Believers are called to proclaim the gospel. The good news of what God accomplished through the work of His Son and is even now applying through the ongoing work of the Spirit is too good to be hidden under a bushel basket. Silence is not an option.
This good news that we are called to proclaim is universal in its scope. The gospel is God’s plan to deal, not only with the consequences of human sin for their individual eternal destinies but also with the impact of that sin on all of creation. The focal point of our proclamation must always be the need of every sinner to repent of their rebellion against their Creator and to put all their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, we can and must apply the good news of Christ’s Lordship to every area of life, from geology to watercolors. He is Lord of all.
Those who reject that Lordship not only reject the salvation He offers their persons—they also often despise the redemption He offers their vocations. If you attempt, for instance, to apply the Lordship of Christ to organic chemistry, your unbelieving fellow scientists are unlikely to welcome that application. The unbelieving world is not going to celebrate the light of Jesus in any area so long as their hearts remain dark. Jesus made it quite clear that the reaction of darkness to light will always go farther than simple rejection. Darkness despises the light. It seeks to put it out.
Faithfully proclaiming the good news of the gospel will provoke a reaction. You will be, if you keep at it long enough, slandered. You will be lied about. Your proclamation of the Lordship of Christ will eventually come to be mocked in every area that you are given the grace to declare it. You will long for vindication. If you have done the hard work to master a particular field, it will be agonizing to have that mastery spurned because you will not hide your light.
When that happens, you will be tempted to respond in two opposite, yet equally wrong ways. On the one hand, you will be tempted to tone down your witness. Even while still believing that Christ is the only hope for salvation and the Lord of every vocation, you will find it all too easy to keep those truths to yourself, to silence your proclamation. On the other hand, you will be tempted to shift your focus from proclamation to vindication. Far from remaining silent, you may become increasingly vocal—but the message will no longer be the same. Rather than seeking to see, ever more clearly, the ways in which the Lordship of Christ ought to transform your vocation, you will seek to prove, ever more vociferously, the folly of those who rejected you.
Both temptations are deadly. We are called to proclamation, not vindication. We do not need to vindicate ourselves. We, if we are “in Christ,” have already been vindicated by the resurrection of our Savior—and on the last day that vindication will be seen by all. To respond to rejection as though that day was not worth waiting for is to undermine the very message we are attempting to proclaim. It isn’t worth it. Though self-defense is not always wrong, it must never become our focus. The quest for vindication is, all too often, the ultimate bushel basket. Don’t let it hide your light.