What Does It Mean to Preach Christ?
Question: In Acts 8, when we read of Philip preaching the Gospel to the Samaritans, we read that he “preached Christ to them” (v. 5). Why, then, does your magazine preach the Kingdom of God, and not simply the person of Christ?
Answer: This is a common misconception. Many today believe that by merely preaching about the person of Christ, they are preaching His message. In fact, however, Jesus Christ came with a very specific message. Many who preach only of His person are twisting His message and failing to teach all of what Jesus Himself taught. A closer look at Acts 8 will illustrate the unbreakable connection between Jesus’ person and His true message.
Notice what Philip was preaching when he “preached Christ to them.” We read, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (v. 12). In other words, when Philip preached Christ to the multitudes in Samaria, he taught about Christ’s identity as Savior and King (His “name”) and about the “Kingdom of God” over which Christ will rule. In response to this message, many people accepted Christ—and, in doing so, accepted His message.
Is this “Kingdom of God” some kind of warm feeling in the heart of the believer? No! The Apostle John recorded Jesus Christ’s prophetic explanation of the future Kingdom over which He would rule. John wrote of a future time when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).
This is not allegory; Jesus is an actual king. He will rule a literal kingdom, assisted by resurrected faithful Christians (Revelation 5:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:50–52). There will be definite signs preceding His coming, and those who have allied with the enemies of Christ will “mourn” when they see Him coming to establish that Kingdom (Matthew 24:30).
Notice what He said when Pilate asked Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus responded very plainly, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world” (John 18:37). However, as Jesus also explained, His kingdom is not of “this world”—the present age—but of Tomorrow’s World (v. 36).
Christ will administer His Kingdom from a headquarters at Jerusalem. “‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:2). As human beings learn Christ’s ways, a “Millennium” lived under God’s rule will bring a peace and joy never before known in human history.
The message that Jesus Christ preached was the good news of salvation, and of the Kingdom of God, which will be set up on this earth, to prepare all human beings for eternal life in His Family. All of Christ’s disciples faithfully taught the same message that He did (Luke 9:1–2; 10:1–2, 9; Acts 20:21, 25; Matthew 24:14; 28:18–20).
Therefore, to “preach Christ” means to preach the whole truth concerning Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, and the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. Those who truly accept Jesus Christ will accept His message, repent, be baptized, and allow Him to live His life in them (Philippians 2:5; Galatians 2:20), so that He can prepare them for eternal life in His Family.
This profound change and commitment to God’s way of life will be rewarded at Christ’s return, when He will say to those who have walked in His steps, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).