True Gospel Proclamation
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.
1 John 1:3
The lack of proclamation in the preaching of the church [at large] accounts for so much of the present state of the church and the present state of the world and of society. A man standing in a Christian pulpit has no business saying, “I suggest to you” or “Shall I put it to you” or “On the whole, I think” or “I am almost persuaded” or “The results of research and knowledge and speculation all seem to point in this direction.” No! “These things declare we unto you.”
The old charge that has so often been brought up against the Church and her preachers is that we are dogmatic. But the preacher who is not dogmatic is not a preacher in the New Testament sense. We should be modest about our own opinions and careful as to how we voice our own speculations.
But here, thank God, we are not in such a realm; we are not concerned about such things. We do not put forward a theory that commends itself to us as a possible explanation of the world and what we can do about it; the whole basis of the New Testament is that here is an announcement, a proclamation–those are New Testament words.
The Gospel, according to the New Testament, is a herald; it is like a man with a trumpet who is calling people to listen. There is nothing tentative about what he has to say; something has been delivered to him, and his business is to repeat it. It is not the business of the messenger, first and foremost, to examine the credentials of the message”he is to deliver it. We are ambassadors, and the business of the ambassador is not to say to the foreign country what he thinks or believes; it is to deliver the message that has been delivered to him by his home government. That is the position of these New Testament preachers, and that is how John puts it here. “I have an amazing thing to reveal,” he says in essence.
A Thought to Ponder
The gospel is like a man with a trumpet who is calling people to listen.
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones