Redemption for Jew and Gentile

Redemption for Jew and Gentile

Scripture: Romans 9:1-33
Date: 09/04/2010  Lesson: 10
A discussion of Romans 9 reveals the universality of the gospel message to the Jews and Gentiles alike.

Search for Certainty Study Guides by Mark Finley

Search for Certainty Study Guides by Mark Finley
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Good morning and a very, very Happy Sabbath to each and every one of you this morning who are tuning in from across the country, around the world, wherever you are. We welcome you as Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many of you have sent in favorite song requests. And we sing those for you every week, and today is no exception. We're going to sing a couple more this morning.

And our first one is 472, "song of heaven and homeland." This is a request from Peter in australia, fernando in brazil, zelda, ray and Daniella in California, angelica in Canada, zilta in dominica, Mark in Hawaii, Christy in Illinois, Maryland in Massachusetts, keith in Michigan, Karen in Missouri, Noah in nigeria, shannan in Oregon, oscar in Philippines, Mark in South Carolina and patricia in Texas, 472. We'll be singing all three stanzas this morning, "a song of heaven and homeland." [Music] I was thinking about when we're on our way to heaven, and we are almost there and we can see the gates. And you can just imagine the music that we'll be hearing coming through the gates of heaven as we make our way in. Oh, it's nothing that we can imagine on this earth. But I am looking forward to that day.

And I hope that you are too. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, I invite you to go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link, and send in your favorite hymn, and we will sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. Is our next song, "crown him with many crowns." This goes along with our theme, doesn't it? And we'll be singing the 1st, 2nd and 4th stanza. This is from kenyon, felicia and Noah in australia, maureen in bahamas, barbara in California, kofi and Ellen in Canada, mauricie and karl in France, alex and April in Georgia, ashley in Nebraska, John in Oklahoma, jared in the Philippines, abel in puerto rico, marva in trinidad and tobago, and sharon in Washington. , 1St, 2nd and 4th stanza.

[Music] Father in Heaven, we praise you this morning, and we thank you so much for being the Lord of Lords and the God of this universe and our loving Savior. Father, we thank you so much for bringing us here this morning on your holy Sabbath to worship you. And I pray that you will be with each one here. Be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together. And we thank you so much for your love, for going to the cross to die for us so that we have a hope of everlasting life.

And we thank you so much in this dark world that there is hope, because we all need it. And we thank you in Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our administrative pastor, pastor harold white. Thank you, debbie. Thank you, musicians.

And thank you all for being here on this beautiful Sabbath morning. Aren't some of those hymns so grandeur? And not only the sound but, you know, they put the words in there, "ineffably sublime." I mean you'd have to really work at getting those words in a song, wouldn't you? That's beautiful, beautiful music. I want to welcome everybody who's watching this morning, wherever you're listening on radio, live internet or on the television, we're glad that you are joining us too. We are continuing our study this morning on "redemption in Romans." And we're on chapter 10, which is a very interesting chapter entitled, "redemption for jew and gentile." We have a free offer to extend to you this morning. It's offer number 778, "determining the will of God.

" And all you have to do is call 1-866-study-more, or 1-866-788-3966. Or you can go to www.amazingfacts.org. So this lesson, we have a memory text from Romans 9, that's the-- we're studying chapter 10 but, in the quarterly, but it's chapter 9 in the book of Romans and our verse is found in 18. So if you will please join me in reading out of your quarterly that short little verse together. "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

" That's a nice little sentence. As you study the Bible, if you are only a surface reader and you come across a text like that and a few other texts in the Bible, you might come to the conclusion that God is a respecter of persons or that he is going to save whom he wants to save. And he's going to let be lost who he wants to be lost. And so it's important that we be more than surface readers of the Bible, that we study the Bible as it tells us to study, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The Bible does not contradict itself, because if it did, just think of this.

