Quotes About Preaching
These quotes are about preaching, using a Scriptural definition of the word. Today, we use the word "preaching" to include the teaching of a congregation of Christians by sermon. This is not Scriptural usage.
If you are a Christian, you should read Decoding Nicea. Read why here.
In the Scriptures, two words are translated as "preach" (or some variant, such as "preached" or "preaching"). Those two words are euaggelizo (evangelize) and kerusso (proclaim). Every time they are used, the audience is the lost, non-Christians, not those who are saved.
Scripturally, the saints are taught and the lost are preached to.
In an effort to promote Scriptural usage of the word "preach," all the following quotes concern preaching to the lost. For teaching congregations of Christians, even if that teaching includes the salvation message, see Teaching Quotes.
Bible Study & Greek Words
Most modern Christians have the capability of verifying statements like mine above, that preaching in the Scriptures is always to the lost. I use a program called The Online Bible to do my research. With one keystroke, I can see the Strong's numbers for any English word in my translation. With one click of the mouse, I can then see the definition.
If you would like to be able to use such tools very efficiently, I recommend Do It Yourself Hebrew and Greek, which is as effective at restraining overconfidence as it is at teaching you to use Hebrew and Greek language Bible tools effectively.
The letter to Diognetus is anonymous, but it seems clearly written to a non-Christian, so any quotes in it about preaching are included on this page, not the teaching page.
This is he who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son, through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the Gospels is established, and the tradition of the apostles is preserved, and the grace of the church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom he wills, and when he pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us. (Letter to Diognetus 11)
E.M. Bounds, d. 1913
I hate to disagree with a great man like E.M. Bounds, but this is just terminology. Scripturally, "preaching" is evangelizing, and it is God's great institution for planting, not maturing. Teaching is God's institution for maturing, and we have a lot of modern problems because we don't distinguish between preaching to the lost and teaching the church, nor between the lost and the saved in our congregations. Other than my objection the the terminology, which I am on a crusade to change, this is a great quote.
Preaching is God's great institution for the planting and maturing of spiritual life. When properly executed, its benefits are untold. When wrongly executed, no evil can exceed its damaging results. (Unknown, cited by Revival List)
Ray Comfort, 1949 - present
Instead of preaching the good news that sinners can be made righteous in Christ and escape the wrath to come, the gospel has degenerated into the pretext that we can be happy in Christ and escape the hassles of life. (unknown; see livingwaters.com for more information)
David Wilkerson, d. 2011
I'm not about to put up a silly skit and preach a 15-minute message on 'how to cope' to a multitude of people who are dying and going to hell. I tremble at the thought. (cited by Revival list)
Dwight Pentecost, b. 1915 - present
Some of the greatest satanic activity in the end times will take place in the pulpit. (cited by Revival list)
Al Whittinghill, b. 1948
It is far better to drive men away by faithful preaching than to drive the Holy Spirit away by unfaithful preaching! (unknown, see Whittinghill's sermons)
Paul Washer, present
Several years ago...An Uncle of mine, who was very sound, slipped in some good books into a suitcase one day...and I remember coming across a book by Ernie Reisinger called "Today's Evangelism" and I began to read it... I got half way through that book and this is no exaggeration... and I'm not speaking evangelistically... This is true. I fell out of that chair with such the fear of God upon my life, and I pressed my face into those old boards of that room in the city of Lima (third floor of an old building we were using for a church) ... I pressed my face as far into those boards as they could get in fear as I could get ... and cried out to God, "God, If you promise not to kill me for the way I've preached your gospel, I promise from here on out I'll never preach it that way again. (cited by Revival List)