Faith Comes by Hearing

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

God called many prophets in the Old Testament to go forth and declare His Word to people. They mostly went, no matter what happened to them. We all remember one particular prophet who chose to disobey God. He chose to go the opposite direction God wanted him to go. The way he wanted to go. Remember him? Jonah, forever known as the prophet who was swallowed by a whale. Why did that happen to him? Because he chose to do what he wanted, instead of obeying God. But only after he was in the belly of that great fish for three days and three nights, praying, was he willing to go deliver the Word of the Lord to the people of Nineveh. Even with his begrudgingly behavior, thousands of people repented before God, and God spared the people and the city.

Have you ever considered any of the other prophets God sent forth? Remember Isaiah. God asked who He could send, who would go tell the people. Isaiah said, “Here am I; send me.” God told him to go and tell the people, but Isaiah was warned that the people would hear him, but would not listen to him. They would not understand what he was telling them. They would not take any of the counsel of God’s Word that he gave to them. It might sound good for somebody else, but not them. They would not get it. Isaiah had God’s Word, yet the people would not receive it. When Isaiah asked God how long he would have to tell this people who wouldn’t really listen to anything he said, God told him to continue to tell the people until there was no one left to tell.

Do you think that would have been a hard thing to do? Isaiah was given more prophecies concerning Jesus, the Messiah that was to come, than any other prophet. He was instrumental in helping the people understand that salvation is of the Lord – not of anything man can do. Isaiah’s name even signifies this, for his name means “Salvation is of the Lord.” Nevertheless, tradition declares that King Manasseh had him sawn in two.

Many other people declared the truths of God’s Word. One cannot help but think of Peter as he told of Jesus, and many thousands of people give their hearts and lives to Jesus. Paul gave his life telling people about Jesus, and establishing churches to teach the apostles doctrine. He also spent much time in prison. Stephen preached the Gospel message of Jesus, and he was stoned to death. However, these men were faithful to the end.

Today should be no different. Each Christian is called to go and tell the Gospel message of Jesus. To tell the difference that God’s Word has made in that Christian’s life. No one may hear. No one may understand. They might believe that it is good for someone else, not for them. They might not receive it. Nevertheless, we are called to go and tell – even when people don’t want to hear about Jesus. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). People must hear before they can believe. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”  (Romans 10:14). The word preacher here means “to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the Gospel); preach, proclaim, publish.” This means anyone can declare or “cry out” the Gospel message. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). We are just required to declare God’s Word to people. God will take care of the rest.

However, no one will know the Gospel message of Jesus if we do not tell it. Have you told anyone about what Jesus has done for you?

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