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus..." Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead. What do you think Paul's doing here? He's saying: Brandon, you are going to be there when the Christ who is here present now God the Father and God the Son, present here in our midst. You are going to be there, when Jesus Christ busts open the sky and comes and judges all of mankind. Your ministry is going to be laid bare on that day. That's the reality we're facing. I am not aware of a stronger charge in Scripture. And the thing is a charge of this magnitude is to be taken as especially binding and dangerous to break or ignore. Right? This is not some casual or trivial thing here. Brandon, you have an appointed time with Jesus Christ. He is going to come and judge the living and the dead. By "the living and the dead," we are not talking about: Well, all of us here are living and the dead are over in the cemetery. When it says the living and the dead, it means spiritually. And that last day, when everybody comes up out of those graves, he's talking about those who are alive in Christ and those who are dead and their trespasses and sins. And the thing is, it's not like if we've taken refuge in Christ, that we are going to be spared from the judgment. We know that's not true. Did not Paul teach the Corinthians that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ? And oh, you know what James says: "Don't be many teachers." You know why? Because in that day, the judgment for teachers is going to be much stricter. And you know why. Because if anybody should know the truth, it's them. If anybody should know the standard of righteousness it's those who have spent most time looking at the righteous standards. It's those people that God's Son shed his blood for are being entrusted to him as a shepherd. This is serious stuff. (Incomplete thought) Brethren, friends, God is here. Jesus Christ is here. We stand in His Presence. And you know what? Because we don't see Him like we will on Judgment Day, what's the tendency? What is the temptation? It is to take it lightly. It is not to take it seriously as we ought to take it. Why? Because you can't see Him. I guarantee, if you could see what Isaiah saw, you would take it seriously. Even if you saw some of the things the apostles saw - you remember, they were terrified at times, they fell on their faces at times. If you could see some of the things they saw, like Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration or Jesus when with a word He calms storms. They said "Whoa! What kind of man is this?" They saw things we don't see. There's a veil here. And so we see each other. You're looking at me. You see this wall behind me. Oh, we don't see Him as He is. It's all veiled. So, what's the tendency? You know what the tendency is. Just look around us. Look at the men and women that take the pulpit, and the things that they teach, and the things that they say, and the greed that drives so much of what is said, and how little they preach the Word. They preach their own opinions, they preach this, they preach another thing. Why? Why are they so casual? Unbelief! They don't really believe what's coming! And what's happening is, Paul is appealing to Timothy. God the Father is present and Jesus Christ is present. And let me just remind you that Jesus Christ who is present, the very Son of God Himself, He is going to come one day in His Kingdom and in glory and He is going to judge the living and the dead and that includes you Timothy and that includes you Brandon. He s coming. And so, you are charged in the presence of this God the Father and God the Son. They're present. They're witness to the responsibility that is being entrusted. In many ways, it has already been entrusted. But we are going to lay hands on him in a formal way. We are going to recognize this today. But God the Father, God the Son... Paul doesn't just assure us that God and Christ are present, but that ultimately, there is an accounting when Christ ushers in this Kingdom. How is Judgment Day such a powerful, persuasive way to be diligent, to be faithful, unless his point in all of this is: You are going to be there. You are going to give an account. Isn't it interesting that when Paul talks about the fact that we all have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, he then says, "knowing therefore..." "knowing therefore the terror of the Lord." Even when you have a righteous man like Isaiah when he came into the presence of the Lord he was on his face. Righteous men trembled in the sight of this God. It is a fearful thing. And to come and know that all your works - all of us - we are going to have that. Our works are going to be examined. Jesus said even every careless word. I'll tell you, you want refuge in that day. You want refuge from the wrath of God. Look, ultimately, there is not a perfect pastor. There is not a perfect under-shepherd. And oh, how we glory in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we still have to give an account. You know from the 1 Corinthian letter, people, even those who are the living, even those who were faithful. You know, there's a lot of people who presumed to take the pulpit that God has not called. But even the ones that God has called - even them - they've blundered. We see in the 1 Corinthian letter that stuff gets burned up. There's wood, hay, and stubble. Let's preach the Word. That's the gold. That's the jewel. That's what's good. That's the foundation that we want to lay. The weight of this whole charge lies in this very fact: that the