God’s description of his preacher:
“in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”– Colossians 1:24–29.
Just a few days ago, the Larimore home in Florence, Alabama was severely damaged by fire. The old home stood as a reminder of the glory of preaching. The home, now a historic landmark, belonged to T. B. Larimore a preacher of the Gospel. Brother Larimore was known far and wide for being a preacher of the Gospel. He was born and raised in the Sequatchie Valley of East Tennessee, he fought in the Civil War, but most importantly he preached the Gospel.
God blessed the world through Larimore’s preaching. Wherever, the man went God’s message was heard. On two occasions Larimore preached twice a day for several days in a row. He preached at Sherman, Texas from January 3, 1894 to June 7th. 333 sermons were preached and 200 souls were saved. He preached twice every day from January 3, 1895 to April 17 in Los Angeles, California. 121 souls were saved. Larimore’s body has decayed. His home has now burned. He and his memory live on. Why? Because the Gospel was preached.
Sadly, some do not want to hear the familiar story of Jesus on the old rugged cross. Those who “withdraw themselves from the hearing of the word” are those who “willfully despise the power of God, and drive away from themselves his delivering hand” (Calvin’s Commentary on Romans). Paul loved Gospel preaching. He said, “I am eager to preach the gospel” (Rom. 1:15). Paul told the Romans why he loved Gospel preaching. He loved preaching the Gospel
- because the Gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16),
- because “in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith” (Rom. 1:17).
All the Christian life is shaped by the preached Gospel–all that leads to salvation (1:16), all that has to do with the righteousness of God (1:17).
“The pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first decried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick.