Read Romans 15:14-33
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
Although I suppose I believed in the idea of God growing up, I was uninformed about who He is and what He had done and is doing. You see, I did not attend church or read the Bible. Still, I thought I had this whole spiritual life figured out. In my mind, God was pleased with people who did good things, and He received them into heaven.
But the Holy Spirit corrected my perspective as a teenager. At age 14, I heard the gospel for the first time. I learned of the implications of my sin and of God’s provision for it through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. I am so glad that God used someone who was willing to share with me as one who had never heard and had never been told.
That was the calling that Paul sensed on his life. He was passionate to take the life-changing message of Jesus to the unreached. In today’s reading, after having been on multiple mission journeys that included present day Turkey, Macedonia, and Greece, he had his sights set on proclaiming Christ in Rome and beyond. His ambition was to take the gospel to the other end of the Mediterranean – to Spain. He knew that those people were beyond the influence and the gospel witness of established churches. He knew that there were people like me who had never heard and who had never been told about the resurrected Christ. And so he aspired to go.
Romans 15 is a favorite passage to me because it reminds me that there are many others in the world like me. There are people out there that are, on the one hand, ignorant. On the other hand, however, many of them have their own spiritual system all figured out. But their version is all wrong. People like me live in my neighborhood and among the nations. They must hear of the grace of God in Jesus.