The Gospel Trumpet
What should the church be doing in a day of small things like ours? However difficult the times may be the church’s commission never changes. Jesus said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Ministers may be tempted to try new methods but their model will always be the apostles, who said, “we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). So Paul charged Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season” (2Tim.4:2).
The church is to proclaim the gospel of Christ unceasingly and must go on pleading with God to bless it. The prophet Isaiah was a faithful man of God ministering in a time of great spiritual decline. The Lord commanded him: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet” (Isa.58:1). The church has been given the gospel ‘trumpet’. How should it be ‘blown’?
The gospel trumpet should be blown publicly. Preaching is a part of public worship. On the Sabbath day and on the weekday when God’s people are gathered together in the name of Christ ministers are to expound the Holy Scriptures accurately and apply them to the hearts and lives of their hearers. This proclamation ought to be pursued beyond the church building too, where that is possible: “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets” (Prov.1:20). In Ephesus Paul taught “publickly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20).
The gospel trumpet should also be blown boldly. There is no excuse for timidity here: the eternal welfare of men is at stake. When the Jewish leaders forbade the disciples to speak in Christ’s name their response was to beseech the Lord to “grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word” (Acts 4:29). We should follow their courageous example, remembering that “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Prov.29:25).
The gospel trumpet should also be blown urgently. Time is hurrying on and we will all soon be in another world. The next sermon a minister preaches may be the last sermon someone in his congregation will ever hear. The need to repent of sin and believe in Christ must therefore be pressed upon every unconverted man and woman, boy and girl: “behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2Cor.6:2).
Finally the gospel trumpet should be blown plainly. Sin has made us “dull of hearing” (Heb.5:11) and “slow of heart to believe” (Luke 24:25), yet sadly the preaching of the church often lacks clarity. Do we hear of God’s glory and perfect holiness? Do we hear of man’s sinfulness and utter inability to save himself? Do we hear of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? When the message is unclear it is
unlikely to have any lasting effect. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1Cor.14:8).
In our dark day let the Lord’s people unite in prayer that the gospel trumpet would sound among us again with awakening and converting power!