If the Bible, who God is the author, if the Bible contradicted itself on a particular subject, in this part of the Bible it said this, and in another part of the Bible it said something exactly the opposite, guess that what would make God? It would make God a liar. That's right. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is not a liar. And so if you come across some texts that are hard to fathom and understand at first, because it seems to contradict a whole body of other texts on an issue, it just is an indication that we need to dig a little deeper on that particular subject. And so I would state emphatically this morning to begin with that there is redemption possible for both jew and gentile and every human being that's ever lived upon this earth.

They had the potential to have eternal life. God loves everybody completely and unconditionally. And you know, from time to time we get constructive criticism or comments, and we appreciate those. We actually appreciate all comments that come in. And we hardly ever, at least I hardly ever would comment on one.

But someone wrote to me once and took something I said and really twisted it around and called me a racist. And I said, "man, that's the last thing in the world that I have ever been in all my life!" I was raised by a father that thought that was one of the worst things in the world. And that was even before I became a Christian. And when I became a Christian, I even you know more so realized that God loves us all equally. And so there's just a wonderful thing to realize that from the Word of God.

Furthermore, he gives everyone regardless of their background or what category they fall into in life, he gives them opportunities for salvation. Now I'm not saying that he gives everybody the exact same kind of experience, because that isn't so. But he does give people the opportunity that if they would choose, they could search a little deeper and they would find out how to be saved. A lot of people won't take that second step. They hear the small voice, or some big dramatic thing in their life, and they just totally turn against it.

And so God can't do anything about that; he gives him opportunity. But let's jump into our lesson. And somebody has I think a little slip of paper saying first text Romans 9:1-3, does somebody have that? Right over here. "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the holy ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

" Thank you very much. His sorrow is that though salvation was to be first with the jews. So many of them had rejected the righteousness which is of faith. More specifically they had rejected Christ, hadn't they? And I can relate to that kind of sorrow. One of the first things I felt about--pretty close to 40 years ago now I guess, 30-some years ago--the call of God to go into ministry wasn't that I thought I was going to be some giant evangelistic winning thousands of souls.

One of my greatest burdens was for Seventh-day Adventist people who didn't seem very excited about all that they had. And I thought, man, we got to just get them excited. Let's preach exciting sermons, and let's really get in there. We should be excited about this message. And so I can understand a little bit how Paul feels, although he uses strong word, "accursed.

" "I wished I was accursed from Christ." For what reason? For his brethren, for his kinsmen. It's reminiscent of someone many years before him saying something very similar. And that would be of course Moses. Moses in Exodus 32:32, he prayed, "yet now, if thou will not--if thou will forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." That's, I think that's the only place in the Bible you'll find a little hyphen there. It's just like, it's just like God pauses.

Like Moses pauses. This is an amazing thing to say. If you can't save them, only way you can do it is blot me out of the book of life. That's pretty amazing love for your fellow man. By the way, there shouldn't be another text that would be ever have to be used than this one to counteract that teaching, "once saved, always saved.

" Because if you're going to be blotted out of the book of life, your name had to be in the book of life, right? And so that should be the only text that would ever need to be used to go and teach us about that subject. Now I would suggest Paul and Moses are much better men than I am, because I love people and I have labored hard for a lot of people late into the night and many trips to their homes trying to help them to accept Jesus as their Savior. But I don't know--i don't know that I would say to God, "blot me out of the book of life to save them." That's really going some, isn't it? That's unconditional love. But you know, as we're on this subject, that's what Jesus did. I mean he didn't just experience dying a most cruel death.

He experienced the second death in actuality--i mean it's hard for us to understand that and hard for us to fathom, because he's alive now and he's with God in heaven. But when he was on that cross taking the sins of--all of our sins upon him, it was as if he was dying that second death, would never ever be with his father ever again. Do you realize how painful that must have been for him? Because he was one with The Father throughout eternity. They never had one disagreement ever. Now I have children.

I've had a few disagreements with them once in a while. But The Father and The Son, no disagreements. And here he was going to be separated from his father forever, nevermore to see him again. That's how real that experience was. That's sacrifice.

