How Can They Hear?
We have a problem in our country today, summed up with this quote, "America...offended by everything except sin!"
Would you agree the above statement is true? Not everyone in America of course, there are still people who know what sin is, why it's bad, and who work each day to please the Lord and not sin. We, however, live in a society that seems to legalize whatever they want to do so it's not illegal anymore as far as the law of the land, but they neglect the fact that God didn't change His stance on it.
We can name some, and we know we only mention the tip of the iceberg, but sexual immorality, alcohol and drug abuse and abortion surely are at the top of the list. While there are no laws addressing the legality of our positions regarding God, there are some that make it illegal to publicly say certain things, things that God has actually told us are sinful. Meanwhile, the denial of deity (God, Jesus and Holy Spirit) is likely the number one thing that makes our world behave as it does. But this is nothing new is it? Bible believers can find many instances in history where the people, even God's chosen nation, rejected God or at least ignored Him. And, God has told us only a few will believe in Him and be saved (Matt 7:13-14). Meanwhile, we have millions who need to be saved from their sin.
So what changes this? What turns all of this around? Well, if anything would indeed change the way things are, it would be the people turning to God in repentance and obedience. This happened in a city called Nineveh (Jonah 3). God had made up His mind to have the entire city overthrown because of their disobedience. He did first though, send the prophet Jonah to warn them that in 40 days, the city would fall. But something happened, from the King on down, repentance occurred, true repentance, a change of heart and a desire to make it right with God. The king himself, took off his royal robe, covered himself in sackcloth and sat in the dust, as a sign of true repentance. His citizens followed his lead, and repented as well, the whole city. What did God do? "When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their evil way, then God relented of the disaster which He had declared He would bring on them. So He did not do it." (Jonah 3:10)
It's highly unlikely any city today could be convicted enough to get it to turn, and we certainly won't turn the country as a whole, but God doesn't ask us to do that. He tells us that as we live each day in the world, we are to "...make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) One person at a time is what God says we can change. Yes, sometimes it's a whole family who comes to believe, but it starts with you and I talking to that one person.
Do we love them enough to talk to them? Do we care enough about their soul to tell them they are on the path to everlasting punishment? What can we say? How can we say it? When will we say it? It all starts with us showing them we care, making sure they understand why we care - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16). We show them that we care about them because Jesus died for us all. We care about them so much that we want them to believe in Him too, because of the life He offers through salvation. That's the first step.
Then we teach them what Christ requires of them for salvation, and we walk beside them as they grow in the knowledge and truth of the scriptures, and obey the commands of repentance, confession and being joined with Christ in His death by being immersed into Christ (Romans 6:3-10). We don't stop there, we partner with them as they grow in their new life, to the point that they can teach those they know as well.
This is God's plan for the world. He's left us in charge to do it. Few people today are interested in anything about God, and God foretold us that, so that's no surprise (Matt 7:13-14). But many are good hearted, and reachable, the fields are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).
The Apostle Paul once, in his letter to the church in Rome, was stressing just what we are talking about today, that people need to know Christ, and after saying that those who surrender to Christ in obedience would be saved, Paul asked, "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?" (Rom 10:14) Help reach someone today, be the one preaching to them.