I love this picture! Go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS! The Kingdom of God is advancing throughout the globe as God’s people are sent out to share the gospel to every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Indeed, the Day will come when many among the earth will be gathered before our King to worship forever and ever!
But what a minute. Would we be wasting our time? I mean, if we look at Israel’s history, is there any hope for the rest of humanity? Will the gospel fail? Can God keep His promises? Is chapter 8 possible: (Rom. 8:1) “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…..(Rom. 8:38-39) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What assurance…unless Paul’s not telling the truth. Why does he begin chapter 9 this way? (Rom. 9:1) “I am speaking the truth in Christ– I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit.” Is this only for that which he is about to say or what he has just finished saying in 8? It seems to be both because he brings up the fact that many of his kinsmen in the flesh to whom…(Rom. 9:4-5) “belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”
Did the love of God become separated from the Israelites? Did God break His promises? It would seem so…..unless we misunderstand what election is. I know it’s hard to understand. However, I’m afraid if we avoid it we may have to dismiss assurance as well. We need to see at least that election is either true or God failed. But God didn’t fail. That’s why Paul says: (Rom. 9:6-7) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
Do you doubt God in any way? Is there the slightest bit of uncertainty in your heart when it comes to trusting God’s promises to you and to anyone who will believe the gospel? Have you ever looked at Israel and thought that if God couldn’t do anything with them then He probably can’t do anything with me or those I have shared the gospel with. Chapter 8 states it very clear that God will do what He says. Chapter 9 teaches why you should not doubt God’s promises because not all Israel is Israel. In other words, an Israelite could not assume he or she was good with God simply because they were an Israelite.
And furthermore, if you have shared the gospel, you know that many people reject the message. It makes the messenger easily justify not speaking the gospel…they aren’t going to listen anyway! But that’s not true either. There is hope in believing and in sharing. Paul wishes he himself was separated from Christ which he just said cannot happen but his desire for the salvation of his kinsmen is serious! He began chapter 10 by telling us that he was praying for their salvation. He is certain that God is at work in the world to save His people.
Many do not know about God’s righteousness. They need to hear! But how will they hear if no one shares? How will someone share if they are not sent? Faith comes by hearing! (Rom. 10:15) “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Oh, may they hear and believe. Because whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!
May we be assured of God’s promises to save us and those who hear and believe. May these truths give us courage and urgency to go and share with anyone who will listen. Lord open a door, today. Cause us to cross paths with those who need to hear the gospel or to water what they have already heard. Give me boldness and fill me with Your Holy Spirit to do what You have called us to do. Let not fear overtake me. You have given us the resources to do what you have called us to do. It is not in our strength but Yours! May the Lamb receive the reward of his sufferings!