Amazing. Amazing grace is all you can say. As we look deeper into Sunday's lesson, we find the concept that God had chosen the Israelites to be a special people to do a special work to evangelize the world for him. They weren't just to be a special people. They were supposed to reach out and show the world what God is really like.

And so that they could accept him as their God likewise. And so he gave them this elaborate system that would point forward to the coming Messiah, the ceremonial system in which animals would be brought as sacrifices. And each and every one of those sacrifices would point forward to the lamb of God that would come to take away the sins of the world. But as the old saying goes, "you can't see the forest for the trees," that's kind of what happened to them. They got lost in the ceremony itself and missed the object of the ceremony.

It's kind of like a golfer who stands there and he is trying his hardest to be a good golfer, so he goes through everything that he's ever learned. Hold this club just right, his feet have to be just right. He goes back at that swing and he's doing it just like he remembered. And he follows through with his hips and his knees just right. And he comes down on it, and he hits that ball.

And he's so concentrating on all these rituals in his body that he misses the ball entirely. That's kind of like my golfing. I have golfed a few times when I was in southern Texas, there were some avid golfers there. And they wanted to get me out, so they took me out on their favorite courses. And they were wonderful men, just trying to coach me along.

And it must have been so disappointing for them, because they would tell me what I should do right and how to do it. And they'd often comment, "boy, I don't understand it. You have such a beautiful swing. Why doesn't the ball go where it's supposed to go?" It never did. Must have been very disappointing.

And that's the way it was with this elaborate system. Everything was so meticulously beautiful about it, pointing to the lamb of God that would come. But it wasn't going where it should go. It wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. It wasn't showing and reminding them that the Messiah was to come, and he was to come to live a certain kind of life.

And they missed that all together, didn't they? They looked for a king, a glorious king that would give them freedom from their bondage. They missed it entirely. So I was thinking, what is the lesson for us? We don't have an elaborate sacrificial system today. What do we have? Well, when you take all the wonderful prophetic insights that we have been blessed with, it could be easy to lose sight of righteousness that is of faith. In other words, we could become tripped up on truth.

You ever met anybody tripped up on truth? What does that mean? Well, if you're tripped up on truth, it means someone who finds a body of wonderful truths for these last days, that they get so enamored by the truths that they lose sight of the person behind the truth. And what happens when that takes place is quite often a people can become very legalistic. If you're tripped up on truth, prophetic truths, wonderful truths for the end time, but lose sight of Jesus, you've missed the boat, right? You've missed the boat. So the children of Israel became dazzled by their formal ceremonialism and they missed the meaning of it all. Whereas we must always maintain an order of service and reverence.

We should worship God with our very best. It can be overdone to the extent that the focus is on the pomp and the ceremony, rather than on genuine praise and worship to God. In that wonderful book, "the Great Controversy," there's some things that are written about the church that I was raised in. It says this. "That their services were of gorgeous display and solemn rites that fascinate the senses of the people and silence the voice of reason and conscience, the eye is charmed.

Magnificent churches imposing processions, golden altars, jeweled shrines, choice paintings and exquisite sculpture appealed to the love of beauty. The ears also captivated, the music is unsurpassed, the rich notes of the deep-toned organ blending with the melody of many voices as it swells through the lofty domes and pillared aisle of the grand cathedrals cannot fail to impress the mind with awe and reverence. But this outward splendor, pomp and ceremony often only mocks the longing of the sin-sick soul. We are told the religion of Christ needs not such attractions to recommend it. In the light shining from the cross, true Christianity appears so pure and lovely that no external declarations can enhance its true worth.

It is the beauty of holiness, a meek and quiet spirit, which is of value to God." Do you believe that? So the most important aspect of worship today is not going to be the music, not going to be some rich oratory speech and a sermon to follow, as wonderful as that's going to be with pastor allred. It's not going to be any outward display of elegance that we might be able to come up with here in this beautiful sanctuary. But the most important of aspect of worship is going to be what takes place in your heart as you kneel before your maker, and as you come here to worship the creator of everything. That's the most important aspect of worship. We too easily can be swept up with the force of elegance and ceremony and miss the tree where Christ was nailed if we are not ever vigilant.

