If we do not have a word to describe a thing, then we do not see it, much less understand it. Most of us, for example, go on walks and hikes regularly. As we walk we see trees and grass and rocks and snakes. We do not see red oak, white oak, burr oak, post oak, blackjack, osage orange, sugar maple, or shagbark hickory trees unless we know some characteristic of that particular tree and their given name. Neither do we see the literally hundreds of herbs and wildflowers by the rivers and in the fields unless we know their names and some of their attributes. Most of us just call them weeds when we they happen to appear in our manicured yards. We do not appreciate them because we do not know them; we do not know their names and their qualities.
And so it is with all things and especially so with God who is Himself the Word who became flesh and lived for awhile among us in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth two thousand years ago. Long before that God revealed Himself to the prophet Samuel. He called to Samuel three times at night, but Samuel did not know it was God. Why? Because the Word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to Samuel. (1 Samuel 3:7)
A solemn responsibility comes to a man when the Word of the Lord is revealed to him, that is, when one comes to know that God exists and that He indeed speaks to man, and not just to any man, but to this man, to me. The response of that man should be to say to God, “I will do as you say,” which really means “to hear is to obey.” This is the essence of faith; this is the beginning of walking with God. This is the meaning of Romans 10:17 which says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
For too long men have gone here and there doing what they call their “works of faith,” yet they never heard God. Most of the time God simply did not tell us to do that ministry thing so prevalent in the world. We end up doing dead works instead of live works. But, when the Word comes to us reality is revealed to us. Suddenly we know something we did not know before. With the Word comes faith and hope of fruit from the action that word requires.
When the Word is revealed to us, then we know that the Word was with God and that the Word WAS God in the beginning. Then we know that through the Word all things were created that exist.
So, let us not be harsh with and condemn to eternal hell all who yet do not know the Word. God reveals Himself to each of us in His own time, in His own way, and for His own purpose. But let us also examine ourselves and see if we actually know the Word. Has the Word of the LORD been revealed to you? No? But, do you hear Him calling? Then say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” When God then speaks to you you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.