God could write the gospel in the clouds. He could thunder it from the heavens, but somehow He has chosen you and I to go and tell a lost and dying world about His goodness.
That's the plan that He's made, that we're a part of. It's an amazing invitation to be a partner, if you will, with God in telling other people. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. We all know it's important to share our faith, but did you know the average person hears seven times before making a decision for Christ? Find out why we should constantly be telling others about Jesus today as David McGee continues in Romans 9 with Share Because You Love.
Here's David. Turn with me to Romans 9. Let's pick it up in Romans 9, verse 3. It says, For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ, from my brethren, my countrymen, according to the flesh, verse 4, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, verse 5, of whom are the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is overall the eternally blessed God. But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect, for they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children, because they are the seed of Abraham, but in Isaac your seed shall be called. That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise, are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise, at this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son. Now, again, when it's speaking here about the children of God, it's talking about those who are the called. And the called, you know, you can get all weird about who the called and who the aren't called and all this stuff. I like what Spurgeon said. He said, you know, he said, if I could figure out who the called were, if they had like a yellow stripe down their back, then I would know to just proclaim the gospel to those people who had the yellow stripe. He said, but you know what?
They don't have a yellow stripe, so I'm just going to tell everybody. And God will be able to sort out who the called are and who are not the called. How can you tell who the called are? Well, when they respond to the Lord.
Now, that's not a trick thing. It's just that if somebody is called, God knows that, God understands that, and he calls to them and they respond. If somebody doesn't come to him because they're not called, then that's a whole academic discussion.
The reality is we need to be telling people so that they know. Because if we were supposed to love God and love people, and we've talked about this before, it's not just love Christian people. It's love all people. Then we need to demonstrate that love by talking to them about the Lord, talking to them about these subjects of heaven and eternal life. Now, one of the reasons, and Paul's going into these reasons why some of them did not receive Jesus as the Messiah. The people who had studied prophecy, they did not see the two comings of the Lord. We recognize the Lord came 2,000 years ago.
He died for our sins, and he's coming back soon. They didn't have the book of Revelation. They didn't have the New Testament. They saw the prophecies concerning the land coming as a lamb to slaughter and then coming as a lion to reign. So they thought, well, we're looking for that lion to come and take over our government, to be a political leader, to put down Rome. And because Jesus was not a political leader, they rejected him as the Messiah.
Now, keep in mind that this is something that people do, not just the Jewish people. As a matter of fact, when you get to the book of Revelation, people will be looking for a political Messiah. They'll get one, and they'll fall into deception, and they'll follow the antichrist.
That's why they missed it. But as we look at these verses, let's understand the word of promise, at this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son. This is a promise to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was a very elderly woman, and God said, I'm going to give you a son.
Now, Abraham thought, well, I'm going to give you some help, God. And he takes his concubine, and he has Ishmael. God doesn't consider the promises to go to Ishmael, who was the first son, by the flesh. He gave it to the son of promise, who was from Sarah, who was Isaac. Let's read on verse 10. And not only this, but when Rebekah also had conceived by one man, even by our father, Isaac.
So, now we're going to the next generation. And so, when we get into this called thing, because we can get so twisted. Because some people think that you cannot proclaim the gospel in an open meeting.
They do not believe you should ever have an evangelistic event. Because in those events, what happens is somebody who might not be called will respond, which is nonsense. If somebody responds, they're responding what? Because they are called. It's as simple as that. And so, what happens oftentimes is we say, well, they're not sure they're called, so I'm not going to tell them.
That's real convenient, isn't it? No, I'm going to tell everybody. And the called will respond. Life lesson here? We should do all we can, while we can, to save as many as we can, so help us, God. We should do all we can, while we can, to save as many as we can, so help us, God. Now, I don't mean us literally saving them.
Let me be sure we're on the same page there. Jesus died for their sins. It's our job, our calling, our gifting to go tell them. There's a little story kind of illustrates this, and I'll tell it. This is not in the Bible. It's kind of an interesting little story. But Jesus comes back up to heaven, and he says, hey, you know, and the angel says, well, you went and died for their sins, so they get into heaven.
Yeah, so what is the plan now? Well, I left these 12 guys down there to tell everybody. The angel goes, those 12 guys? And Jesus says, yeah. The angel goes, what's plan B?
