The Gospel and the Early Church: Romans 10:14-15
“14) How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15) And How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”” Romans‬ ‭10:14-15‬
Paul and the early church took their human responsibility to spread the gospel seriously. If you study Paul’s letters, “the gospel” is a theme in every epistle. In Philippians chapter one he uses the word “gospel” six times and concludes that he was set aside for the defense and confirmation of the gospel. Spreading the gospel was the consuming passion of his life.
In the above context, Paul raises the question of how people are going to believe in the gospel if they have never heard it preached? His discussion pointed to the urgent mandate on the church to raise up and send out witnesses, missionaries and preachers. Paul and the early church were committed to the Great Commission. (See Matthew 28:18-20) They understood that every Christian was gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit to participate in witnessing and evangelism. (See Acts 1:8)
The passive attitude of the modern church toward the intentional and persistent spread of the gospel at home and abroad is the number one disconnect with the early church. In two generations they reached and changed the Roman Empire. In the past two generations secular Rome has infiltrated and pushed the modern church to total social irrelevance. Why?
I would suggest the modern church has lost its biblical mandate, mission and call to spread the gospel. Satan has us spinning our wheels on mundane and irrelevant things.
The average evangelical church in America today reports less than one conversion a year. Those numbers are radically different from the conversion rate seen by the early church in the book of Acts. The truth hurts, but the modern church has for the most part abandoned the gospel.
But those churches today which are making disciples and spreading the gospel are busting at the seams. They are growing. The Holy Spirit is working and people are being converted.
If your church is stuck in a rut, you have embraced either doctrinal or practical dysfunction. You have abandoned the gospel. You are part of the problem.
Every time revival or awakening comes, spreading the gospel becomes a top priority among Gods people. Sometimes, a fresh focus on praying and sharing the gospel sparks revival in otherwise dead churches as new people start coming to Jesus and bring fresh zeal into the church.
If you yearn to see the Holy Spirit work in fresh and powerful ways, move to the front lines of spreading the gospel. That is where He is always active. If you doubt me, just take time and review the four gospels and the book of Acts. The heart of Jesus pulsates with passion for the lost and the spread of the Gospel.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global