Romans 10:13-14 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
This passage is the foundation of all evangelism, and particularly of missions. When God convicts you of the reality of people going to eternal destruction because they have never heard the Good News of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, how can you not commit yourself to tell them that Good News? When they have heard, then the responsibility for their salvation rests in their own hands, but that is a different matter. One of the most frightening truths in the whole Bible is actually stated to Ezekiel twice, in Ezekiel 3:17-19 and 33:7-9, and that is that if we fail to warn people of the consequences of their ignoring God, then the responsibility for their destruction lies on us. Ezekiel 33:1-6 fleshes that out with more detail, and it’s a truth we ignore to our own peril. Actually, this principle applies even in the most culturally Christian nations, because no one is born knowing the Gospel. However, even Christian parents “farm out” their children’s spiritual education to Sunday School teachers and the like, when Sunday School wasn’t even thought of until a couple of hundred years ago. Each of us has personal responsibility to share the Gospel with at least those close to us, but sometimes those people are the most emotionally difficult, because we most fear rejection from them. I think everyone preparing to share the Gospel thinks, on at least some level, “What if they laugh at me? What if they get angry?” The devil does all he can to stoke that fear, because stopping us from sharing damages both us and those with whom we would share, and he is always out to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)
My recent experience of speaking to the Rotary Club was a good reminder of this situation. I will speak at the drop of a hat to any group, large or small, but I discovered I was anxious about how I would be received. After all, I would be quoting Scripture, and it was a pretty evangelistic message, when they are a strictly secular group. However, the response was gratifying, with the chapter president saying they wanted to be sure to have me again next year, and someone in that conversation saying they wanted me to come again next month! What they do with the words I spoke is between them and God, but I can trust the Holy Spirit, and I’ve done my part in that particular situation. However, I’m not to think that doing that sort of thing occasionally gets me off of the hook. Very few of the people around me really know the Gospel, much less have a personal relationship with their Creator, so I’ve got lots of work to do! If I will be open and available to my Lord, He will let me know what to say to whom, and there will be no end to the opportunities to share.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I do pray that all of Your children would wake up to their responsibility and privilege of sharing the Good News of salvation in Christ. The challenges are limitless, but none are beyond Your ability to meet and overcome. Help us all trust You fully, so that Your will may be done through us for the salvation of many, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!