And Jesus says, there is no plan B. God could write the gospel in the clouds. He could thunder it from the heavens, but somehow he has chosen you and I to go and tell a lost and dying world about his good news.
That's the plan that he's made, that we're a part of. It's an amazing invitation to be a partner, if you will, with God and telling other people. It's a good verse 11. For the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of works, but of him who calls. Now, see, here's the thing about calling and election and salvation. We understand, we talk about salvation as of grace, Ephesians 2, 8, 9. For by grace you are saved through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast. It's the gift of God. And we say, okay, salvation's through grace.
Awesome. Calling is through grace. Here's what happens. A lot of times, after we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, we begin to think about why he called us. And we understand that God made a very wise choice when he called us, because there's unique giftings and abilities that we have. And so it just makes sense that he would call us, and he's probably not calling that person over there.
How twisted is that? The calling is like the salvation. It's by grace. This verse is saying, before these people were alive, God had already figured out what he was going to do. Jeremiah 31, 3 says, the Lord has appeared of old to me, saying, yes, I've loved you with an everlasting love.
Therefore, with loving kindness, I have drawn you. God seeks to call us through his grace and through his mercy. Now, sadly, we don't respond. Israel didn't respond to his goodness and his grace and his mercy. There's people all over the United States that are not responding to his goodness and his mercy.
That's the reality. In 1962, the Supreme Court outlawed prayer and Bible reading in schools. Since that decision, we've seen SAT scores drop, violent crime rise, STDs triple, unwed pregnancies quadruple, and divorce rates have skyrocketed. While the outlook for our country may seem bleak, pastor and author David McGee believes there is hope for our nation's future. Recently, David shared that vision of hope in the nationally televised special, Lord Give Us America. This passionate presentation features David's insights on America's godly heritage and how the church can play a crucial role in bringing our nation back to God. The Lord Give Us America DVD is now available to you for a gift of $19.99.
This special DVD is our way of saying thank you for helping us reach our nation with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Call today with your gift across the bridge and we'll send Lord Give Us America right away. The number to call is 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. You can also find us online at crossthebridge.com. If you have a prayer need and you'll get specially discounted offers, God in His word promises that His word always produces fruit. Always. So let's get started.
Go to crossthebridge.com and sign up for our evotional. You'll be glad you did. Now let's return to our study. Verse 12 says, It was said to her, The older shall serve the younger, as it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated. Strong verse. Let's understand first that this comes from the book of Malachi. And Malachi is the last book in the Hebrew Scriptures. It comes hundreds of hundreds of years after Jacob and Esau lived. Esau, Jacob was a, he was kind of a scoundrel. Jacob, I mean Esau was, he was very prideful. He was not very spiritual. He ended up causing these group of people called the Edomites.
Edomites were where Herod, the great, and all the different Herods came from. And God chose Jacob over Esau. And He says, Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated. Some translations have Jacob I have loved, Esau I have loved less. I'm okay with that, with that translation. But obviously Jacob was called, Esau was not. Now, you can get lost in trying to figure out why God calls who.
There's no need. You just tell people and let God sort it out. Now, if you're wondering if you are called, have you responded to the gospel? If you have responded to the gospel, friend, you're one of the called. If you've not responded to the gospel, I don't know. I don't know.
We'll talk about that in just a minute. Now, there's something in verse 12 that says the older shall serve the younger. There's something significant in this. Jacob and Esau were twins. Esau was the older brother just by a moment or two. But Jacob was the younger brother. Jacob ended up breaking in the process and breaking his will towards God. He has that encounter.
We talked about this before. Where, you know, he had stolen, well, he really thought he'd stolen. He really didn't steal anything according to this. He thought he was stealing the blessing. He went into his father and said, I'm Esau, I'm the oldest.
Give me the blessing. He gave him the blessing. He left. And in the process, his father said, what's your name? He said, oh, I'm Esau.
He leaves. Esau comes in and goes, give me the blessing. He says, I've already blessed you.
Who was here that had blessed you? He said, it must have been Jacob. Jacob takes off years ago on. Jacob has this encounter with God.
I believe it was a Christophany, angel of the Lord, the appearance of Jesus Christ. And in that encounter, the angel of the Lord says, what's your name? Now, the last time somebody had asked Jacob what his name was, was when his father asked him what his name was. And in that moment, Jacob was reminded that he did not deserve mercy.
