Holding Fast the Public Declaration of Our Hope
DO WE keenly appreciate our hope of everlasting life in God’s righteous new world? If so, then we shall make that hope known to others. We shall do so not only for the benefit of men of good will looking for God but also for the benefit of our brothers in the Christian congregation.
Referring to this matter of making expression of our hope to our fellow Christians Paul wrote: “Let us hold fast the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that promised. And let us consider one another to incite to love and right works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” Certainly in view of the day in which we are living this counsel was never more fitting.—Heb. 10:23-25, NW.*
To the extent that we appreciate the needs of our brothers as well as our own, to that extent we shall be eager to make public declaration of our hope. Note how Paul makes this point in his letter to the Christians at Rome: “For I am longing to see you, that I may impart some spiritual gift to you in order for you to be made firm; or, rather, that there may be an interchange of encouragement among you, by each one through the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”—Rom. 1:11, 12, NW.
Love for Jehovah and our brothers will help us to hold fast to the public declaration of our hope by overcoming the timidity that makes us tongue-tied. Are you a mature minister? Do you have an accurate knowledge and a good understanding of Jehovah’s purposes? Then think of the help you can give to others by making public declaration. Are you inexperienced and a rather new member of the New World society? Then think of the joy others receive as they note your progress, particularly such as may have had a part in your theocratic training.
By such efforts you cause your advancement to “be manifest to all persons.” Not that we want to show off or show ourselves to be better than others; not at all, for there is no room for the spirit of competition among Jehovah’s servants. But rather that thereby we show we have made advancement, that we are better than we previously were.—1 Tim. 4:15, NW.
What if we do happen to express an erroneous thought? By having that fact brought to our attention we shall be set straight and so be benefited. We may feel a little embarrassment at the time, but is it not better for us to get straightened out at the cost of a little wounded pride, perhaps, than to go on preaching error to others in the field? Besides, it is likely that others had the same mistaken idea, and so by our being corrected they also were helped.
And finally, as Jehovah’s dedicated watchmen, we are sent by him to warn men of good will to flee to God’s kingdom and to warn the wicked of their impending doom. To carry out that commission properly we must be at unity in understanding, work and worship, even as Isaiah foretold: “Thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion.” And the only way we can achieve that unity is by heeding the commands given at Hebrews 10:23-25, and particularly the one of making “public declaration of our hope.”—Isa. 52:8, AS.
For details, see The Watchtower, January 1, 1955.