450 Grandview Drive
Cookeville, TN 38506
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
Have They Not Heard? Did They Not Know? (Rom. 10:18-19)
Church of Christ
In Romans chapters 8-10 Paul deals with the rejection of the Jews, due to their rejection of the Gospel, and the acceptance of the Gentiles as children when they accepted the teaching of Christ. Note that personal responsibility is required in both instances. In chapter 10, after explaining God’s plan of salvation (vv. 13-15), he said, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel.” He then quotes from Isaiah, “Lord, who hath believed our report,” (Rom. 10:16). Then Paul asked concerning Israel, “Have they not heard?” The answer is, “Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world” (v. 18). He then quotes from both Moses and Isaiah to show that Israel should have known that this was coming because these men spoke of it. He then asked this soul-searching question, “Did not Israel know?” (v. 19).
For the past three weeks in our Wednesday night Bible class we have used these questions asked of Israel and made application to today. When we look at the religious world and see the complete confusion that exists, we ask the question, “Do they not know? Have they not heard?” Israel should have known the things discussed by Paul because they were plainly taught in the Scriptures. But what about the world today?
That teaching on God’s plan of salvation is crystal clear to the individual who will take the time to read and study this subject thoroughly. Study carefully these verses: John 6:44-45, Hebrews 11:6, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 10:9-10, and Acts 2:38. These verses are too plain to be misunderstood. No man will be saved without hearing God’s word, believing God’s word, repenting of his sins, confessing Jesus as the Son of God, and being baptized for the remission of sins. One cannot misunderstand these plain statements without help. They are just too plain.
What about the teaching of Scripture concerning the Lord’s church? There is but “one body” (Eph. 4:4). This body is clearly taught to be the church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Again these statements cannot be misunderstood without help. Since the church is the body, and the body is the church, there can be but one church. Jesus built it (Matt. 16:18). He purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28). He is its head and Savior (Eph. 5:23). This explains why those who are saved are added to the church (Acts 2:47). What is there in these Scriptures that is hard to understand? The answer is “Absolutely nothing.” The reason people don’t understand these verses is because they CHOOSE to not understand them. The reason may be because when the application of these verses is made, it means that everyone who is not in this ONE church has no Savior. Thus, as long as they remain in churches of men and not in the one body of Christ, they are lost.
What is there that is hard to understand in these clear, concise statements of the Holy Spirit in Scripture? Next week we will see if we can show why there is so much misunderstanding and confusion in the religious world today even when the teaching is clear.
Paul M. Wilmoth