God's plan for you includes you reaching other people. See, when somebody comes forward and they ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins, and they are, they're forgiven, boom, clean slate, they don't disappear. You know, it's not like people come forward and go, boom, boom, they're gone. God took them on up, you know, they got forgiven, so they're done. There's no need for them to stick around here.
No, they stay here. So why is that? We're left here for what? To tell other people, to reach other people. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Often when people ask you if you're contagious, it's not really a good thing. But when it comes to God and reaching other people, maybe contagious isn't all that bad. Find out today as David McGee continues in Romans 11 with Are You Contagious?
Here's David. We're in Romans chapter 11 verse 12, but let's back up for context's sake to verse 11. Paul is writing and he says, I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? He's talking about Israel.
Certainly not. But through their fall, to provoke them the jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now, if their fall is riches for the world and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness? Now, New Living Translation puts verse 12 like this. It says, now if the Gentiles were enriched because the Jews turned down God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when the Jews fondly accept it. Now, what will this greater blessing if you will?
Well, obviously understand something. If it's comparing the first blessing to the coming of the Messiah and it's saying that the next blessing, when they come back into the knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah, the Messiah, the coming Prince, the Messiah, the Prince, then man, if it's going to be bigger and better, what compares to the first coming of the Messiah? There's only one answer, the second coming of the Messiah, when everything will be made right, that what we read about in the book of Revelation. So when we tie Revelation 7, I'm giving a little preview on next week, when we tie Revelation 7 and we see 12 tribes coming into the kingdom, believing in Jesus as the Messiah, that ushers in what we call the kingdom age, the millennial reign.
And I believe the Bible teaches a literal thousand year reign. There are people that call themselves evangelical Christians that believe in what we call a millennialism. And basically they say that the millennial reign will not happen, that it's just an allegory. It's just a picture.
Well, you know what? When I read the Bible, I don't get an allegory in a picture from the millennial reign. There are things, you know, when Jesus tells parables, sometimes those are allegories. Sometimes those are principles or pictures that he's showing us. But when the millennial reign is talking about in a literal timeframe at a literal juncture in scripture, you know, allegory, I'm not buying it. I'm not buying it.
And incidentally, here's what's interesting. Those who say God is finished with Israel, a majority of them believe in a millennialism. When we talk about Israel and God and his relationship with Israel, we're talking about God's character, his personality. And so when people say, well, God is finished with Israel. First of all, these people are contradicting the word of God in this chapter.
How do you do that? I don't know. Some of them do it though. Zechariah chapter 12 verse 10 says this, and it says, and I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication. Then they will look on me whom they've pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn, one who is pierced. You know what's interesting? For hundreds and hundreds of years, if you would have been accused of blasphemy under Jewish leadership, do you understand how you would have been killed? You would have been killed by stoning, hitting you with rocks and trees.
So hundreds of years, that's the way you would have died. But see something happened in 20 AD when the Roman government said, we're tired of the Jewish insurrection. We're now going to take away your right for capital punishment. And if you want anybody killed within your community or executed within your community, you're going to have to come to the Roman authorities and we're going to have to handle it.
10 years later, they did. Hundreds of years before it had been prophesied that Jesus would die by being pierced and hung upon a cross, hung on a tree, cursed is him that hangs on a tree. And yet in all of history, there was from 20 AD to 70 AD when the siege of Jerusalem through the Romans, 50 years in all of human history, there was only a 50 year period where a Jewish man accused of blasphemy by Jewish authorities would have died a Roman death. And right into that slot was the crucifixion and execution of Jesus Christ. It's an amazing coincidence, isn't it?
It's not a coincidence it's fulfilled prophecy. Look at verse 13. Paul says, for I speak to you Gentiles and as much as I'm apostle to the Gentiles, I've magnified my ministry. Now this is an interesting section of scripture and here's why. There's places like in the book of James, book of James opens up and James says, I'm writing to the 12 tribes dispersed throughout the world.
So who's that written to? Well, it's written primarily to a Jewish audience. When you figure out that we're grafted in, there's some great stuff in there about how to live your life for the Lord. But here we have a scripture that's for Gentiles. Paul says I'm speaking to you Gentiles.
So if you were not raised in a Jewish home and walking in Judaism, this section is especially important to you. So we would do well to pay attention to what Paul says in this passage. And let's include verse 14 says, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are in my flesh and save some of them. What's Paul saying? Some of my flesh. Paul is saying if there's any way to see some of the Jewish people come in and believe in Jesus as the Messiah, I want to see it.