So Paul gives them hope. He gives them hope by saying that we're going to be a remnant. In the Bible, remnant is a very important concept. God has always had a remnant. No matter how few it might be as you go back to the days of Noah, that was a very small remnant, but Noah and his family I think you could classify them as a remnant, couldn't you? Because they believed they had the faith that leads to righteousness.

And they tried to evangelize. That is what remnant people will do, have faith, genuine faith that leads to obedience, that leads to evangelism to the world that is not ready for it. So, is it right to believe you are part of God's remnant? If you're not involved in evangelism, I don't think you can really make that connection actually. Is it--hard for me to make that connection. Now in our day, we say we are to take the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

So the question is--if your parents could accurately say they were part of the remnant church because they had this faith, they were evangelistic-minded, they tried to reach out to their fellow man for salvation-- does that automatically make you part of the remnant? Or if you belong to a church that is very evangelistic, has the faith that the Bible wants us to have, does that automatically make you part of the remnant? No. Every one of us has a choice to make. Just as Paul was pointing out, being a descendant of Isaac doesn't automatically make people part of the remnant. And as it goes on in the lesson on Monday, it talks about the elected. And it's interesting when you think about that word, it means quite a bit different than we often think of.

If you are elected as governor of the state of California--woe be unto you--if you are elected as president of the United States-- woe-woe unto you, what a miserable job that would be, but if you are elected, what happens? You had to work very hard. You had to spend a lot of money and a lot of people had to vote for you. Whereas the election we're talking about here in the Bible is that we are all elected. In fact, you were elected before you were born. God elected you.

He wanted you to be saved. Yes, amen. So let's read a couple more texts. Somebody has Ephesians 1:4-5. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

" Thank you very much. Now we pass the microphone over to 2 Peter 1:10, I believe it's right up here in front here we have. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." Okay, thank you very much. If you are predestined or elected to be saved, how will it be that people will be lost? Well, we have a good indication right there in that last verse, Peter reminds us that we have a part in this process of keeping our election sure. We have that big word, "if.

" If you do these things, you will not stumble. But of course if you don't, you do stumble. Paul is handling a very delicate issue in chapter 9. He doesn't jump right into this issue at the beginning of the book of Romans. He has to very delicately lead up to it.

He's saying that because the majority of the jews rejected Christ, they were rejecting the Gospel and they were cast off. He was saying the elect had become the reprobates and the reprobate had become the elect. That is pretty strong stuff. You're preaching to the Jewish people that kind of a message. You are setting yourself up for all kinds of trouble because they were God's people.

And they knew it. They had been God's people for hundreds and thousands of years. And Paul is coming along and making statements like this. Pretty powerful. That was a powder keg situation you might say.

For centuries they had been his chosen. They often didn't act like it, but they still claimed to be his chosen. Now we won't take the time to go through all the proof text, but just let me just share this thought. When the Jewish nation was God's special people, gentiles could be saved too, right? In fact, we have many examples in the Bible of that happening. When the Jewish people rejected Christ and the Gospel started going to the gentiles, and they started accepting it much more than even the Jewish nation was, still jews could be saved, right? Amen.

Even to this day, all people can be saved if they put their trust and faith in Jesus as their Savior. So, when Christ came the Gospel went to the gentiles with power. More of them seemed to accept it. So general statements can be made on both ends of who are God's people? But God would want all mankind to be saved. On Monday's lesson, I was glad to see that the lesson pointed out that Paul is not speaking of individual salvation when he refers to Jacob and esau.

