If They Don’t Hear How Will they Know?

Paul told the Roman church that everyone who confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart will be saved, whether Jew or Greek (Romans 10:9-13). The Roman church had an issue with Greek believing Christians taking over the synagogues when the Jews were expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius. The Jews were rumored to have made disturbances at the instigation or “Chrestus” (a misspelling of the Greek word Chrestos, or Christ). When the Jewish Christians were allowed back into Rome, the Greeks sort of pulled rank. The Jewish Christians appealed to being Jewish and being the reason they believed in God in the first place. It created tension in the Roman church and Paul wrote a letter to put them all on equal ground.

Now that Paul establishes that the Gospel is for all people, he turns to the need for Christians to confess and to preach: “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?” (Romans 10:14 ESV). These are perfectly valid questions and they, of course, are rhetorical.

There is a dire need for people to preach. Millions of people are dying without ever having heard the Good News of Jesus. Our faith comes from hearing: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (vs. 17). If we are not investing in the sharing of the kingdom, God’s word will never be heard by people.