I was recently asked the question, “How did you know you were being called to preach the Good News?” This thought was triggered by a discussion of what is a calling or more specifically what is a Call to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Most certainly to be called to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ is a great honor. Isaiah 52 verse 7 states, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” This verse describes Jesus, the Messiah, who gives peace and salvation. It is also further extended to those who in Jesus Name preach the Good News inviting others to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and enjoy the peace of living a life in Jesus Christ.
Romans 10: 14-15 expands on the Isaiah 52:7 verse by stating in Romans 10, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
So, from the Romans 10 verse a question arises, “who is sending or extending the call to preach the Good News?” And, “how can you know you are being called to preach the Good News?”
Let’s take a look at “The Call to Preach the Good News?”
Theme: “The Call to Preach the Good News”
Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:14 – 15
Well, from the scripture readings, it is evident that God calls people into the preaching ministry.
You cannot call yourself into the preaching ministry. Also, the Call is not something that you can “franchise” or pass from one person to another. The Call is not passed down from one family member to another. The Call is personally and individually sent and received from God. The experience is a little different for each person, but the general characteristics or commonalities of the Call are consistent. It is divine, personal, clear, and powerful.
Just in humor to answer the question about who is called to preach the Good News, we can’t take a literal interpretation of Romans 10: 15, the person who is called has nothing to do with the physical appearance of their feet. Trinity College professor, Paul Fritz, describes those with ‘beautiful feet’ as:
- The gospel givers because they take on the identity of Jesus Christ.
- The gospel givers because they bring a message of peace, hope and eternal life.
- The gospel preachers because of the nature of the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ because the gospel sets people free from sin, destruction and eternal judgment.
If we examine God’s Call in the Bible, we notice that while the Call is unique there are some commonalities as God calls a person to the preaching ministry and equips that person. The commonalities are that the Call has:
- A supernatural aspect. (Acts 9:1-9 and Exodus 3:1-5)
- A compelling desire/motivation to serve Christ by sharing the Good News. (1 Corinthians 9:16 and Romans 1:15-16)
- The witness of wise counsel of other believers such as a Pastor. (Acts 9:10-18)
- Evidence of accepting opportunities to learn more about God. (2 Timothy 2:15)
- An acceptance that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:25)
- A questioning affirmation of a body of believers such as a Church congregation or denomination. (Acts 9:19 – 22)
Some Biblical examples of the Call and its commonalities are:
- A supernatural aspect: Moses sees the burning bush that was not consumed. Also, Paul on the road to Damascus sees a bright light and hears the voice of God the Son, Jesus. (Exodus 3:1-5 and Acts 9:1-9).
- A compelling desire/motivation to serve Christ by sharing the Good News: Jeremiah says, “God’s Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9).
- The witness of wise counsel of other believers such as a Pastor: Jesus calls the disciples. (Matthew 4:18-22). Samuel with Eli as God calls Samuel. (1 Samuel 3:1-21). Also, Isaiah hearing the call and saying, “Here am I Lord, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8).
- Evidence of accepting opportunities to learn more about God: Timothy accepting instruction from Paul. (2 Timothy 2:15).
- Respecting those God has given charge over you: A Call is validated by honor. The person that is called honors the authority that God has provided to guide and nurture them. They trust the person God has given to direct them. (Romans 13:1).
- Counting the Costs of Discipleship: There is a cost to following Jesus Christ and the decision to follow Him in the preaching and teaching ministry should be considered carefully. (James 3: 1 and Luke 14:28)
- Accepting that it is more blessed to give than to receive: Abraham giving a tenth of all he had to the high priest, Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:2)
- A questioning affirmation of a body of believers such as a Church congregation or denomination: Priests were confirmed by lay on of hands. (Numbers 8:10).
Now for what a Call is Not:
- A Call is not a FRANCHISE to be passed from person to person or amongst family members.
- It is not a REACTION TO GUILT. In other words, some people believe they will/are accepting a Call because God has delivered them from some tragedy or horrendous sin. So, guilt leads them to say they are called to the preaching ministry.
- It is not for someone that does not have a desire to attend every opportunity to hear, study, or LEARN GOD’S WORD first in the vineyard to which they are assigned. In other words making a priority to learn or study at opportunities of the church in which you are a member.
- It is not for someone that won’t HONOR THE AUTHORITY of their Pastor that God has used to direct their Christian journey of the Call.
- It is not for someone that refuses to TITHE THEIR FINANCIAL RESOURCES. That person is not willing to invest their finances in the building of God’s people and edifices of worship. That person does not believe God will provide for them.
- It is not for someone that is LOOKING FOR A SHORTCUT TO PREPARATION for ministry. That person does not want to invest in God’s timing and preparation for the people they will serve and Good News they will share.
- It is not for someone who believes the Call is an opportunity TO BE HELD IN HIGH ESTEEM BY OTHERS. That person has wrong motives for ministry. Proverbs 16:2 states, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”
I hope this God the Holy Spirit inspired writing will help you know/recognize the Call to Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and not mistake it for selfish personal motives, ambitions or misunderstandings about a life event or circumstance.