The Gospel of Jesus Christ is very, very precious. And to participate in the sharing of the Gospel is one of the most honorable things in the world that a person can be involved in. It was foreordained before the creation of the world by God almighty that he would send his son into the world to be the manifestation of the Gospel. Thus Jesus came into the world, and instituted the Church whereby the spreading of the Gospel became the means to draw all men unto salvation.
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
So ever since, called men of the Lord have been charged with preaching the Gospel. What is preaching? Preaching means to herald, or proclaim the good news that Jesus Christ has indeed come unto the world, and enacted the miracle of God's grace. Why was preaching necessary? Couldn't God have utilized some other method, perhaps scientific or historical evidence to convince mankind of the truth of the Gospel?
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1 Corinthian 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
How many times have I heard that preaching is nothing but foolishnes. Yet God said that it was through the preaching of the cross that promoted salvation among the lost. God was greatly moved to utilize the method of preaching the Gospel to convey to mankind the news that Jesus Christ had pleased him. Preaching accentuates the fact that God the Father was well pleased with his son, and desired to express, publish, and proclaim to the whole world that only through faith in Christ was it possible to please God. The Spirit of God strives with men's heart to convict them of God's love, but never does God force his love-gift on anybody. Whereas history or science would have been an impersonal application (although evidential) of the demonstration of God's love, God proudly sends forth his servants to verbally sing the praises of his only begotten son!
Preaching isn't the only method of broadcasting the wonderful news of the Gospel, but it is the method that most edifies the genuineness of God's love. It might be asserted that the preaching of the Gospel is a spoken love letter, beseeching the beloved of God to come to the knowledge of his love.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Paul was cognizant of the fact that preaching was an expression of God's desire for all of mankind to discover God's love and his truth. Therefore he found that it was incumbent upon him to share God's word explicitly and with extreme urgency, and with all possible defense. God's requirement of called preachers is to wholeheartedly submit them-selves into the “Fellowship of the furtherance of the Gospel”. The Fellowship of the furtherance of the Gospel is a “yoked” team functioning through the Holy Spirit, and under the authority of Christ to propagate and perpetuate the precious word of God. It is a fellowship that is the embodiment of soldiers on the frontlines of the supernatural war against the forces of darkness. Therefore it is incumbent upon the Fellowship of called preachers to keep the Gospel pure and sound. All servants of God are but spirited earthen vessels exhibiting the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 4:5-7 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
1 Corinthians 1:9-10 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Preaching requires a calling from God. Sadly, in this world of the enemy, Satan has permeated the sanctity of the high calling fellowship of preaching, and plotted to dilute and confound the message of the Gospel. Thus, the exclusive calling of preaching requires the fellowship of Gospel furtherance to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing, and to guard the gates of the Church with the irrefutable doctrine of God's word. So, The Fellowship of the Furtherance of the Gospel is a separate calling. The fellowship involved in the furtherance of the Gospel should include all Christians. Paul had numerous supporters upholding him in prayer, and sustaining him with encouragement and compassion in his personal ministry of sharing the Gospel. The fellowship of ministering is the yoke-full mission of accomplishing the Great Commission. The Fellowship is mandated to follow the example set by our brethren and forefathers of church at Berea. Unlike the church at Thessalonica, they studied the scriptures daily to verify doctrine, and to root out any prospect of leavening infiltration within the fellowship of preachers.
II Timothy 2:15-16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
II Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
II Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
How wonderful it is to participate the in the furtherance of the Gospel. The Gospel is a bond between God and his servants. The Holy Spirit enlivens the soul of every participant. One of the most comforting feelings for any soldier of the Cross, is to be able to look around him and realize that there are other soldiers in the foxhole with him. No wonder is it that Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. In these Last Days, when the church has fallen away from the pure and sound message of the Gospel, it is often a lonely experience to participate in the furtherance of the Gospel. And sadly, quite often it seems that the special fellowship that furthers the gospel is an isolated and vastly persecuted outfit. But still there remains the exuberant fellowship amongst the saints that can only come from seeing the fruits of a harvest. The mission of the Fellowship is and has always been the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, and seeing sinners plunge beneath the fountain of Jesus blood.
I John 1:1-3 From the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
In Philippians 4:17 Paul shared some interesting insight with his fellow Gospel lovers at back in Philippi. He asserted that their assistance on his behalf to share the Gospel would enhance their own Heavenly account in the Fellowship of the Furtherance of the Gospel. On the great accounting day when God surveys the mission of his beloved son, he will acknowledge the fellowship that furthered the Gospel message through missionary help. Undoubtedly there will be a great multitude of souls gathered around the throne of God that will reflect the faithful support that the Fellowship of Gospel Furtherance Disciples have provided.
1 Timothy 4:13-16 Till I (Jesus) come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
II Timothy 1:7-13 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.