Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Getting the Word Out


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

There have been a few times in our lives when we've missed out on something we wished to be a part of because nobody told us. Perhaps we even said, "Nobody told me!" with bitterness in our breath. Such circumstances can enrage or otherwise depress us. When the stakes are higher, the feelings are more intense.

Consider the gospel. There are no stakes higher than salvation.

Do you believe that there will be people who arrive at the Great White Throne of God who will say, "But nobody ever told me the gospel!"? To me, this is certainly plausible--but the real question is whether or not this will be a legitimate excuse in the day of judgment.

The Bible is clear that a lack of knowledge will not justify a sinner. Sinners can only be justified by receiving the grace of God through believing the gospel message (see Romans 1:16-32). If "Nobody told me" was a legitimate excuse in the day of judgment, then the best thing Christians could do for the world would be to die in silence so that those who have never heard about Jesus, along with our children and grandchildren, would be ignorant of the truth. But we know that the gospel must go forth, and so we send the message of the cross around the world.

That said, there is an interesting story Jesus shared about certain people never being told the gospel (Luke 16:19-31). A rich man died and went to Hades and a poor man died and went to Abraham's Bosom, the pre-cross destination of the righteous. The rich man begged Abraham to send the poor man to his brothers, "in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment," (v. 27). Abraham responded, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them...If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead," (vv. 29, 31).

So, we recognize our responsibility to get the gospel out to the world (Romans 10:14-15), and we also recognize that it is man's responsibility to heed God's word and believe. We should know well that we cannot do that for them. Therefore, we should make it our aim that nobody can say, "Nobody told me the gospel," while also acknowledging that all people are accountable for their sins, whether we reach them or not. Let us pray that God would use us to reach many and, through our efforts for Him, save them from their sins.

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