There are two things I covet. One is the papal balcony. I’d give my right pinky to preach the glorious gospel when the world is listening. I would lovingly and gently speak of the necessity of the new birth and of salvation by grace alone to the millions who hang on the pope’s every word.
Another stage I covet is the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury at a royal wedding. Unlike the papal balcony, the scene is already set for the biblical gospel.
Here’s the program. A royal wedding begins with a God-glorifying hymn.
The Dean then gives the welcome and introduction by saying that they are gathered there in the sight of God to join the couple together “signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church.” He then says that the purpose of marriage is to have children who should be “brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy name.”
“So many modern preachers are fearful to say that there is going to be a dreadful Day of Judgment where every secret of the heart will be exposed.”
Then he soberly charges the couple: “I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their matrimony lawful.”
He says what so many modern preachers are fearful to say—that there is going to be a dreadful Day of Judgment where every secret of the heart will be exposed.
At this point it would be in keeping with the program for me to say that if we are found guilty on that dreadful Day, we will be justly damned in Hell, but that God is rich in mercy and provided a Savior. I would lovingly and gently preach Christ crucified for the sin of the world, that it was not possible that death could hold Him, and of course the necessity of repentance and faith in Jesus.
Tragically, these truths are never preached at a royal wedding. We live in a day when there is a mere form of godliness, where the world draws near to God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.
The couple then make their vows and say, “With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee honour; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
“We live in a day when there is a mere form of godliness, where the world draws near to God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.”
Then they will kneel before God and the Archbishop will pray,
O eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author of everlasting life: send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy name; that, living faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token and pledge; and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
He joins their right hands together and says:
Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder, that God has witnessed their joining, and pronounce them man and wife…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Then the Archbishop prays,
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
“While it is a tragedy that the gospel of everlasting life isn’t preached, a royal wedding is a wonderful opportunity for Christians to bring up the subject of the gospel.”
At that point, the lesson is read:
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:1,2,9–18)
While it is a tragedy that the gospel of everlasting life isn’t preached, a royal wedding is a wonderful opportunity for Christians to bring up the subject of the gospel. May God give us courage to do so while there is still time.
Royal Wedding Million Dollar Bill
Prince Harry of the British royal family and Meghan Markle, an American actress, are soon to be married. As stories about this royal couple continue flooding the news, these Million Dollar Bills are sure to grab the attention of others—an interesting and inoffensive way to get the gospel into people’s hands.