Paul is referring to Jacob and esau in a national sense rather than a personal sense. And that was a very important point I believe the lesson to make. There is nothing in these verses that we can conclude that Paul is saying people are predetermined by God to either be saved or lost, nothing we can come to that conclusion whatsoever. Could not be said of Jacob's descendants or esau's descendants. Adam clarke, in his commentary said this: "and hence it appears that neither esau nor Jacob, nor even their posterities are brought here by the apostle as instances of any personal reprobation from eternity.

For it is very certain that very many, if not the far greatest part of Jacob's posterity, were wicked and rejected by God. And it is not less certain that some of esau's posterity were partakers of the faith of Abraham. It would be like, something like this. If someone says that, "Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church teaches the truth of God's Word," that would be a true statement I believe. If someone said, "there's a little Seventh-day Adventist Church out here someplace," God forbid, "but they're not teaching the truths of God's Word.

" But it is true, then you could say it is a matter of fact. This little church is not teaching the wonderful foundational teachings of the Bible as espoused by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. So if you could say that about two different churches, could you say that if you were a member of this church, does that automatically make you a part of the saved? No. If you're a member of church a out there that's not teaching the truth, does that automatically mean you will be lost? No. Just like Paul was trying to get across to the people back in his day.

Well, the children of Israel were at a crossroads, weren't they? This was a major crossroads in their life. I mean, and sometimes you kind of get to feeling sorry for them except they should have been ready for Jesus to come. They had the Scriptures. They could have read them, they could have listened to them as they went to the synagogue each Sabbath. And they could have been ready and waiting for Jesus, but they didn't and they weren't because as adam clarke again in his commentary says, "concerning the jews, God was about to un-church them, overturn their polity, destroy their temple and disperse them over the face of the earth.

Thus he knew they would be accursed or anathematized from Christ and reduced to a level with the heathen nations of the world. And the event has proved that his declaration were dictated by the Spirit of truth." Wow. Momentous times for the Jewish nation. It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around the feeling of an Israelite at that time. It just would have been mindboggling.

But consider this. When Jesus comes and those who were lost, would they not be able to say the same thing? "We should have known." Anybody that's lost in the end of time, will they not be able to say, "we should have known. We could have known. I had opportunity, but I turned aside." Everybody will have that chance. Yes.

Well, let's move on. Jesus is our true Savior. He is our true leader always and forever. Whatever he asks is best, not always easy, but whatever he asks is best. Alright, let's move on to Tuesday's entitled, "mysteries.

" Somebody has the text Isaiah 55:8-9, who has that? Right over here. Isaiah 55:8-9, and remind ourselves that the part of the lesson is on the subject of mysteries, okay. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways," saith the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Okay, thank you very much. There's something very parental in that verse, isn't there? How many parents have said, "you don't understand what I'm saying now.

But when you get to be an adult, you'll understand." God's saying, "you don't understand. You won't understand until really you get to heaven and I start explaining some of these things." There are a lot of things that are mysteries. Are there not? Now quite often many in the science world, they don't like that concept. They don't like mysteries. They like to be able to nail things down.

They will state theories as matter of facts. Just like I heard on the national public radio the other day. They were talking about the difference in hands, the hands of man and the hands of apes. And they stated as matter-of-factly that it took billions of years for apes hands to become like our hands. Now the only mystery to that, as we're talking about mysteries here is why aren't apes hands becoming like man's hands today? And why hasn't an ape turned into a man ever since we've been looking at apes? Haven't seen one turn into a man yet.

I've seen the other way around--no, I haven't. I've done the other myself. No. When God says he created everything in six days, it's what he meant. He didn't mean he took billions of years to go along.

It's no--yeah, there's some mystery to it. But there's a lot of mystery to the other kind of theories too, aren't there? In fact, I'd like to make this comparison. God is very plain in the Bible where he says, "God is love." Right? Now we can bank on that as a biblical statement, just as we can bank on the statement that says in six days, literal days, morning and the evening, first day, so on and so forth. We don't need to change the Bible to read in a hundred billion years, God became love. God is love.

