In the first paragraph of his classic book, Preaching & Preachers D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:
“The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and the most urgent need in the Church, it is obviously the greatest need of the world also.” 
Is Lloyd-Jones right? Of all the needs in the church and in the world today, is faithful preaching actually the greatest?
Yes. And here’s why:
What is humanity’s deepest need?
Humanity’s greatest need is sight. We are all born blind. Not physically, but spiritually. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul makes a sweeping statement about our natural human condition. He writes:
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Think about what he’s saying. The god of this world (note the small “g”) has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Satan’s greatest victory on planet earth is the blindness he has brought into the lives of every fallen human since Adam and Eve. What are we incapable of seeing? The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. From birth, the eyes of our minds and hearts cannot see the truth and the goodness and the beauty of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all creation and the Savior of sinners. And if we remain unable to see him and believe in him, we will go to hell. No one comes to the Father, except through Jesus (Jn. 14:6). “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Therefore, avoiding an eternity of wrath, and enjoying an eternity of glory, depends on the ability to see the truth about Jesus. And since everyone is naturally blind to this reality, what greater need could there possibly be than to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ?
The illuminating power of true preaching
Lloyd-Jones was wise to modify the word “preaching” with the word “true.” There is plenty of false preaching that will not do any church or any person any good. Preaching that proclaims a “gospel” reducing the blessing of Jesus to health, wealth, and prosperity in this life is false, and worthless. Preaching that proclaims a “gospel” calling men and women to work their way into a right relationship with God is false, and worthless. Preaching that proclaims a “gospel” promising the favor of God to all people of all religious persuasions regardless of their faith in Christ is false, and worthless.
But true preaching of the true gospel cures satanic blindness and imparts spiritual sight. Again, in 2 Corinthians 4 Paul writes, “What we proclaim [preach!] is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:5-6). When the true gospel is preached, in the same way that God said, “let there be light” at the beginning of creation, he opens the blind eyes of men and women to show them the light of the glory of Christ. Paul experienced this first hand, and the entirety of his ministry was focused on the kind of work that allows others to experience this miracle of grace, as well. “Him [Jesus] we proclaim [preach],” Paul writes to the Colossians, “warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28).
In God’s grace, and by his power, true preaching opens blind eyes to the glory of Jesus and matures believers until the day we stand in his presence. There is no greater need on planet Earth than this.
You know this
Preacher, you know these things. You’re giving your life to proclaim the glories of Jesus because you know that his gospel is the power of God “for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). And yet, as the years pass and perhaps you don’t see as many blind eyes opened as you desire, it can be tempting to divert from the course. Resist this. Resist the pull toward novelty for novelty’s sake. Resist the pull to tweak your teaching that it might better align with the contemporary mood. Resist the pull to water the message down. Don’t lose heart. Renounce underhanded ways. Refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word (2 Cor. 4:1-2). Preach the gospel, and leave the results in God’s sovereign hands.
Christian, you know these things. You see the glory of Jesus because someone preached the gospel to you. Pray for your pastor, asking God to keep him faithful to this task. Pray for his preaching, asking God to use it to open the eyes of many more and to mature you in your own faith. And proclaim Christ yourself, whenever the opportunity comes, that more people might see what you see.
The day is coming when every eye will see Jesus (Rev. 1:7). For those who see him in this life, that day will be full of joy, leading into an eternity of glory. For those who do not see him in this life, that day will be full of sorrow, leading to an eternity of shame. Seeing the glory of Christ now, and responding in faith, is the most urgent and important matter we face. And that is why preaching the glory of Christ, and calling people to faith, is the most urgent and important and greatest need of the world.