Monday, August 15, 2011
How shall they hear? Exhortation One: Compassion for those who have not heard
I began last Sunday's message, How shall they hear? (Romans 10:14-15) by noting: "Today I stand as a preacher who is going to speak to you about a preacher, the apostle Paul, who wrote about the centrality of preaching." At the end of the message I offered four closing exhortations. Here is the first of the four:
First: Those who would call upon the Lord and believe in him must first have access to the hearing of the preaching of the gospel.
This ought to fill our hearts with compassion for those lands where Christ has not been preached and where there are those who have not yet heard the name of Jesus.
The famed 19th century missionary pioneer Hudson Taylor was given a burden for the land of China while he was still a teen. He wrote once to his mother contemplating the fact that each year 12 million would die in China with no knowledge of Christ:
Think, Mother, of twelve millions—a number so great that it is impossible to realize it—yes, twelve million souls in China, every year passing without God and hope into eternity…. Oh, let us look with compassion on this multitude! God has been merciful to us; let us be like Him….
Year later as an adult he returned for a furlough to England. His body had been so abused by hardship that for many months he could not get out of bed but he posted on the wall a map of China to remind him of all those who had never heard of Christ.