day is coming when you have to give a full account. Full account. He is going to look at everything. He is going to look at the way you dealt with every single one of those sheep. He is going to look at every one of your messages. He is going to look at how you interpreted Scripture. He is going to look at the example you were; how you led the people to trust Him or to not trust Him; how you demonstrated unbelief before them; how you demonstrated purity before them. Being an example is something you're going to be examined for. You are going to be tested. It is going to be tested by the fire. This is the day that's coming. This is serious. And you know what? Because this is a reality, the weightiness of this reality - you know what it should do? It should deliver this guy right here from the fear of man. That's one thing it should do. You know what happens? I can remember different places where I've preached. I remember preaching at my step-father's funeral. Not a lot of saved people there. I remember their looks on their faces. I remember preaching my next step-father's funeral at an Episcopalian church. Not a lot of friendly faces. You know what the weight of this charge does for you? The weightiness of this causes you to not be affected by the faces of the people; not to be affected by their smiles, or by their frowns. Brother, you're called to preach the Word. No matter what men think, you are called to preach the Word. No matter whether they approve of it or disapprove of it. Because what we find is there is in season and there is out of season. You know what? In the middle of June, July, August, in Texas, you don't go around wearing your heaviest winter coat. That's out of season. People will say: "That's inappropriate!" And they're going to say that about doctrine. That's what we are hearing here. They are going to look at you and say: "Brother, that's not appropriate!" "Yeah! But it's in God's Word." "Yeah! But it's not appropriate." You preach God's Word. The weightiness of this reality should cause you to keep going when it gets tough. Brother, it's going to get more tough. You think it's tough now, I know. And it is. Legitimately, it is. But the toughness that you have experienced now is only preparing you for greater toughness tomorrow. And it's going to get tough. (incomplete thought) Brethren, there's no question about it. Engineering was a lot easier. The reason on a lot of days I keep going is because I know God has called me to this. And I need to be faithful. The weightiness of this charge keeps you going, when it's not fun to be a pastor. What a cheap word that is anyways! Like it is meant to be that. You know what I mean. The days when you get up and everything's good. I think I have mentioned this before. But, not too long ago, I was having a discussion with our fifth elder who is out of town right now in the Middle East. I said to him, "John, I've just come to recognize that I'm not going to experience any more days in my life where there's not going to be any problems." I am not going to be where it's problem-free. I wake up every day and there is a problem. And most days, there are ten. Or a hundred. There are a lot of times I'm bearing problems that, oh, they're difficult. But what happens is you know this. You know that at the end of this thing there is a crown for you if you're faithful. You know at the end of this thing that you're going to have to give an account. And Jesus never promised that it'd be easy. Never! If any man is faithful to the souls of the people that he is pastoring; if any man is faithful to preach the Word, it's hard, it's laborious, it's going to take effort. That does mean there isn't great joy in the midst of it. But it's tough! And a charge like this is serious. And when you want to throw in the towel, a charge like this says: "You have got to answer to Christ." Keep going. Keep going. And the thing is, He says He'll never leave you or forsake you. It is not like on the toughest days His grace isn't sufficient. That's what He told one of His other servants along the way. The weightiness of this reality should cause you to strive to please Christ and not yourself. And there is a temptation there. That'll feel good to just whatever it is - not pray like you should, stay in bed longer, kick your feet up, watch more TV than you ought to. Whatever it is! Pleasing Christ rather than pleasing yourself. Brother, preach the Word! Preach the Word! A charge like this, it keeps you going. It keeps you preaching the truth. It keeps you preaching the truth when your wallet may be affected. When you stand up and you say: "Open your Bibles here. This is what God's Word says," and you know that rich family over there. Let me tell you something. There are few rich that enter the Kingdom. And I find that many people with money cannot stand to stay too long around churches that are really diligent and passionate about the truth. And you do not want to preach to keep them in the church. You want to preach to be able to stand before Christ and give a good account. Even if they leave. Be faithful to Christ. Be faithful. Even if you know, if they leave, I don't know how I am going to get paid. So be it! Be faithful to Christ. Preach the Word. A charge like this - the weightiness of this reality that you're going to have to give an account for this - it should lead you to really focus in on the quality of your preaching and not the quantity of the people that you preach to. When you preach the truth, sometimes God will build a church and He'll add even sometimes thousands. Because we have the