I realized as I was studying Rom 1o today, that Paul answers a question many of us who are praying for family members who are unbelievers, have:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? Rom 10:12-14
How then shall the unbeliever call on Him in whom they have not believed, in order to be saved? Wow, that is the 64 million dollar question isn’t it? Paul goes on to answer:
And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Rom 10:14-15
In other words, the first step toward belief, is to hear about Him.
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:16-17
But even when some hear, they don’t believe. Well, that is the way it is. What is Paul saying? In order for salvation, or faith, to come, there first has to be a witness to that salvation. There has to be words.
We have noticed a strategy of the enemy lately, being advocated. And his tactic is to encourage quiet around unbelievers. Not for the unbelievers to be quiet; no, they can talk all they want! But the believers have to be quiet in the face of the unbelief! Shhhh, don’t say anything, because that will just rock the boat and cause strong opinions to be discussed!
Do you know what this strategy accomplishes? It ensures that the only words that are being spoken, are those of unbelief! In other words, Satan is getting his word (which are lies) spoken out, but God is not getting His Word spoken out.
Now why would this be a strategy of the enemy? It is because “prophecy creates reality” is a spiritual law. When the universe was full of darkness, and God wanted it to be full of light instead, what did He do? He said, “Let there be light.” And the light was created (Gen 1:1-3).
He spoke words, and the word that He spoke was a prophetic word, because it was not yet a reality. So, He prophesied by words, and that prophecy created the reality of the words. This spiritual law applies across the board, to people as well:
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Cor 1:27-29
How do the things which are not, bring to nothing the things that are? How does light, which was not, bring darkness, which was, to nothing? God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. This is also how faith, which was not, brings unbelief, which is, to nothing.
Faith comes by hearing. Hearing comes by words (a paraphrase of Rom 10:17). So God’s words, when heard, produces faith in His words. Satan’s words, when heard, produces faith in his words. Did anyone see the movie Inception? Belief is a powerful thing which determines reality.
So if Satan’s words are the only words out there, then what is being produced by those words? Unbelief. And if God’s words are silenced, then how can faith to salvation be produced where there was once unbelief? It can’t.
So recognize the war strategy of the enemy. When unbelief and untruth are being spoken, be courageous to speak the truth about God and His word. Let the words be spoken so that prophecy will have a chance to create the reality of faith and salvation.
For further reading:
romans 10, Christ, the end of the law for righteousness (2011)