Communicating Christ (Reading: Romans 10:14-21)

The captives waited for good news. God had promised that when the people’s hearts turned back to Him that He would deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity and return her to the land. The people were crying out to God but the hills were silent. Israel longed to hear the sound of feet, a messenger carrying good news. It was time to return home. The sound of feet would be the signal that God was working to deliver His people. Feet would signal the intervention of God (Isaiah 52:7).

What is the best news you have heard today? We live in a vacuum of good news. We are malnourished news addicts. Last night Sean Hannity interviewed Karl Rove about the economic stimulus bill. I think the economic stimulus bill is a horrible mistake, but asking Karl Rove to give his opinion of the bill is like asking the 1980 Russian Olympic Hockey team to discuss the state of hockey in America. Once you’ve been soundly beaten no one really cares. When it comes to the economic stimulus package I am not interested in the opinions of the remnants of an administration that was soundly beaten. Karl Rove's opinion of the economy is not good news because it is not quality news. It is not unexpected news. It is not different news. I want a fresh word. I want good, quality news.

For some reason we are addicted to captivity. We lend our ear to the conflict as if we have some deviant wish that it will never end. Reality television is a celebration of dysfunction. We have been captive so long we no longer believe there is good news. The hills are silent.

The gospel is good, quality, fresh news. The gospel is the message that God has intervened for man through His Son. Paul teaches that the spread of this message is a logical progression. In order for news to spread there must be a herald.

1) In order to be saved people need to call on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13).
2) They will not call unless they believe (Rom 10:14).
3) They will not believe in something they have never heard (Rom. 10:14).
4) They will not hear without someone proclaiming (Rom. 10:14).
5) Good news will not be proclaimed unless someone is sent (Rom. 10:15)

These are the feet the world awaits, the feet of the herald that signals the intervention of God (Romans 10:15 quoting Isaiah 52:7).

In the historical context in which the Bible was written the herald was the source of news for the community. Because the people were given to believe what he said his message must be accurate and he took great care to make sure it was so. The people of the community listened for his feet and readied themselves for his message.

In a culture addicted to shock value rather than truth, to dysfunction rather than hope, and to incessant spin masquerading as journalism isn’t it time for good news? A man in a coffee shop sharing with a hurting friend, captive in debt, could be the signal that God has intervened. A woman on a cell phone talking to a frazzled mother could be the signal that God has intervened. A man buying milk on his way home from work, with a simple statement of good news, may be the signal to the cashier whose home life is borderline hell that God has intervened. Broken people are desperate to believe. “So faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17a).”

The message must be clear and accurate. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).” The good news is not religious banter. The good news is not even an invitation to church. The good news is not how Biblical principles can improve a person’s finances. The good news is not a cool concept supported by Bible verses. The good news is the proclamation of Christ. The good news is the story that Jesus Christ as been sent by God. He has died for our sins. He has risen from the dead. Because of Him many people are being saved as they respond to Him in faith. For a culture addicted to reality dysfunction, the message of Christ is a new and hopeful reality. For debating pundits on the incessant news network, the message of Christ is a fresh perspective. May we not sell the gospel short but proclaim it in full; it is the story of the risen Savior. It is the good news people are desperately awaiting.

Be the herald. May your feet signal the intervention of God.


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