Hearing the gospel is certainly one way for an individual to come to know about God’s will. When somebody hears the “good news” they learn about Jesus, His mission on earth and God’s plan for mankind’s salvation.
While hearing the gospel is one way, is it the only way to know God’s will? The question is important because there are many today that claim to have seen a vision or even seen Jesus, Himself. Their “vision” usually has one of a number of outcomes. Maybe the vision was the impetus for a conversation that ensued in which Jesus gave some new or “special knowledge” to the individual. Or, the individual now considers themselves “saved” as a result. Or maybe, the vision gave approval of the individual’s current actions/state in life (some examples).
Effectively, these “visions” or encounters are substitutes for the individual hearing the gospel. So, is hearing the gospel the only way to know God’s will?
How Scripture answers "Is hearing the gospel the only way to know God’s will?"
An individual must hear the gospel in order to know God’s will1,6,7,8. Not only does Paul tell us this plainly in his letters, but we see it played out in conversion stories in Scripture2,3,4,5. Interestingly, we see visions playing a role in all of these examples2,3,4 – even visions of Jesus, Himself5 – yet, in every case the fundamental pattern1 is followed (e.g. preacher sent, hearers hear, believers “call on him“8), thus fulfilling what Isaiah writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”1
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