…I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. ~ Romans 1:15
If you visit the city of Rome today and walk through its ancient ruins, what you’ll see are the remnants of massive, awe-inspiring stone structures—the amphitheater, the baths, the villas, the coliseum. And what a sight it is.
What’s easy to overlook, however, is that Rome, in the First Century AD, had upwards of one million people. And the vast majority of those people did not live in luxurious villas. Rather, the vast majority of people lived in small, multi-level apartment buildings.
Those apartment buildings were made of wood. More than a few of them were in ramshackle condition. And so living in such apartments often meant a constant fear of fire or collapse. The living conditions could be cramped, sometimes just one room per family. Many apartments had little or no natural light. And if you lived in the upper levels of the apartment, you had no access to water.
Perhaps most poignant of all is the simple reality that these tens of thousands of wooden apartments have long ago disintegrated and vanished—along with the names of the hundreds of thousands who lived in them.
Names lost to history? Yes. Names forgotten by the Lord? No.
Every soul that the message of the gospel brought to faith, every soul who came to trust in Jesus as Savior from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit—that soul’s name is written in the Book of Life. That soul is a fully forgiven child of God now basking in the presence of Jesus Christ forever.
Keep that in mind the next time you feel forgotten.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in those moments when I feel anonymous and forgotten, remind me by your Holy Spirit that I am not. Amen.