Read Romans 10
Focus on verse 14-15
Suppose I decide to buy you coffee at my favorite coffee shop. I get so excited about this that I forget a crucial step in the plan. As a result I wait for you to show up in vain, because I failed to actually communicate to you that you are invited to meet me at a specific place and time.
In today’s reading Paul describes the process of the communication of the gospel message.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (v. 14-15)
As Jesus departed to return to His place at the right hand of the Father, he left his followers with a charge to “Go, take the gospel to Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This mandate was to involve the communication of the gospel message to all people everywhere, and the Apostle Paul was a big part of getting the project started. By the time the last Apostle died, much of Roman Empire and many of the regions beyond it had been touched in some way by the message that Paul was preaching.
Since that time the church throughout history has experienced times of great growth and times of great darkness, hence the term “dark ages” being used to describe a significant part of the middle ages of western civilization.
Currently, the church appears to be doing what it has consistently done throughout its history – it seems to flourish in places where persecution is severe, and appears to be waning in places where it’s people are affluent. Funny how that works.