Romans 10:13-14 (ESV) — For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Imagine a classroom full of students. One of them goes to the restroom during instruction and the teacher gives a reading assignment for homework that will be quizzed the next morning. But the child who went to the restroom did not hear it, nor did the teacher remember to tell them when they returned. The next day, the teacher walks in and tells everyone it is time for the quiz she told them about. The student who was in the restroom will look puzzled and scan the room in disbelief.
How was the student supposed to know about the test? What could have prevented this situation from happening? One easy answer is: someone could have told the student.
Our passage today reminds us of the task of the Christian and the Christian Church. We are to be witnesses and evangelists of the gospel, both locally and around the world. Paul reminds the church in Rome that everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus will be saved. But then he asks a series of rhetorical questions. The questions are not meant to elicit an answer, they’re supposed to drive home the answer the listener already knows.
How are people to call on someone they don’t believe in? And how can they believe in someone whom they’ve never heard? And how would they hear if someone doesn’t tell them? This is the heart of Christian missions. We must go and tell because without this the lost will never hear about Christ. Salvation comes to those who call on the Lord, but they can’t call on Him if they’ve never heard of Him.
Are you willing to tell others? We have a world filled with people like our imaginary student who went to the bathroom. They don’t know. They don’t know Jesus and how to be forgiven of their sins. We are tasked as Christians to tell them, because only in them hearing can they believe, and only in believing can they call on Him and be saved.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Paul use this type of rhetorical speech to make his point to the church?
- How did you hear about Jesus and learn the gospel in your life?
- Who are some folks you should pray for opportunities to share the gospel with?
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