Internet today and everybody sees John MacArthur and John Piper, but you know that's the rare exception. You just be faithful. You know, John MacArthur said it. He said back in the beginning of his ministry, he said he made it his concern to focus on being faithful to that Word. He'd let God take care of expanding the ministry. The reality here is one of standing up and proclaiming God's Word even when it's out of season. We are coming into a day, folks, we're coming into a day when Christianity is not being tolerated. If you are watching what is going on in this world, if you are watching what is going on on our college campuses; if you are watching what is going on in this country... Do you know at Duke University, they are now going to allow Islamic prayers - no Christian - to be announced from the bell tower. No Christians can do that. Christian organizations are being thrown off the campuses. You probably heard about the chief fireman in Atlanta. The thing about this, is it's coming at us at a tremendous speed - the changes. You be faithful to preach the Word. You be faithful when it's out of season. We have some good preachers, good commentaries, good things to study, good things to help you to discover what the Word says. But ultimately, it is not going to be you preaching John MacArthur or concerned about what John Calvin says. In the end, you have to answer to what this book says. And those guys not only can be, they are wrong in some places. As good as they are, every good man as good as he is, is wrong somewhere. And so, if we make it our duty to follow a man, he is going to lead us wrong. And typically, the disciples of somebody tend to emphasize the errors of their teacher more than the teacher themselves. Be true to the Word. Be true to Christ. Know your Bible, in season, out of season. Preach that. He calls you to preach the Word. You need to know a book, if you are going to preach. You need to be a student. And the church that is going to be meeting there and behind this man, you give him ample time, you give him ample sustenance, so that he can be free to do what those early church leaders did. Not to be serving tables, but to be giving himself to the Word and to prayer. That's what he needs to give himself to. He needs to be faithful to preach this Word. Brother, preach the terrible holiness of God. In our land today, we have got preachers that want to water down the doctrine of God. They want this little god. Non-threatening, one that doesn't scare us. You tell them about the God that throws men into hell. You tell them about the God who did so love the world. Oh, what glorious love! But I'll tell you this, we've got a world around us that thinks that they can go on in rebellion to Jesus Christ and somehow they're going to be recipients of that love. That is not true. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. And you will not be finding any access to the Father except through Him through surrender to Him, faith in Him, clinging to Him. He has to be your all, He has to be your trust. He has to be your hope. And if you will not surrender, you tell them about the Christ who says: "Bring those enemies before Me, who would not submit and bow the knee and slaughter them before Me." You say: "What? What?" Yeah, that's in the Bible. You show them pictures of Isaiah quivering before this God; Habakkuk shaken to the bones; Job repenting in dust and ashes. We need a great God. We need a God that men fear. Preach that God to them - a big God. Mighty! Mighty to create and mighty to save. Mighty to bind the strong man and cast him down and pluck from him. Mighty! Salvation is of the Lord, and He is mighty to save. Preach that God! Mighty to conquer the power of sin in a sinner's life and break its dominion. Mighty! To put down - with one little word He fells him. He can say to the demons: "Go!" and they are gone. Preach that God! Preach that God that with a word can call galaxies into existence. Preach that God who can go face to face with the greatest army on the face of this earth in Egypt and just lay them waste. Preach that God. Preach that God who even when His people Israel will go on in their sin and rebel against Him, who are not allowed to enter His rest. God doesn't toy. He doesn't play. We want to preach that God. You preach that God. That is the God found in Scripture. Yes, He loved and He so loved. You want to preach that He was willing to send His Son to this world and make the greatest sacrifice. You want to show them the heart of this great God. That He was willing to crush His own Son on that cross in order to expend His wrath so that sinners might be justified in His courtroom and found absolutely innocent. Oh brother, is that not going to be your hope when you size up your own ministry, that on that day - What faithful preacher, pastor, shepherd - every one of us - I think our tendency will be to go before Him, and it's just: my only hope is the blood of Jesus Christ. And then to hear: "Well done! Good and faithful servant!" Can you imagine? Those disciples. Here is Jesus praying in John 17. "They have kept your Word." Can you imagine? All their heads turned. They looked at each other. "We have?" That's the glory! The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses away all the dirt, all the contamination. Brother, I'll tell you one thing you need to preach. If you are going to preach this Word, be faithful. Be faithful. Preach that God does not promise health and wealth and prosperity. Not if you're reading your Bible right. The God I read about in this Bible promises much