He did not deserve grace. And he was the younger brother. Now, understand the older brother in that society got a double portion of the inheritance. He was the one, if dad had a business, he was the one that got the business. No question about it.
Why? Because it was owed to him. That's just the way it worked. As a matter of fact, early on, the oldest son was supposed to be the priest, and when the whole golden calf thing went down, he then called the Levites as a tribe, if you will, to serve as a priest. So the oldest son, I mean, that's who deserved the good stuff. And so it's interesting when you go through the Bible and you begin to start looking at this older brother, younger brother thing.
Older brother deserved the goodness, but yet so often the younger brother. Abel and Cain. Abel's sacrifice was received. Cain's was not. Cain was the older brother. He thought he could approach God in whatever way he thought.
God had said, no, this is the way he is. And even in Abel's sacrifice was what? He was a shepherd.
His sacrifice was a lamb pointing to the cross of Calvary. Younger brother, not the older brother. Older brother got mad. God asked him to repent. He didn't. He didn't start there.
Stop there. You've also got Moses who was the younger brother of Aaron. You got David who was out in the field and chosen to be king in spite of his older brothers who served in the war. Solomon was a younger brother called to be king. Joseph was a younger brother who ended up ruling over his brothers.
Hmm. Samuel was a younger brother called to be the priest. So what does this mean, this younger brother?
Now, in full disclosure, let me go ahead and tell you, I'm a younger brother, okay? So, but there's another story in the New Testament where there's an older brother and a younger brother. And the younger brother asked for his inheritance and he leaves the house. And he goes and gets involved in all sorts of stuff. And then he comes back home. And when he comes back home, his dad throws a party. We know this as the parable of the prodigal son. The only thing that's really about the prodigal son is about the heart of the father. And let me point out that the prodigal son is actually the one who never left home. Because what happens in that conversation tells us a lot about the church today and our hearts, really. Because the older son said, I can't believe you're throwing this party. He's been out and he's been wasting his life and he's been doing this and that.
And I can't believe you're throwing him a party. He goes, well, all these things are yours, son. He goes, yeah, yeah, they're mine. But, you know, I kind of deserve them. And I think all too often, all too frequently, we get in the position where we think we deserve the grace of God, that we deserve the mercy of God. And I think all too often the church today looks more like that older brother that never left home than the younger brother that comes to his father. And then we begin to look at other people who are, oh, you're the younger brother. Me, I've been in the church my whole life and God was just so blessed to get me.
And that's the situation we set up. What does the younger brother think when he comes in here? What does the younger brother think when he comes to the church? We paint this picture to people when they say, well, I'd go to church, but, you know, my life is still messed up. Well, you just come to church and your life will be like mine.
Your life may be more messed up than theirs, but you know where to go, you know, to come here, to hear about the goodness of God, to hear about the love of God. I think all too often we do this older brother thing. God calls younger brothers.
They don't deserve it, but he still calls. God's grace and his mercy and his calling often favored the younger brother, even though people favored the older brother. That's what happens in life, friend, because a lot of times we look at people who we think deserve better. We ask the silly question, why do bad things happen to good people? Good people? The Bible says there's none righteous, no, not one. We've all fallen short of the glory of God.
So who are good people? The question here is not, why did God hate Esau? The real question is, why did God love Jacob? The question is not, why did God not forgive this person? God, why did you forgive me? May that always be a mystery to you? May you never go, well, you know, God, he forgave me because he just saw something in me, a little speck of human goodness.
No, no, we're all the younger brother. We don't deserve, none of us deserve to be here. None of us deserve to worship God.
None of us deserve to crack that book in and of ourselves. But God in his grace and his mercy has called us to himself. See, I'm especially appreciative because we all tend to think, well, God called that person because they were worthy.
They were worthy of what? The calling of God. Who can be worthy of the calling of God? And pastors, you know, we have this idea about pastor. Well, pastors, you know, God calls pastors because they're more spiritual, more holy, more righteous. Who told you that?
I bet you I can guess. I bet your pastor told you that, didn't he? No, no.
It certainly doesn't apply to my life. Occasionally, I'll run into somebody that I went to school with or, you know, new in the music industry or whatever, and they're like, so what are you doing now? I say, well, I'm a pastor. Man, 80% of the time, they laugh. I mean, like, way too long and hard.
And then when they get done laughing, they go, no, seriously, really, what are you doing? I say, no, seriously, I'm a pastor. You're a what? I'm a pastor.
