When I preach the gospel at a Harvest Crusade, I feel I have a solemn responsibility to give the gospel accurately—to not distort it, to not take away from it, and to not add to it.
I have had people tell me, "You know, the message you give is so simple."
Exactly. I work hard at that, because I want to leave out the things that are not essential and keep in place the things that are core to the gospel message.
The word "preach" originally carries the meaning of declaring a message as the herald of a king. A herald declares what the king tells him to declare. As the apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders, "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). As a herald, I need to give the whole message. My job as a herald is to announce it, to proclaim it.
And what is this message we have been called to bring to our culture today? It is the message of the gospel. The word gospel means "good news." It is good news in a bad world. The bad news is that we have all sinned and broken God's commandments, and we fall short of His glory. There is nothing we can do to make that right in our own strength. But the good news is that God loved us so much, He sent His own Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place. And if we will turn from our sin and believe in Jesus, then we can be forgiven.
Sometimes there is a temptation for a preacher to only speak on the topics that personally appeal to him. But the reality is that we must give out all that God's Word has to say.