The Need of The Hour
Athanasius, Augustine, Luther, Tyndale, Calvin, Knox, Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, MacArthur, Sproul, Lawson, what do these men all have in common? They are all united in their passion for proclaiming the name of Christ and His Word. They were not cowardly men afraid of heralding the Scripture, they grasp the necessity of preaching the full counsel of God’s Word. They were willing to stand contra mundum, that is to say, they were willing to stand against the whole world if need be for the truth of the Lord. In this moment, we do not need men who are theological pacifists, we need men who know the truth and are willing to speak the truth no matter the cost!
Instead, too often today we see professing “Christians” who are comfortable going along with the culture. It would cost them to proclaim the truth so instead they soften the message. So-called “preachers” proclaim “I don’t know”1 when asked difficult questions. They are unwilling to use their voices to promote the truth of Christ because it is unpopular and counter to the ways of the world. The need of the hour is not for men who shrink back from the truth, the need of this moment is for those who will preach the truth with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. When they are persecuted for it they must not back down, slow down, or shut down. Instead, they stand up, speed up, and preach up! We need Christians who know how to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word. We need men who will take on the role of the pastorate and fearlessly open their Bibles and declare the revelation of God. Using your voice to proclaim Christ is the most pressing need of this hour!
You Speak What You Believe
“If you really believe the gospel, you will be decided for it in more sensible ways. Your very tone will betray your sincerity; you will speak like a man who has something to say, which he knows to be true.” -Spurgeon 2
Those who really believe in the Gospel message will speak it and proclaim it. The outflowing of the work of Christ in their hearts through His Gospel is that they testify to their Lord with boldness, love, courage, and humility. They are eager to preach the Gospel to the lost and to bring the Scripture to bear in all of life. Today, many Christians buy into the lie that we should not offend anyone. They believe we are to take the “middle road” so that we do not become offensive to differing individuals. Such is not the attitude of Christ who said, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division (Luke 12:51).” The Gospel message is going to offend others because they are sinners. You should not sin in that you are angry, vindictive, or wrathful when you present the truth, that should not be the reason people are offended. But, you should present the truth in a biblical way and let the chips fall where they may. Where are the men and women who take up this charge in our day?
I will tell you where they are, some of them are so confused by liberalism that they have no weapons to fight with and are actually for the opposing side! Many of them are also fighting far away on the opposite side of the battlefield from the attack. Don’t get me wrong, many good Christians are fighting the good fight, and running the race well, but far too many individuals are fighting where there is no attack. Instead of proclaiming the truth in the face of massive error, they are busily fighting on the section of the battlefield where there are no enemies. The devil loves those who swing their swords at the enemies of their own imagination. Listen to these words by Martin Luther:
“If I profess, with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle fields besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point” — Martin Luther
Many folks are fine with proclaiming the truth of Christ so long as it is not that truth which is under attack. That is not the way of the faithful Christian. The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians to correct doctrinal heresy. Augustine not only wrote against the dominant heresy of his day but also against the heretics of his time. Luther wrote his famous Bondage of The Will against Erasmus’s false views of predestination and free will. Spurgeon battled in the Downgrade Controversy against the errors railing against the true church at that time. MacArthur wrote The Gospel According to Jesus to combat the theological errors which were prevalent. Both Sproul and MacArthur engaged in the Evangelicals and Catholics together controversy to fight against the errors and preserve the Gospel. The faithful men who proclaim the truth are willing to fight where the battle rages hottest. That is where the faithfulness of the solider is seen.
Speaking The Truth
Much of the problem in our day and age is that Christians do not bring the truth to bear in the areas where the enemy is attacking. For various reasons (as listed above) they are fearful of doing so. However, God has placed us here in this moment at this time for the reason that we would glorify Him by proclaiming and living the truth. The church is the “pillar and buttress of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).” The bottom line is that Christians are called to speak the truth. This is our duty before God. Might I urge you to consider your own life and whether or not you are proclaiming the truth fully? Are you holding back on those areas which are controversial? My friend, let us not lay back while the battle rages but let us run full sprint into the conflict armed with the truth of God! There is no sideline sitting in biblical Christianity, it is not a spectator sport.
Good soldiers do not turn back at the sign of conflict, they run towards the battle. They have been trained and called to fight for what is good against evil. So also we, those chosen before the foundation of the world, are called to fight for the glory of our Lord against every false belief and captive ideology. Let us proclaim the truth which will rend evil ideas into little, bity pieces. When the enemy attacks the truth, then we proclaim it that much harder and more powerfully. Let us never back down from the truth of Christ but always press forward. It is the calling of every Christian. May we not be so blind and negligent as to forget the faithful men who have come before us to pave the way. May we not be so heartless as to be uncaring about the baton we pass to the next generation. Let us instead remember those who have come before us and those who will come after. Let us move forward advancing the truth of our Lord heralding it every single day we live!
1 Steve Lawson talks about such a preacher here: