Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing



2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.


I heard a good sermon this weekend.  One of the seven points had to do with Timothy fulfilling his ministry and keeping the main thing, the main thing.  I got to thinking, “Just what should the main thing be in our preaching?”  Now as I remember the answer that this preacher gave, he basically said that the preaching of the Gospel was the main thing.  With that I agree.  He said sin was the problem and Christ was the solution.  Excellent!  The message was designed to get Christians to spread the word and that was good.  But the “how to be sure you are saved” part of the Gospel was missing.  He preached about the Gospel but he did not preach the Gospel to his audience.   Anyone who thought that they had a general belief in God could have gone away satisfied without really realizing that each individual must have a time in their lives when they trust the Lord in a personal way in order to be ready to die.


What is the Main Thing?

I am convinced that the musicians on the stage thought that the main thing was the music.  They had obviously practiced hard to move the audience in a very emotional way.  But could a person have come to faith through their music?  I don’t think so.  But often music and the kind of music that we present at our preaching services becomes the main thing.  It is not!


Is preaching on certain sins the main thing?  We certainly need to preach on certain sins which are prevalent in our society today.  But if we get everyone to agree that those sins are wrong, people will still go to hell if they don’t turn to the Savior and trust Him to put away the penalty that their sin deserves.  We can reform the people without providing them the freedom that comes with being made a new creature in Christ through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.   The Gospel message doesn’t just address some sins, it addresses all the sins of us all.   Without the whole message of the Gospel which involves the need to be saved from all of our sins, we have not kept the main thing the main thing.


What was the Main thing as far as Paul was concerned?

Paul knew that the time of his departure was at hand or near.  He had said in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”  I am convinced that the day he was referring to was the day of his execution. 


We can argue that the main thing is to “equip Christians” for the ministry and we certainly need to do that.  Some think that the main thing is expository preaching.   Others think the main thing is topical teaching that meets the current day to day needs of Christians.  While all these things are good and while they are all needed, the main thing to remember is that in any church of any size we have with us those who have never been brought to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus.  We need to remember that today is the day of salvation.  We preach these things from time to time to the unsaved but do we understand as Christians that the main thing is to be concerned with whether those in our audience are ready to meet God?  Do we love our neighbors enough to put aside what we want to hear on a Sunday morning so that we can be faithful to those who are not ready to die, and who may not know that they are not ready?  We need to remember that the unsaved may not have another chance to accept the Lord as their savior.  It would be a shame to have people come to our meetings and to send them away without making it clear that we all need to be saved and we all can be saved by believing in the Lord.  Would they believe that we believe what we say we believe?   How would the Lord evaluate our preaching if people came to our meetings who needed to be saved and we didn’t tell them that we knew how to get to heaven?


The Main thing became the Main thing at Thanksgiving time for me

I remember struggling with these issues before I came to trust the Lord personally.  I thought I believed but I didn’t know that I was saved (which meant that I had not believed in or trusted the Lord).  When President Kennedy was assassinated, the main thing became the main thing for me.  I wanted to know I was ready to meet God if there was any way to know that.  After struggling with these issues that solemn weekend, I found out that God says that Christ died for sinners.  He says in John 3:36 that he who believes in the Son (that is he who trusts in the truth that Christ died for sinners) has everlasting life.  I realized that if God says it, I could depend on it. 


That thanksgiving weekend the main thing had become the main thing.  When Paul tells Timothy to preach the word in this last epistle penned just before he was martyred, I cannot help but believe that the main thing on his mind was how he was saved.  Now he wants Timothy to faithfully preach that word to others.  Being prepared to die is the main thing and knowing that one is going to die would obviously keep the main thing the main thing.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of November 30, 2014

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