How Can They Hear if We Don’t Tell? (Romans 10:14-15)

Have you ever had the chance to share the gospel with someone who had never heard it? Even better, have you ever had a chance to see a person respond to your sharing of the gospel by praying to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior? The Bible is crystal clear that salvation is of the Lord, not us. God saves people by His supernatural power and mercy and grace. The salvation of a person’s soul, that amazing and instantaneous changing of the heart from unbelief and rebellion to faith and submission to Jesus, is always a divine miracle. Yet in His great sovereign wisdom, God has chosen to use us Christians as His instruments in this holy purpose of rescuing and redeeming the lost. We have the awesome privilege and responsibility to share the truths of His Word that the Holy Spirit can then use to give spiritual life to those who were dead in their sins. Wow!

In today’s short passage from Romans, Paul explains this remarkable burden Christians have to witness in poetic, moving, truly inspired language. He simply asks some rhetorical questions that drive right to the heart of why we absolutely MUST tell other people about Jesus, not just with our good deeds and displays of love, but with our words of gospel truth. “How can people call on Jesus to save them if they have not believed in Him?” Paul argues. “And how can they believe in Jesus if they have never heard about Him?” (Romans 10:14). Pushing the logic forward, Paul asks, “How can a person hear about Jesus unless a preacher (i.e. any Christian sharing their faith, not just a pastor) tells them?” And finally, “How can Christians share their faith without being discipled, trained, and sent out on mission on behalf of their local church families?” (Romans 10:15).

The plain answer to this connected chain of troubling questions is that they can’t. People cannot be saved without Christians sharing the gospel plan of salvation with them. For reasons known only to the Lord, His chosen method of saving people is for the sacred words of His book, the Bible, to be passed on to lost ears by our trembling, imperfect, nervous lips. It is a deeply mysterious, beautiful task to carry the good news of the gospel to the lost (Romans 10:15). Witnessing to people about Jesus may make us uncomfortable. Our efforts to share Jesus may lead the hearer to reject or verbally attack us. The listener might not want to be around us anymore. But then again, they might be open to hear what we have to say. And they might just be touched by the supernatural work of God’s Spirit and be saved, either when we share with them or another time in the future when God has finished making their heart ready. One thing is certain, though. If the person never hears about Jesus, they will never be able to believe in Him and be saved from sin, hell, and eternal separation from God. Don’t you want to at least give that friend, teammate, family member, or neighbor the chance to believe in Jesus and be saved?

The Text (Romans 10:14-15)

14 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? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Questions to Think About

  1. Have you ever led another person to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you ever tried? Explain.
  2. How did you come to a saving faith in Jesus? Who brought the good news of the gospel to you? How did they do it?
  3. Is there anyone in your life right now with whom you feel the burden to share the gospel? What is your plan to do so?
  4. What do you think are the main reasons that Christians don’t share their faith more often (or at all)? Are they good reasons in light of today’s passage of Scripture?

In Christ,

Mr. Reel

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