tribulation. He promises that even some of us will be put to death. He promises that if you are determined to live godly, you will be persecuted. He teaches that in fact those who do get wealthy, not many of them make it, because they depend on their money and you cannot serve God and money. He does not promise you health. You know what He promises? He promises it's appointed to every one of us to die. And He's promised that if you are truly going to be a fellow heir with Jesus Christ, then you are going to suffer like Christ suffered. That's what we need to tell men and women. You know what Jesus said? Count the cost! Tell men to count the cost. You preach this. Count the cost. You come to Christ. He expects total allegiance. You preach to them: hate mother and father. Really? Yeah, Luke 14 says that. I recognize what our Lord's doing there. But we need to be honest. We need to be faithful to men's souls. There is too much cheap Christianity around today. You can chase your wealth and you can chase your health and you can just love these things in the world, but because you said this little prayer be sure at the end, it is going to be okay with you. That is not the Christianity taught in this Bible. You need to teach men that. Is it by faith in Jesus Christ? You better believe it is. But if you tell me: I believe Jesus Christ is the Savior. I believe Jesus Christ is the Lord. I believe Jesus Christ teaches truth. And then you don't live according to that truth, what are you telling me? You are telling me you don't believe in Him. You don't believe Him. Unless you are willing to forsake all that you have, He says, "you can't be My disciple." Why? Because He allows of no contenders. He is jealous for your love. And if you believe in Him, if you really believe in Him and see Him for what He is, you will not want to give your love to something else more than to Him. And for you to go on loving all the sins of this world and all the sins that men like to relish in and satisfy their own lusts with, and you are going to tell me you're just going to run in all that but in the end it is going to turn out okay with you? That's not what the Bible says! The Bible says: "Don't be deceived!" (incomplete thought) You need to teach that. You need to be faithful to that. When you've got people in the church that are toying with sin, we need to be honest with them. Preach the all-out commitment of being a follower of Jesus Christ. You need to be faithful to that. Brother, preach against sin. Especially those that are fashionable and "politically correct." You preach against racism. It is wrong. That's wicked. That's sin. We're called to love our neighbor. Brother, you preach against abortion. It's murder. Those are children. a day in the United States are being butchered. It's murder. Those mothers are murderers. And those doctors are murderers and you preach that. Brother, you preach homosexuality is an abomination. Now, it's in a group of other sins. It is not like we are going to let the fornicators and those have casual sex all the time go. Don't let any of them be deceived. But this homosexual agenda and this transgender agenda, it's going to press in on us more and more. You preach against it. You preach the truth. Even when the day comes where we might have to go to jail for it. You preach the truth. The days are coming. The days are coming. It is going to be financial first. They are going to take away the tax benefits. They are going to take away our ability to be freed up from property taxes. They're going to take us off the Internet. Those will be the first steps. We are going to see them. This is going to start happening in the next several years, if it is not already happening. But you preach the truth, no matter the financial ramifications of preaching it. Brother, preach against the fashionable sins. You preach against divorce. It's rampant. Just because the world out there counts it normal, you preach against it. God hates it! God does not approve of it. We are specifically told that we're not to be separating what God has joined together. You preach against that. It's wrong. And if we've got people in the church that are being casual about that, you discipline those folks. You preach to the church about the proper place of church discipline. And I am dealing with the hard things here. These are the things that are hard. Obviously, we need to take them to the cross over and over. We need to show them the love of God. Absolutely we do. We need to show them a salvation that hinges on the merits of Jesus Christ. Absolutely! We need to take them there again and again and again. But you preach against these things that are being allowed in our society. Preach against this egalitarianism. Brother, you preach that women are to submit to their husbands. You preach that women are not supposed to take leadership and preaching places in the church of Jesus Christ - preaching and teaching and leading men. It's wrong! This very apostle to this very man Timothy says such things. You preach that! You preach that men should be men. Oh, we've got men who are unwilling to take responsibility and love their wives and love their children and play the man; to be responsible. We have got a generation of women trying to take charge and men that are just willing to let it happen. Brother, deal with that! I tell you! You preach the Word. And if you preach the Word, you know what you're going to do? You are going to often remind men they're going to die. They don't want to hear that. But you remind men all the time. Your life is short. It is a vapor. And