Years back, I began to ask myself a question. I asked myself, why do I go to church? What I discovered is this, I go to church because I need spiritual enrichment that I don’t usually get by myself. We are encouraged in a unique way. And there is power when the people of God gather together and worship. There is power when we call out to Him together. And in all of these things we grow together spiritually. Amen?
As we move to the message today, I’ll catch us up. We left off with Paul in the middle of his teaching about God’s freedom in His choices and the sovereignty of His will.
Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome and he’s reinforcing the ideas of God’s Justice and glory in his election. Paul is wrapping up this section by bringing out some heavy hitters from the Old Testament to help make His point. Last week we learned how we perceive God’s will as both positive and negative. We see a good and a bad. But in our limited view we have become God’s critic. Not seeing that in all ways God’s sovereign will/choice is all for the good because it displays His glory and it reveals Christ Jesus.
My big idea for today is that God’s plan always included you! My prayer today is that by hearing this message we will collectively join together in the unity of Christ and we will take up His banner, the banner of love. Amen! If you have you Bibles today will you turn with me to Romans 9 starting in verse 24.
even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will he called ‘children of the living God.'” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”Romans 9:24-29
I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections/points in order to share them with you today. Let’s take a look at my first point.
The Lord Has A place for You In His Kingdom
even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”Romans 9:24 & 25
This “Even us” statement looking back to last week’s verse 23
“…objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory—”Romans 9:23
From both Jews and the Gentiles. Paul is reminding the Jews that this was the Lord’s plan all along.
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,Romans 3:29
In these times there was no greater a divide in humanity than Jew and Gentile. Gentile meaning anyone who was not of Jewish descent. In fact, it was their covenant with God that brought dissention between the Jews and their neighbors. The Jews kept themselves separated and because of that separation the kind of put out the signal that everyone else was beneath them. For the Gentiles, I’m sure they didn’t like being thought of as unclean and having their customs looked down on. As such, a natural rivalry developed. And in some cases, it flared to hatred. Nevertheless, God was, through the freedom of His choice and through Christ Jesus had enacted His plan to call the Gentiles into His grace. Salvation has cleared a place in the Kingdom of God for you and for me.
The reality is God had always intended salvation to be for everyone. The Jews thought that they were the only ones. Imagine their surprise.
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.Romans 8:30
In life there are many sources that will try to call into question all that God has promised you. You’re not good enough. You’re not from the right people. Your sin is too great. You are ineligible in some way that God doesn’t accept you. But Paul is telling us that it is by a dispensation of God’s mercy and grace that he has called you to himself. That is what makes us Abraham’s offspring,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2;8-9
God is calling all of His children (you and me) From every place and from every people. Jew and Gentile alike. He has made a place for each of us in His kingdom.Will you take your place in the body of Christ?
The Lord Is Calling His Children Home
and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called `children of the living God.”‘ 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.Romans 9:26 & 27
These lines here denote the love of the Father as He is collecting His scattered and displaced children. This is a message of hope that our savior has not forgotten us. This message of hope says, we have not been abandoned. This hope tells me that God is a promise keeping God. Amen! He’s coming to get us; He’s calling us home.
“At midnight the cry rang out: `Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’Matthew 25:6
We know this parable of the 10 virgins, five kept their lamps ready with oil to meet the Bridegroom. The other five were not ready they did not plan well in anticipation to meet him. If the bride/church is not ready when he comes then were all in trouble. As individuals, if we’re not ready, we will be like those five who were left behind.
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.Matthew 25:12-13
There must be a bride and a groom, or the wedding does not exist. We cannot be joined to Christ if we are not where we need to be when He comes.
Friends, The Holy Spirit is reaching out to each of us to take up the high calling of Christ.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.Matthew 7:13-14
Only the remnant will be saved. But we must respond and accept the lordship of Christ the Messiah over our lives. We must be found on that narrow road. We cannot blame God when he has given each of us and opportunity to know Him. Church, Jesus is calling us home. He has set a place for you at his table, He’s done all the work, all you have to do is rsvp and show up.
The Lord’s Purpose Is Being Revealed In Us
For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”Romans 9:28 & 29
On that day when the Lord appears for us in the clouds, what happens next is going to be swift and final. Some He will take raptured out and others will be left behind to face the tribulation. Left us descendants = the remnant those called to mercy otherwise left for destruction like Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom & Gomorrah were wiped out and all but erased from history.
God will display His glory and His Power in the bride of Christ. The Lord God Almighty, will be pleased in your glorification on that day. The Holy one of Israel, will have demonstrated His power by the catching away of the saints. All those left behind will know the power of God to save. They will try to explain it away, but the resurrection power of Jesus Christ will not be overcome.
This is God making good on His promise of yet another supernatural rescue. Again, this is the reoccurring theme of the Bible The creator God. Provides a place for his creation to live in community with Him.
Adam—In the Garden…
Abraham—Follow me to a place I will show you…
Moses—In the Exodus, lead my people into the promised land.
The Cross—The sacrifice of Jesus made way for God’s dwelling in us.
And now we await a New Heaven and New Earth with complete and full access to God and the heavenly realms.
Friends, every day we make choices about every little thing. What to eat? What to wear? Where to take our kids? How to spend our money? Each day we can choose how to respond to God. Let me ask you this, is glorifying God one of the choices on your list each day. Each day, this is a part of our prayers both together and as individuals.
God’s plan always included you, Don’t let the voices/influences in your life prevent you from realizing your truest relationship with Christ. Don’t be caught unprepared when the Bridegroom comes for you. Jesus is coming soon…Don’t sell yourselves short in the best of what God has for you. He has made a special place for you in His kingdom. I bet if the royals in London invited you to come and be their guest, providing you with everything you would need and they offered to lavish you with all their grace and wealth, you would be gone today. Jesus has offered something far greater. He died for your sin. He has sent his Holy spirit to call you back to him. And He has chosen each of us to be partners in His plan to display His glory and Power.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.1 John 3:1
I’ll ask you this way…
Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what your heavenly father has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today; hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today?
Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘”The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peaces”‘