You don't have to change the Bible to say in a hundred billion years, God created. No, it says God created in six days. So yeah there's some mystery to it. I find Tuesday's lesson kind of interesting because it's entitled "mysteries." And it just seemed to me, I don't know, a little bit out of place in our lesson. But it's what it is and so we're dealing with mysteries.

Mysteries is an intriguing subject for sure. We could spend all day on it. But it just seemed a little bit out of place to me. But they use the text in Isaiah 55. And a lot of people will say, "yeah, yeah, you Christians take a text like that, and if you can't explain something, you say, 'well, it's a mystery.

'" Or they say, "we back you into a corner and you can't answer our questions. You say, 'oh, it's a mystery. God's so much higher than us. We can't understand that.'" Well my thought is I am so glad God told me he is so much higher than I am because if I'm the highest that there is in this earth, you're all in trouble. 'Cause I don't understand a lot of things about a whole lot of things, let alone do I have the power behind it.

God not only understands how every single little atom works, but he's the power behind making them work the way they should work. So I am glad God gave us this text. We are no match with God. Now why is this an important issue? Because there are many times in our lives that we have no idea which way to turn. You've been there, I know you have.

We have no solutions to the problem that we're facing. In order to proceed, we need a power beyond ourselves to help us out of this predicament. But quite often as human beings, we begin to tackle the problems in our own strength rather than turning to the source of power that is so much higher than we are. So I think it's important for us to understand this concept in Isaiah 55. Have you ever noticed some of the mysterious trips that we take are as because we forget this little concept? It reminds me of the story, and maybe you've heard it, about this young man who came to socrates.

He was asking for wisdom and knowledge. He walked up to this muscular philosopher, he was a big man, and said, "oh great socrates, I come to you for knowledge." Socrates, as the story goes, "recognized a pompous numbskull," it says, when he saw one. He led the young man through the streets, down into the sea and into the water, shoulder, up to their shoulders in water. And then he asked, "what do you want?" And the young man says, "oh great wise socrates, I want knowledge and wisdom." So socrates puts his strong hands on the man's shoulders and pushes him under the water and holds him there for about 30 seconds. And he comes popping up out of the water, let's him up and he says, "what do you want?" The young man, gasping for a little air, he says, "wisdom, o great and wise socrates.

" And so socrates grabbed him by his shoulders and put him under water again. Thirty seconds, thirty-five seconds, let him up. And he again asked him, "what do you want?" "O great wise socrates, I want wisdom and knowledge." And so he shoves him under water again. This time 35, 45, 50 seconds. And he lets him up, and he says, "now what do you want?" He says, "air! I need air!" And socrates says, "when you want wisdom as badly as you just wanted air, then you may begin to get it.

" Now we need to realize we need wisdom. And what does the Bible says? God is the one that gives us wisdom. When we want wisdom so bad we're willing to go to the word and go to God in prayer instead of trying to find the solutions ourselves, we won't be on these mysterious trips so often. We'll find the wisdom God wants us to have. Yeah, it's--I'm sure you've noticed that it's those times that we don't wait on the Lord, we plunge ahead, we come up gasping for air.

Don't we? That's right. Someone said, "you don't have to be listed in 'who's who's?' To know what's what. You just need to know who is the who above all whos. And that he knows what above all whats." Right? That's right. Well, let's move on to Wednesday, "my people, ammi--" or ammi-- "my people.

" Someone read Romans 9:25-26, who has that? "As he saith also in osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God." Thank you very much. So in the original language, you have two words, "ammi" and "loammi." Which one do you want to be? Don't want to be loammi, that means, "not my people." Ammi means, "my people." Book of Hosea is very interesting of course. God tells them to take a wife of whoredom as an illustration of God's relationship with Israel. Because the nation had gone after strange Gods.

But God is ever looking for hope for those who will listen and will heed His Word. And he goes on to say in Romans 9 that even though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only a remnant will be saved. Though the earth boasts of billion people plus today, all are called, but few of the billion people will be chosen to enter the Kingdom of God. Not that God doesn't want all 6 billion there. He has made ample provisions for all 6 billion to be there.