I want to see it. I want that to happen and keep your finger there and turn a couple pages back to Romans chapter nine and let me remind you of one statement that Paul made. Romans chapter nine verse three. Paul says for I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.
Separated from God. Let's go back to Romans 11. Paul is saying, you know what? All the benefits, all the blessings of being forgiven and the joy of the Lord and the love of the Lord and all these things, I would give them up if it meant bringing some into the kingdom.
I think if we're honest, that's a convicting verse. Because I don't know where you, you know, you draw the line or, you know, well, I'll do this or well, I won't do that in order to reach other people. I mean, I'm just going to kind of go to church. I mean, I'm not going to serve in church to help reach people. I'm not going to give anything. I'm not going to give financially to reach other people.
I mean, I'm not going to tell anybody about my relationship with because that could be socially awkward. Compare that to that verse Paul just wrote. I would be separated from God if it meant them coming into the kingdom. That's convicting.
That's convicting. We have to care about other people. If we don't care about other people, how can we say that we're really following Jesus who died that others could be forgiven?
The first life lesson here. God's plan for you includes you reaching other people. God's plan for you includes you reaching other people.
That's part of God's plan for each person. See, when somebody comes forward and they ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins and they are, they're forgiven, boom, clean slate, they don't disappear. You know, it's not like people come forward and go, boom, boom, they're gone. God took them on up. You know, they got forgiven, so they're done. There's no need for them to stick around here.
No, they stay here. Right? And that would make altar calls weird if that happened, wouldn't it? Because, you know, you go poof, poof, poof, poof, you know. People would be like, I'm not going forward. Those people are like disappearing.
That's a little weird. So we're left here. So why is that? We're left here for what? To tell other people, to reach other people.
And even that process that we call sanctification, that is getting more aligned with, with the truth of God's word and following the Lord. Do you think that's for your benefit? It's not for your benefit. Do you think it's so you can say, well, I quit doing this and I quit doing that?
No, no, no. It's so that people will notice that your life is different. And when they notice your life is different, the next question is, why is your life different? And then you get to share what God is doing in your life. 1 Corinthians 9 20, Paul says, and to the Jews, I became as a Jew that I might win Jews. To those who are under the law as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law. To those who are without law as without law, not being without law towards God, but under law towards Christ, that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak, I became as weak that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel sake that I may be a partaker of it with you. Paul says, look, when I'm with Jewish people, I embrace my Judaism, my Jewish heritage. When I'm with people who are Gentiles and non-Jewish, I'll eat what they eat. Why?
So that I can get along with them to present the gospel with them and to them. Wow. Let me ask you a real convict. It's convicting to me. I don't know if it's convicting you, but is that the picture? Paul going, I'll do anything just to be able to tell somebody about Jesus.
Is that the picture that you get of the church today? Or is it more like, well, listen, you need to do what I do. You need to say what I say. You need to dress the way I dress. Your hair needs to look similar. You can't wear that. You can't wear this.
You need to take out all your piercings and erase those tattoos where you drew on yourself. And then after all you do all that, then I'll explain to you about the gospel. No, no.
Talk to people right where they are. The reality is, unless I'll understand, there's this religious thing. I don't even call it Christianity. I call it churchianity. It's just a bunch of religious stuff.
People not loving one another, always looking down on people. To me, real Christianity has to include reaching other people or it is not real Christianity. I know that's a strong statement, but if you're here today and you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, how concerned are you with the people that don't know? And if you can sit here today and say, well, not very, you should be concerned because Christian is following Jesus.
Jesus died for the sins of others. And if we're following him, how could you? Well, I'm following him, but I really don't care what happens to other people who don't know him. I mean, I'm not going to like ever serve at church or give to the church or pray for the church or anything. Then who are you following? Paul in this passage is saying, you know what?
I would do anything that they would come into the kingdom. And he's writing this to who? To the Gentiles. We'll return to David's teaching in just a moment. First, I want to tell you about a special booklet that would be the perfect gift for any man on your Christmas list this year. The booklet is entitled A Father's Blessing. And within its pages, David McGee discusses the power and responsibility a father has in caring for his family.
This booklet can help men who have had poor relationships with their own fathers, as well as bless those who are just beginning their adventure into fatherhood. When you call today with a gift of any amount to cross the bridge, we'll send you A Father's Blessing as a thank you for your support of the ministry. Call today at 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. Experience the joy of biblical fatherhood with David McGee's A Father's Blessing.
Contact us today for your copy. 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. Now let's return to David McGee's verse by verse teaching in the book of Romans. Look at verse 14. If by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them, what are you willing to do that other people can hear the message of Jesus Christ?
