We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in the 17th Century. In previous weeks we’ve seen that Jesus is the only way of salvation, which means those who haven’t heard of Jesus are unsaved. This teaching should disturb us. So today we will look at what the Bible encourages us to do in light of such news.
If you knew that some people were living in ignorance to great danger, what would you do? You’d warn them of course! Even if they didn’t want to hear the news, you’d at least try to make it known to them.
That’s the position of the Christian. The Christian knows that a fearful judgement is coming. The Christian knows that if people repent of their sins and trust in Christ’s death for them, then they will be saved from that judgement. The Christian knows that he has a responsibility to take this message to people who have no idea about the judgement or the way to escape it. So the Christian takes the news to as many people as he can. The Christian uses every possible way of getting the news across.
This is what Paul is speaking about in Romans: ‘For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 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? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”‘ (Romans 10:12-15). Paul is clear – people can’t be saved without calling on the name of the Lord. But they can’t call on the name of the Lord unless they believe. And they can’t believe if they have not heard. And they cannot hear unless someone preaches to them. So what does Paul want you to do? Take the good news to others. Often they will be so pleased, that they will even praise your feet as beautiful!
Similarly, Jesus himself commanded his disciples to take the gospel to all nations right before he ascended into heaven. In Matthew we read: ‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”‘ (Matthew 28:18-20).
As a result, myriads of Christians have gone throughout the world to warn people and explain the good news. And I join them now. If you’re not a Christian, do you understand your situation? One day you will be punished eternally for your rebellion against God. But if you turn to Christ in repentance and faith you can be saved and enjoy peace and security forever. Save yourself now from this corrupt generation!
And if you are a Christian, do you worry about others missing out on salvation? Do you have beautiful feet because you are taking the good news to others?