The Church is Called to Proclaim the Gospel as Public Truth
From the beginning, God called the church to proclaim the gospel as public truth. The early church didn’t conceive of the gospel as a matter of private faith, which one practised in the security of one’s own home or a church building on Sunday. Instead, it was regarded as public truth. Truth for all people, throughout all history, in all circumstances, and all cultures. However, since the Enlightenment, the church in the western world has mainly promoted a privatised version of the faith. Yet, this was never intended to be the case. So, we need to take the words of Jesus in Mark 1:15 seriously. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
The kingdom or reign of God is at hand; therefore, something vitally important as happened. It touches on the public life of all, from the highest in the land to the most inauspicious. It is a message that makes demands and calls forth a decision – “repent, and believe in the good news”. Hence, throughout the New Testament and beyond. God’s people have been called to witness, declaring that Jesus, the crucified one, has been designated the Lord of all. Being Lord of all, he makes the same demand upon all people, including the people of this current generation, through his called-out people, the church.