How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
This week, we talked about God’s responsibility in salvation, which is to elect. We talked about the unbeliever’s responsibility in salvation, which is to believe. But the believer also has a responsibility in salvation, and that is to proclaim the gospel.
Look at Romans 10:13. Paul closed that section by saying, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Then notice the question he asked in verse 14: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” That word “preacher” does not refer to a paid professional; it means somebody who shares the gospel. Paul continued, “How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (10:15, 17). Yes, God calls people to salvation, and unbelievers are to call on God, but the question is this: How will they call on a God of whom they have not heard?
Think about your own salvation. Those of you who are Christians, how did you come to faith in Christ? Somebody shared the gospel message with you. It may have been a godly parent or grandparent, it may have been a friend, it may have been somebody who brought you to church, it may have been somebody you heard on the radio or watched on television, but somewhere, if you are truly saved, you heard the Word of God. That is God’s ordained way for us to be saved. Verse 17 says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
Think about the chain of salvation that began in eternity past and leads to that unbeliever who is coming to Christ. Imagine it as a chain with a billion links in it. It starts with God’s predestination of that person, and it goes all the way down to God calling that unbeliever. How does God call an unbeliever to faith? He does it through you and me. We are that final link in the chain between a holy God in Heaven and that lost sinner He wants to save. When we share the gospel with somebody, we are God’s mouthpiece. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul said, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” That is why we have such confidence when we share our faith with an unbeliever. Whenever we share the Word of God, we are not sharing our opinion; we are God’s mouthpiece, sharing His invitation with that lost person. Isaiah 55:11 says, “My word … will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” God’s Word will accomplish the purpose for which it is sent forth. It is our responsibility to share the Word of God. It is the unbeliever’s responsibility to believe the Word of God. And ultimately, it is God’s responsibility to save.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Is God Unfair?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.