Romans 10:14 KJV
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
This verse is addressed to the Christians in Rome and is applicable to every generation of Christians. It concerns Jesus Christ and the gospel message. It begins by asking how can the unbelievers call on the Lord when they have not yet believed in him or his message. This is simple and sensible. None of us ever believes anything about anyone or anything that we have never heard.
The next question within this verse is How can they believe in him when they never heard of him? We tend to believe that everyone has at least heard the name of Jesus Christ and the story of salvation because it is offered all over our nation freely through books, videos, web sites, ministries, dvds and other type of media available. The truth is that there are many in our generation who have not heard the gospel in spite of the multitude of ways it is being presented. The only Jesus some people get is the one used in cursing and those who used his name that way are ignorant of who they speak of or they would never do it in the first place. Obviously they might have had some other distorted concept given to them from friends or neighbors or even clergy who are ignorant of who Jesus Christ really is and what his purpose was in coming to earth. Tragically the believers in Christ in this generation is far less evangelistic than it should be and that shows a deep lack of concern for the eternal welfare of millions of lost souls. So there needs to be a reversal of this disassociation with reality and a fresh urgency to reach people before they reach the irreversible journey into eternity.
Finally the question is asked; “How shall they hear without a preacher?” While it is true that not all believers are called to the ministry of preaching, we are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. As a matter of fact, that is one of the two greatest commandments as they are written in Matthew 22:37-40 KJV - “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
I cannot conceive of a way we can truly love our neighbor as ourselves and silently let them move on into eternity without hope in Christ. If we love ourselves and truly believe in Christ's sacrifice for us, how can we never speak the words that will set people free from eternal damnation? How can we declare to them that we love them and never offer them the greatest gift of all time and the vitally important message of salvation that will grant them forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ? Even if we are not a preacher; we most certainly can share our testimony with someone, and our testimony should be current. They need to know that the same Christ who saved us is keeping us and taking care of us as the Bible promises. The very least we can do is pray for them, but I believe many Christians are using prayer as an escape mechanism and it is because they are afraid to speak to their neighbor, co-worker, family members or anyone else about Christ and they avoid it for fear of what they will think or how it will affect their relationship with them. Do we think they will think less of us if we allow them to move into eternity lost?
IF WE DON'T CARRY THE MESSAGE TO THEM WHO WILL? How can they hear without a messenger of some kind. The unsaved don't know what the Bible says, and some of them have very perverted ideas about what it says. Only Christians can share the message from experience and from a heart cleansed of sin. Without us bringing the message of Christ the world will die without hope. It is an great responsibility to be Christ's preacher but I believe it's an equally awesome responsibility to see our neighbors without Christ and do something to change that.
Once more in 2023 we are told it is a new year of opportunity. For a long time some of us have held back for whatever reason and people have passed us by and moved on into eternity without the hope Christ has given us. Will we reach out to them this year, or how about next year or the year after that? When will we start to see that nothing on earth is more important than for us to establish a relationship with God that will move us past the fears that strangle our witness to a world dying without Christ and without hope? God's love within us will remove the fears in our lives. Do we believe it?
I pray God will help us get past all our weakness and excuses! So many people worldwide are unaware that there is a wonderful and gracious God in the universe who is holding out hope even in the darkest places of life. We must find a way to get beyond our weakness and cowardice for the sake of millions who are looking for answers that many believe will never come for them. Will you and I be willing to sacrifice ourselves and our reputation and all that we are for their sake or will we run from this great opportunity?
The following verse begins with these words; “And how shall they preach except they be sent?” The Holy Spirit wants to send us into the dark places of life around us and even to places far from home that will take faith and courage for us to go to. If the Lord is speaking to us and calling us individually or as families to take the gospel message anywhere in America or overseas we must respond. If we are incapacitated and cannot go, then perhaps we can be contributing to those who can go and enabling them to trust us for continuing support as they lay their lives on the line for Christ and for those who are lost. We can help “send them.” If you are willing to die to yourself that others might be delivered from darkness into the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and redeemed from sin and death and eternal damnation I urge you to seek God about where he would have you go and what he would have you do. The great commission needs to be filled. Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commands; “GO YE therefore, and teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo I am with you alway; even unto the end of the world.” Will we go?
C R LORD © 2016