Okay. I went to school with Alex McFarland, who is in Charlotte, and God's using him in an awesome way, and he just, when he heard, just glorifying God. Why? Because it's grace. It's grace. If you're out there going, why did God make Pastor David a pastor? I don't know. But he did.
He did. Now, the gifts and the callings are unique and specific to being a pastor. But those callings aren't because I earned them.
They're the gift of God. None of us ever earn to be called to God. None of us never have.
None of us never will. And we need to adopt the mentality of the younger brother, not the older brother, because the older brother, every time a younger brother comes in, somebody that's been wandering, somebody that's been beat up, somebody that's messed up, they look up, and they go, oh, I deserve the grace of God, but you, mm-mm. And I think that's why we're not seeing more prodigals come home.
It's because we welcome them as an older brother. May the Lord make us in this fellowship, in this church, a church, if you will, with the mindset of the younger brother. A life lesson here, and it's a long one, but the moral person and the immoral person are both dependent on God's goodness and grace. The person that thinks they have earned it is actually far from it. The moral person and the immoral person are both dependent on God's goodness and grace.
The person that thinks they have earned it is actually far from it. I get the opportunity to share with people, and when I'm sharing the Lord, it's interesting. There's an openness to people who are bar-hopping on Friday, Saturday nights. There's people that are kind of, they're doing things they shouldn't do. There's an openness to talk about Jesus, and the majority of them is what I've found. The people who are real close-minded, churchgoers. I can start talking about Jesus to somebody, and if they go to church on a regular basis, I didn't say they were saved. They may have been in the church for 10, 20, 50 years, but they don't know Jesus as their personal Savior. They've never bowed their knee and said, Jesus, I am a sinner.
Please forgive me. And somehow they think through the act of going to church that they're going to be okay at the end of this all. No. And when I start to tell them about the mercy and the grace of God, they're like, no, no, no, no, no.
No thanks. You don't understand. I go to church, and I say, I'm sorry. I didn't ask you if you went to church.
I asked if you knew Jesus as your personal Savior. Oh, I'm good. I'm good. I'm fine.
What do you mean you're good and you're fine? I mean, have you ever asked Him personally to forgive you of your sins? Oh, I believe all that. I didn't ask you if you believed it. It's the older brother. So if you think you've earned it, you're far from it.
If you understand that you haven't earned it, you're close. Do you remember in school, at least when I was in school a couple years ago, when I really liked somebody, you know, you would write their name on your hand. I don't know if y'all didn't, you know. And if you really liked her, you know, you'd write her name in a pillow heart or something, you know. Why? Because you really cared for the person. You would take that step to let them know that you'd written their name on the palm of your hand. Isaiah 49, 16 says, See, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands. I've written your name on the palm of my hand. That's precious.
That palm that received the nail. We're at the end of the service here. I want to encourage you, because something happens at the end of the service on Sunday morning that is just, it's precious to me. Because as people hear about the goodness of God and that they can be forgiven, not because they can earn it, that they can be forgiven. No, come to God asking to forgive you.
Admit that you've messed up and turn to him and turn away from your ways. Boom, that's it. Happens instantly. If you're sitting here and you're not sure of where you are with the Lord, you need to do this and you need to do it today. Not tomorrow, not next week.
You need to do it today. Because God's calling you. It's your name on the palm of my hand. It's your name. Why would you want to fight that? Why would you want to refuse that? Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.
Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him, and he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free. This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. When you call, let our Call Team representative know where you heard about our broadcast. One of the most important parts of growing in Christ is being in fellowship at a local church.
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Watch this week at crossthebridge.com. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones, and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button, and you'll enter their name, and if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones.
Please, don't wait. This is so important. So please, again, go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information, and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world, the whole book for the whole world. Cross the Bridge with David McGee is a ministry dedicated to sharing the whole Bible with the whole world. If you've been blessed by Cross the Bridge, consider financially supporting this ministry. Your gift will be used to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, while also supplying resources to new believers. To give, simply call 877-458-5508, or visit us online at crossthebridge.com and click on the donate button. Once there, you can choose to give a one-time gift or become a Bridge Builder monthly supporter. Also, while visiting crossthebridge.com, make sure to sign up for Pastor David's free email devotional, as well as browse through our many online resources. Thanks for listening to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Join us again next time and invite your family and friends to listen, as together we cross the bridge!
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