The work of preaching the gospel is not a quick, mushrooming work. It is based upon our prayer. Based upon our prayer, we need to speak. Many of us in the Lord’s recovery need to learn to speak. In order to speak, however, you need the proper material. In 1980 the Living Stream Ministry published Gospel Outlines, containing two hundred sixty-six outlines for gospel messages. These outlines cover God, man, the fall, Satan, redemption, justification, and many other topics. The outlines are quite detailed. This book will provide you with something to say. You should fill yourself up with all the materials related to the truth of the gospel.
There are many gospel truths in the Bible. The Apostle Paul had a great deal to speak because the Old Testament was a rich source of light and truth to him. You have to learn the truth as Paul did. When you are equipped with the truth, you will be like a doctor who has a dispensary full of medicine. When you contact a young person, you will know what medicine he needs. The medicine is the word of the truth. However, do not wait until you know everything. Start speaking right away. There is a principle in the Bible that the more you speak, the more light you will receive. I can testify that the more I speak, the more light and truth come to me.
This principle can be illustrated with a water hose. On the one hand, the hose takes in water from the faucet; on the other hand, it flows out water. When water is coming out of the hose, this means that a fresh supply of water is flowing into it. The more that we flow out the living water by speaking Christ, the more the living water flows into us. We should speak and speak. Many times I have spoken things that I only received after I started speaking. The more I spoke, the more I received. We should learn to speak based upon our prayer and to speak by faith in the Word. The Bible clearly says, “The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). We must believe that the words we speak are spirit and life. Everyone can speak. We should all be speakers in the church. Each one of us should say, “I am a speaker in the church.” Speaking is not the responsibility of just a few brothers. Everyone has to be a speaker.
Before we speak, however, we have to pray. We must fulfill our priestly service by praying to bring people to the Lord. We should put them on our breast and shoulders (Exo. 28:29-30), bearing them in love and in power into the presence of the Lord. After we pray in this manner, we will be authorized and filled with the word. The word is our authority to go to the people as kings. We are both priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). We are priests, so we can pray for the sinners to bring them to God, and we are kings so we can bring God to the sinners. Firstly, we bring sinners to the Lord, and then we bring the Lord to sinners. When we go to the Lord with sinners by praying, we are priests. When we come to sinners with the Lord by preaching, we are the kings. As kings our speaking has authority. People will realize our speaking is not ordinary but weighty.
If you do not pray and speak the holy word from the Bible, your speaking will not have any weight. It will only be a light speaking. Weighty speaking comes only from prayer and the use of the holy Word. You must be filled with prayer and the Word. Then you will be saturated with the Word. Eventually you will be the embodiment of the Word. Our being needs to be constituted and composed with the Word. The Word should be in every fiber of our being. I hope the young people will be filled with the Word. The Word is the Spirit and the Word is life (John 6:63). Only the Spirit and life are powerful. When we speak the words of spirit and life, our speaking will be like a royal edict. In this edict there will be weight, authority, and power. It would be good if each church could set aside at least one evening a week to come together to pray and learn the truth in the Word. Then everyone will be filled with the Spirit and the Word.
When I was young, I read a book by Dr. R. A. Torrey entitled How to Bring Men to Christ. In the book, Dr. Torrey gave verses to meet the needs of different types of people. Eventually we found that this list of verses was inadequate to meet all the needs of the people we contacted in our gospel preaching. We needed more verses. Sometimes we needed an understanding of chapters and even of whole books of the Bible for our preaching to be effective. The preaching of many Christians may not be prevailing because they have a poor understanding of the Word. I hope that many of you will pray and gain the full knowledge of the truth to speak the Word.
(Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)