But they won't be. Unfortunately I've been to a church here and there that I went to pastor, and they didn't have this burden of evangelism. I tried to do everything I could to get them excited about evangelism, but it seems like sometimes it's easy to be content with, and comfortable with the group we worship with. We don't want any intruders from the outside. That's kind of what had happened to the Jewish nation.

And we don't want that to happen to us. We can play church just as easy as they played sanctuary if we're not careful. We must be careful. Corinthians 10:11 says, "all these things happened for examples," as an example to us, "for our admonition." Now let's continue to move on. Our time is running very rapidly.

We must take the written word, the examples from the past and try to reach out to those people who are not his people. How can we stay vibrant as his people, fulfilling his mission for our lives? Well, it's important that we continue studying, continue praying, continue choosing--God's not going to automatically make you a soul-winning person. You got to choose to be a witness for God. You have to choose to do that. And you know, sales people, they do a lot of things to pump themselves up to try to promote their product.

First of all, they believe in their product. If you don't believe in your product, you might as well give up that sales job. You won't get very far. You got to believe in your product. They go to sales conventions where they get pumped up and energized, just like we should come to church and get pumped up and energized to share the good news, because our product is better than all the other products.

We got the best. So that's what we need to do, keep pumped up. Now I don't want to come across by thinking, making us believe or think that we're saved by being evangelistic. You know, some groups are out there knocking on doors, kind of formally and mechanically trying to promote their religion, other than just sharing Christ. That's not--we're not saved by righteousness by evangelism.

But it's an important part of the Christian life. God could have given the work to angels to evangelize the world. But he did not do that. He gave it to us because he knew that it would be good for us, to keep us alive and well with the Lord ourselves. Well let's go on quickly to Thursday's.

Romans 9:30-33, who has that one? "What shall we say then? That the gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness," have attained to righteousness, "even the righteousness which is of faith; but Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling block stone. As it is written: 'behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling,'" block, "a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Thank you, thank you very much. Most of the Jewish nation tripped over Jesus to their demise.

Why? Because he wasn't the kind of Messiah they had hoped that he would be. It was too humiliating to follow a man like Jesus who would allow himself to be crucified. It was just plain too humiliating. Jesus didn't come with the prosperity Gospel back then any more than he comes with the prosperity Gospel now. Yes, he says he will take care of our needs, but he doesn't say he'll take care of our every want or desire, just because we desire it.

Jesus was not that kind of a deliverer. We may even have everything taken from us in order to one day have everything given back to us, kind of like the story of job. Everything taken from him restored how many fold? Tenfold, something like that. Jesus is presented as someone who is too loving to ever destroy. Have you ever heard that? That's how some people trip over Jesus today.

He's too loving to destroy. He's so merciful that, you know, you can continue sinning and he'll just be okay with it. But that's not the kind of Savior that he truly is. Jesus lived a perfect life so that he could show us we could live a perfect life. And we all stumble over that because we know we don't live perfect lives.

But that doesn't give us, that doesn't give us the opportunity to say, "okay, well that's the way it is. That's the way it is." That's not the way it's supposed to be. We're supposed to be challenged to a higher thing than that. Matthew 7:21-23, does somebody have that? "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness!'" Thank you very much.

As I said, we often refer to this passage. It's powerful passage. Maybe so much so often that maybe the message gets lost. But listen carefully. It says, "those that work inequity.

" What does that mean? We all have sinned, right? It says, "those that work inequity," he never knew you." Wow. Why wouldn't he know them? Because these people never came to Jesus in repentance. We're all sinners, but God will hear you if you come to him in repentance. And then he will know you. That's right.

Josh billings says, "it is easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those we intend to commit." You really can't do that. That wouldn't be true repentance, would it? "Oh Lord, I'm sorry for the sin I'm about to commit." That wouldn't work. Moody gives the following illustration in regards to this concept. He says of professor drummond, "once described a man going into one of their meetings and saying he wanted to become a Christian. 'Well, my friend, what is the trouble?' He doesn't like to tell.