it's gone! You remind men of that. That's what Scriptures says. It's appointed to men once to die. It says life is a vapor. It says that. You remind men of that. You don't have long and you don't know if you have tomorrow. Live while it is day. The night is coming and that night comes - that night probably comes upon everybody before they think it is coming. Brother, preach hell. It's no fiction. That's no myth. Hell is real. And hell is eternal. You know what we find in Scripture? You preach this too. Few there be that find eternal life. That means most that are on the broad way. It ends in a bad way. It is a way of destruction. The truth is most people in San Antonio are not going to be in Heaven in a hundred years from now. The truth is that most of them are going to be damned. You preach that. Be faithful. Be faithful. Preach holiness. Oh, we need holiness in our churches, without which no one will see the Lord. You preach that. You preach holiness. You preach uprightness. You preach, point people to the perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that just brings me to this. Brother, if you are going to preach the Word, what is the thing he needs to preach most? What is the thing he needs to consider? He needs to be involved with most, he needs to give himself to most, he needs to have implanted on his mind most, he needs to preach Christ. Brother, you need to preach Christ. You have to preach Christ as the example. You have to preach Christ crucified. You need to take them, show them Christ in every aspect, in all of His character and all of His attributes. You need to take people to Christ. You need to show Him working out the salvation for sinners. Show them the cross. Oh, how that cross, the offense of the cross, what does it proclaim? It proclaims I am that bad that I needed God Himself to come to this earth and become man and bear the wrath of God. My sin is that bad. You preach that. Preach that Cross. Bring the brethren to the Cross. Every time, every time, we've got to be coming back to the cross. Brother, you got to be faithful there. If you are going to preach the Word, Jesus said: "Those Scriptures speak of Me." And when He was on that road to Emmaus, He was able to bring these guys in and say, "Hey guys, all the way from the beginning, all the way through that Old Testament, I'm there." He is obvious in the New Testament, but He is saying in all those types and shadows, all that's back there, it all points to Me. We've got to preach Christ. You preach Him in all of His glory. You preach Him as fully man. Every whit man; every respect, save sin. He was fully, and is fully, and will be fully forever and ever, He will be fully man. Glorified though He may be, and He is fully God. Oh, we've got so much of this non-Trinitarian garbage today. Jesus Christ is not the Father. Preach that! Jesus came from the Father. Jesus returned to the Father. Jesus prayed to the Father. Jesus could say as the servant He was while He was here, My Father is greater than I. He could also say and claim to be equal with the Father. And Scripture declares Him to be God. Preach Him that way. Preach Him the Mighty God that you find in Isaiah 9. Preach that. Altogether glorious. Altogether lovely, the Song of Solomon says. Preach that. And altogether lovely - show His loveliness. He is God. He is God and when He set Himself forth as the Son of God, even His enemies recognize He was making Himself equal to God. And He says through the apostle, he says that equality, He did not grasp hold of to prevent Him from coming down here, humbling Himself, becoming obedient to the Father as a man, as a servant - obedient all the way to the Cross. And I'll tell you, you preach, there's a day coming that He is going to have every single individual on the face of this earth bend that knee, and every tongue is going to confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. You preach every kingdom of this world is becoming the kingdom of our God and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever. You preach that! You preach Christ is putting all of these enemies down. They are all being made a footstool for His feet. And when that enemy is conquered - death - He is going to turn this whole thing over to the Father, and it's all going to be beautiful and perfect. And out into eternity, we're all going to go with Him that have trusted Him; that are one with Him. You preach His humility. Meek - He said, "Learn of Me." Show them, oh, that is the example. Is that not the pattern of the New Testament? It isn't dragging us to the Ten Commandments over and over. It is saying, "Behold Christ." When you want an example of sacrifice: "He who was rich became poor." When you want an example of humility: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." When you want examples of comfort: "Comfort one another even as Christ..." He's the example. He washes feet. He says, "I've given you an example." He says to these folks, "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in spirit, and I will give rest to your souls." Brother, preach Christ. Preach Him all the time. Every single message. It doesn't matter what you're preaching on, it's got to come back to the cross. It's got to come to Christ. You've got to bring Christ out. People have to be seeing Christ. Because remember this: from one degree of glory they are being transformed into that image. But it's as they behold the glory of the Lord. The Spirit of God does it. It's not in your hands to transform the people. But if they're not beholding the glory of Christ - so says 