Dear Friends 

In a couple of weeks’ time a number of us will be visiting some of the homes in our parish, both in Whittle- & Clayton-le-Woods and in Clayton Brook, to offer a brief word of welcome from our church. Why are we doing this? We are doing this because we believe, in the words of the Old Testament prophet Joel, quoted by both Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, and by Paul, in Romans chapter 10, that . . . 

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

 

After making this great statement, Paul goes on to ask a series of powerful rhetorical questions. You can almost imagine him tapping the table, rattling them out one by one. 

 

Question 1:

How can they call on the one they have not believed in? 

 

Quite obvious, really. It’s wonderful that you can call on the Lord and be saved, but if you don’t believe in the God of the Bible, if you aren’t going to put your trust in him, how or why would you call upon him? And this leads to, 

 

Question 2:

How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? 

 

That is such a massive question. It lays bare the tragedy of people never hearing the gospel. Paul goes on to explain that faith comes through hearing the word, the gospel message. It’s what we see in the book of Acts all the time. It’s what so many of us have experienced personally. It’s why preaching and sharing the gospel message is so fundamental. People need to hear the gospel so that they can believe. If they don’t hear, how can they come to faith? And so it follows, 

 

Question 3: 

And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 

 

This is why we make a priority of opening the Bible every Sunday and preaching from it. Otherwise people won’t hear and so they won’t believe and so they won’t be saved. So, finally, 

 

Question 4: 

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? 

 

And that’s why we need to get out of our four walls and go. Putting Paul’s questions in reverse order: We need to go so that the gospel can be preached so that people can hear and so believe in Jesus and so call on him and so be saved. Alleluia. 

 

So that’s why we do this parish visiting. No, we are not going as preachers. It is more background work than that. But we are going in order to make links so that people have a greater chance of hearing and believing and being saved. If we don’t go, how can this process even start? 

 

So please support this vital work. Please join us in visiting if you possibly can. And please pray. This is a

spiritual work, it needs spiritual weapons, and the greatest of these is prayer. 

 

Your brother in Christ 

Philip