He's greatly agitated." Finally he says, "the fact is I have overdrawn my account," a polite way of saying he had been stealing. "Did you take your employer's money?" "Yes." "How much?" "I don't know. I never kept account of it." "Why you have an idea? Was it $1,500?" "Oh, at least I'm sure." "Now look here, sir. I don't believe in sudden work. Don't steal more than $1,000 this next year.

And the next year, get it down to $500. And if your employer catches you, tell him you are in the process of being converted, and you will get so that you won't steal hardly anything in the by-and-by." Friends, "the thing is a perfect farce," he says. "Let him that stole steal no more. That is what the Bible says." And then he goes on to extend his little illustration a little bit farther. "Here comes a man and he admits that he gets drunk every week.

That man comes to meeting and wants to be converted. Shall I say, 'don't be in a hurry now. I believe in doing the work gradually. Don't you get drunk and knock your wife down more than once a month." Wouldn't it be refreshing for that wife to realize that she wasn't only going to get docked down once by her drunken husband? Maybe only after a time he gets a little better and better, she only gets knocked down and beaten up by her husband at Christmas or easter time when he gets drunk. Moody goes on to say, "oh I detest all that kind of teaching.

Let us go to the Bible and see what the old book teaches. I admit that a man may be converted so that he cannot tell when he crossed the line between death and life. But I also believe a man may be a thief one moment and a saint the next. I believe a man may be as vile as hell itself one moment, and be saved the next." That's the Bible's account of conversion. And that's what the Jewish nation had really lost sight of.

They wanted Jesus to be this pompous, glorious king that would deliver them from the roman bondage. And they had no idea that he had come to call men to repentance, genuine biblical repentance. Jesus is a stumbling block to those who don't believe in this method of conversion. Conversion means to be changed from sinner to non-sinner by his grace, not by our power, but by his grace. We can't get mixed up on the wrong kind of Savior, Jesus is-- like the Jewish nation had.

And that's why this whole chapter--that's why this whole chapter, that's what this whole chapter is about in Romans 9, how salvation opened up in an exploding way for the gentile people. And much to their disgrace, many of the Jewish nation rejected the Gospel, as it was in Jesus. Thus they tripped over the cornerstone. I bet you everybody in this sanctuary has stubbed your toe a time or two. Some of you even stubbed your toe so hard that you broke it, right? And that is painful, believe me.

If you stub your toe on something like a rock, something real hard, and you break your toe, you are going to suffer. If you stumble over Jesus in the wrong way, accept him as a Savior in a wrong way, a non-biblical way, that you are going to be saved in your sin rather than from your sin, you're going to be experiencing a great deal of pain. Maybe not right now, but one day soon, right? So we need to learn from the examples in the Bible of the Jewish nation and how they stumbled over Jesus, rejected him as Savior, as Lord, and lost sight of that elaborate, wonderful system. It was an elaborate, wonderful system. And I'm glad in a sense, in a lot of ways, that we don't have to go that.

I wouldn't want to have to kill a lamb. That's not exciting to me. So I'm glad I'm living today rather than back then. But it should have been enough to help them realize when Jesus comes, or the Messiah comes, this is his lot. He's going to come to pay the price for our sins.

How much nicer we have it to look back and say, "Jesus, the lamb of God, did come, did pay the price. And we can be saved." Isn't that good news? Amen. So I want to encourage you to continue to study the quarterly. We're on a wonderful lesson, "redemption in Romans." And again I extend the free offer to you. It's offer number 778, "determining the will of God," -study-more or 866-788-3966 or www.

amazingfacts.org. Thank you everyone for being here in this sanctuary this morning in Sacramento. And thank you everyone out there listening, wherever you're listening from. I enjoy many of you e-mailing us and letting us know that you're watching, enjoying the programs. Or as I said, any constructive criticism, we enjoy that too.

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