2 Corinthians 3:18 - if you're not beholding the glory of Christ, you're not being transformed into His likeness by the Spirit. The Spirit does it, but the Spirit is going to do it in a way where the eyes of the people in your church are beholding Jesus Christ. Preach the Word and if you preach the Word you're going to preach the living Word, the incarnate Word. Because He makes up this book. Be faithful. Brother, whatever you're preaching about; you preach a message on church discipline, or you preach a message on marital fidelity, or you preach a message on spanking children, or you preach a message on our duty to government - all of it should come back to Christ. You ought to be able to pull Christ out in all of that. Preach Christ. Oh, we live in this ecumenical time. Preach Christ as the only way. You know what Jesus said? He said that, "if you dishonor Me, you dishonor the Father." He said that. Jesus Christ said that if you don't honor the Son, you do not honor the Father. In this ecumenical age, you preach that. You preach: Catholicism is a damnable doctrine. You preach that. They diminish the glory of Christ. They exalt Mary. You preach: if somebody is adhering to Islamic doctrine, they are damned. They are undone. They are hell-bound. Why? You cannot have the Father if you deny the Son. They deny the Son. Look, the Jesus they talk about, you preach the Word, and if you preach the Word, you can say, does that Christ that I just preached to you from the Word sound like your Islamic Jesus? And they're going to have to say, no, it doesn't. Our Islamic Jesus is not God. Our Islamic Jesus did not die on a cross. Our Islamic Jesus did not make propitiation for the sins of God's people. Yep, case closed. I'm preaching the Word. Your "Christ" is a different person than our Christ. And, what Jesus Himself said is if you deny Him, you deny the Father. You preach that. This ecumenical age - this is not all about holding hands with everybody out there just because they claim to be a Christian. We can't hold hands with Mormons. We can't hold hands with most charismatics. We can't hold hands with Catholics. We can't hold hands with Jehovah's Witnesses. We can't hold hands with Muslims. Why? Because if he's going to preach this Word, they don't hold to this Word. And you've got an accountability in the end. You've got an accountability to Jesus Christ. You need to be faithful. Brother, preach the Word. Preach the Gospel. Bring people face to face with Jesus Christ satisfying every requirement that the Father has. The Law demanded our perfection and Jesus perfectly, oh, with such beauty... The Father - can you imagine it on that Mount of Transfiguration? I mean, what was welling up in the Father? "This is My Son, in whom I'm well pleased. Hear Him." Just the Father admiring... Do you recognize? It's just the Father in all of His comprehension of the Son. Every, I mean, every aspect of His life, and the Father can look at that and say, "Perfect." That is the righteousness that He has earned. Obedience taken, even when He stared that cross in the face. As Scripture says, "He learned obedience through what He suffered." Never incomplete. Never imperfect. But always being tested to greater degrees of suffering until even the cross - and not just what man could inflict on that cross - but Scripture says His soul was poured out. The Father crushed Him. Oh, preach that. Preach that as man's only hope. Men are so determined. You can preach to them: "Not by works." Not by works which we have done. Not by works of the law. Oh yeah, yeah, we know that. We know that. We know that. They don't know it. They don't know it. Because as soon as you say it, they're trying to make faith happen. They're trying to construct their own repentance. Men are always trying to do. You preach to bring men to the end of themselves where they have no hope but Christ. Christ our only hope. Christ. Christ. Christ. Preach the Word, brother. Your ministry is starting and yet it's going to be over like that. Why? Because life is a vapor. We only get one shot. The thing is we can't undo mistakes. Thankfully, we have a very kind and compassionate God. But His compassions and His kindness only flow to us through Jesus Christ. In Him, all these treasures are to be had. Only in Him. There is salvation in none other. In no one else. There is no other name given among men under heaven whereby we must be saved. There is one name. There is one hope. We need to point men to that. We need to be faithful. You get one shot at this. Do what the apostle says. Build on the foundation which is Jesus Christ. Build on that foundation. And the building materials are the same. It's got to be Christ. Pointing people to Christ. Beware of the wood, hay, and stubble. That which is done in unbelief; that which is done pointing people away from Christ. That which just becomes an obsession with morality or with some pet peeve doctrine. Brother, bring people to Christ. Don't get so hung up on some of these doctrines that you just lose yourself in them. Obviously, there's a place, especially for men who are going to be preaching the Word to be studying the Word, to know the Word, to know what they believe about all these different things, but you've got to come back again and again and again to this reality. If you're going to preach the Word, you're going to preach Christ. Preach Christ all the time. Preach the Word. That means get to know in this book the balance of things. (Incomplete thought) Preach in proportion to how things are set forth in this Word. Be faithful, brother. Be faithful.