Answer: “They Can’t”

Justin Taylor reasons (along with the Apostle Paul!):

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 10:14-15

Break it down into simple theo-logical propositions and it looks like this:

  1. No one can call upon Jesus if he doesn’t believe in Jesus.
  2. No one can believe Jesus or believe in Jesus if he hasn’t heard Jesus or heard of Jesus.
  3. No one can hear Jesus or hear of Jesus if no one preaches Jesus to him.
  4. No one can preach Jesus to the unreached unless he is sent.

One implication: if you care about people hearing the gospel, believing in Jesus, and calling upon his name—especially where he is not yet named (Rom. 15:20)—then you cannot be indifferent to the twin tasks of “going and telling” and/or “supporting and sending.”

“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Luke 10:2).

“You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God” (3 John 1:6).

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom. 10:15Isa. 52:7).

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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