August 18, 2017

How Shall They Hear?

“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? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15).

Our church just finished a weekend mission’s conference, and although I was only able to be at a few of the services, it was a blessing and a challenge to hear their exhortations to us and to focus on the need for spreading the Gospel wherever you happen to be.

We don’t need to go to a foreign field or even another part of the country to be in a mission field: the fields are white unto harvest right where we are! We, as believers, are to missionaries wherever we are. We are to preach the Word, the Gospel of the grace of God, to the people within our scope of influence. If you don’t share the Gospel with them, who will?

Along that thought is this passage from one of Spurgeon’s sermons on soul-winning, an extremely relevant exhortation to all believers to preach the Gospel:

“Everyone who can preach, should do so . . . Every man who knows the Gospel ought to make it known. ‘Let him that heareth say, Come.’ When you hear the Gospel, tell it to somebody else; you Christian people are all bound, in proportion to your gifts and your opportunity, to make the Gospel known. ‘Why!’ says one, ‘I thought that work was for priests.’ Just so, it is only for priests; but then all believers are priests. By his mighty grace, our Lord Jesus Christ hath made us kings and priests unto God; and it is our duty, as well as our privilege, to exercise this blessed priestly function of telling to the sons of men the way whereby they may be saved.

For this work, a high degree of gifts is not required. It does not say, ‘How shall they hear without a doctor of divinity?’ It does not say, ‘How shall they hear without a popular preacher?’ Oh, dear! some of us would have been lost if we could not have been saved without hearing a man of great abilities. I thank God that I owe my conversion to Christ to an unknown person, who certainly was no minister in the ordinary acceptation of the term; but who could say this much, ‘Look unto Christ, and be saved, all ye ends of the earth.’ I learned my theology, from which I have never swerved, from an old woman who was cook in the house where I was an usher. She could talk about the deep things of God; and as I sat and heard what she had to say, as an aged Christian, of what the Lord had done for her, I learned more from her instruction than from anybody I have ever met with since. It does not require a college training to enable you to tell about Christ; some of the best workers in this church have little enough of education, but they bring many to Christ . . .

I wish that I could stir up everyone here to become a preacher, women and all; not that I care much for women preaching, but I want them to preach in the sense in which I have laid the matter down; that is, to make known to somebody the wondrous story of the cross. Speak to an individual, if you can. If you cannot do that, write. If you cannot write, send a sermon, or give a tract. Only do keep on making Christ known. If every Christian would every day make Christ known to somebody, what a missionary organization we should be! How can they hear without a preacher?” (The Whole Machinery of Salvation, Charles Spurgeon; emphasis mine).

As Oswald Chambers wrote, “A missionary’s message is the limitless importance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is someone who is immersed in the truth of that revelation.”

If that is the definition of a missionary, then shouldn’t we all be considered missionaries?