The Place of Proclamation
Rom. 10:14 ¶ But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?
Rom. 10:15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
This text was focused on the Israelites. Very few had believed and accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Now the good news was being carried to the Gentiles as well and they were responding. But there is an important question which is laid before us in this Scripture. How can someone come to believe if they have never heard? There is a place for the proclamation of the good news and there are those who are called to deliver this good news!
The concept of "relational evangelism" has become very popular these days. The idea that we need to develop relationships with people before we have the right to present to them the gospel. We know the statistics from the past -- that of those people who came to Christ at the large evangelistic crusades, very few remained as committed followers of Jesus Christ -- because the relationship piece was missing. But is it possible that we have come to a point of over-emphasizing the relational to the extent that we rarely proclaim the good news?
This Scripture makes it pretty clear that there is a place for the proclamation of the good news. It also makes it clear that there this is an incredible function of one who does already know Christ. When Isaiah is quoted, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" we realize the way in which the world is blessed by those who are called to proclaim! These are the messengers of God, the ones who are willing to carry that good news to all of those who need to hear.
I think that we need to ask God to overcome our fears when it comes to proclaiming the good news. More and more of American culture is slipping away from their Christian roots. Still, 80% of Americans today consider themselves Christian and yet -- most of them would not be able to tell us about the good news. We are becoming a Christian illiterate society and unless those who are armed with the word of God will be bold enough to share it -- they will never get to hear.
Maybe all of this is on my mind today because I'm at a "consultation" where we are discussing the future of pastors. What happens when even pastors don't see the place of proclamation? I'm afraid that this is a distinct possibility because I've talked to young people going into the ministry and many of them have never once led someone to belief in Jesus Christ.
There is a definite place of proclamation and we need to pray that God helps us to speak with boldness about the one whom we have been privileged to know.
Lord, please help me to proclaim with boldness your good news. Amen.