The Glorious and Dangerous Task

In his book On Preaching, H.B. Charles, Jr. writes about the origin of the Greek word “to preach.” Says Rev. Charles:

The word Paul used in 2 Timothy 4:2, where he charges Timothy to preach the Word, was originally a political term, not a religious one. It referred to the function of a herald. If the king had a message to get out, he couldn’t just call a press conference and have all the news media publish or broadcast his remarks. He would dispatch his herald to deliver his message to the people. When the herald arrived at a city, he would cry out his message in a grave, formal, and authoritative voice. When he spoke, the people did well to listen and take heed. To ignore the herald’s message was to reject the king’s authority. And the herald would be careful to proclaim the king’s message with clarity and accuracy. To misrepresent the king’s message was just as dangerous as rejecting it.

Pause and reflect on that last sentence. Many of us who preach focus on the danger of rejecting the gospel that we proclaim to our hearers but we may minimize the responsibility to deliver exactly the message God intends people to hear.

How do you ensure in your preparation that you are delivering exactly the message God intended to be delivered?