Making Disciples by Preaching

by Frank Jones


“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you.”

“2 Thessalonians 3: 1 is an often-quoted missionary text, and rightly so. This verse provides powerful hope of a dynamic work of God through the ministry of the Word. The phrase “the word of the Lord” is probably best viewed as the Gospel primarily, but it cannot be separated from the rest of God's revealed truth (cf. Acts 20: 27). This is language that reflects the summary statements in Acts of the church’s advance (4: 29, 31; 6: 7; 12: 24; 19: 20). The spread of the gospel is the spread of the Word, whether called “the word of Christ” (Rom. 10: 17), “the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5: 19), or “the word of God” (1 Thess. 2: 13). 

This verse serves as a good reminder that the front line of God's work in this dispensation is the preaching of God's Word. Other activities have their place, but they cannot have first place. God has chosen the “foolishness” of preaching to save the lost. Much of contemporary ministry philosophy seems to have lost its confidence in the effectiveness of God's Word to convert the lost and to conform the saved into the image of Jesus Christ. Any lack of powerful effectiveness is not due to a shortage of power on God’s part or any weakness of the Word. It may, however, be evidence of our lack of faith and our lack of prayer.” (Doran, David M. For the Sake of His Name. Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2018, 108-109)