Because the way you answer that question tells a lot about you, friend. And since this passage is talking about Israel, let's include, you know, what, what is your heart towards Israel towards your Jewish people? It's just bizarre to me that there's a segment of the population that somehow Christians think it's okay not to like that they find righteous indignation. Well, I'm, you know, I'm writing hating the Jews because you know, the Jews killed Jesus. Jesus was a Jew. His disciples were Jewish. He was a Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Jewish scriptures. How can a Christian defend antisemitism when Jesus himself said, we're supposed to love everybody. It infuriates me. Now we stand off to the side going, you don't know Jesus.
Yeah. Who's supposed to be showing them Jesus. We are, we are. The Bible says at Genesis 12, verse three, this promise to Abraham or Abraham at that point says, I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you. And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Do you pray for God to bless Israel and to bless the Jewish people? Psalm 21, 22 verse six says, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
May they prosper who love you. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Do you pray for the peace of Jerusalem?
There it is in the Bible that you're supposed to do it. Are you praying for the peace of Jerusalem? Now, let me explain to you what you're praying for when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, because maybe you're going, well, I don't see how you can pray for the peace of Jerusalem because there's all this stuff going on.
There's the Arabs and the Israelis and just this conflict and Iran and Syria. When you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, when do you think peace is going to come to that city? When the Prince of peace returns. So when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you know what you're really saying? Jesus, come on back, come on back and give peace to that city. Now in the coming years, you're going to hear that they have a peace. It's going to be a false peace.
It's going to last a season. And then it's going to all come to an interesting head. But pray for the peace of Jerusalem and don't ever hold out. Don't ever hold out hatred for any people group in the name of God. Well, God doesn't know enough to be offended.
So I'll be offended for him and get mad at somebody. Any people group, any people group. We had a lot of chances to minister in South Miami beaches and people that the churches have refused to minister to. As a matter of fact, where we were proclaiming the good news of the gospel, a few blocks away, people were walking around with these big signs saying, God hates queers and he's laughing because you're in hell.
How easy is that to hold up a sign like that? You don't have to invest anything emotionally. You don't have to love people. You don't have to serve people. You don't have to offer them the gospel.
You just hold up a picket sign. And at the end of the night, you just feel better about you because you're clinging to your cancerous religious pride. That wasn't very strong, but man, you know, if you want the truth, you're in the right place.
If you want candy coated, I'll play nice. Anyway, verse 15 says, for if they're being cast away as the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? So it says being cast away. And we saw that the rising of the Jewish nation and through the lineage of David and others that ushered in the Messiah. And some of them rejecting Jesus ushered in this age of Gentiles where we are able to receive Jesus as our savior.
And again, when they come back in Revelation 7, it's going to usher in the kingdom age, if you will, and understand something. There is a lot of doom and gloom out there in the news and different stuff today. None of it really affects me, my heart and my emotions. Now, it hurts me to see people hurting. It hurts me to see people lose their jobs and to be in tough situations.
But my, I knew God is God and I know it's going to be okay. So I don't wake up every morning and go, oh, what's the news going to tell me? My wellbeing is not based upon the news. If every time you read a headline, you get freaked out, you're basing your wellbeing on the news. That's no way to live.
And again, certainly no way to die. I, when I read the Bible, I'm not a doom and gloom guy. I am not. You know why? Because I've read the whole book.
Guess what? I've read the back of it. You know, when you were in school, you know, if you wanted the answers, what'd you do? You went to the back of the book.
I've went to the back of the book. I got the answers. Guess what? It all works out great. We win. Amen. So understand the Bible paints an incredibly bright future for those who trust God. It's not pessimistic. It's optimistic in the greatest degree. The life lesson, the Bible tells them an incredible future for those who trust the Lord. The Bible tells of an incredible future for those who trust the Lord. And if you're in that camp, if you're in that group, guess what, man, your future is so bright.
You got to wear shades, man. I mean, because it is, it's going to be good. It's going to be good. Now in between this time and that, is there going to be some tough times?
Probably, probably some things going to happen that we didn't count on that we didn't expect, but we keep clinging to the goodness of God, holding onto that. Let's look at verse 16 says, for the first fruit is holy. The lump is also holy. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. The first fruit is holy. The lump is also holy.
What in the world is he talking about? The lump is also holy. First fruits. Number 15 talks about this concept of first fruits. And basically it is that of your increase, whatever you're blessed with, and of course in the Hebrew scriptures is mainly an agricultural society. So whatever first fruits you had, if it was wheat or fruit or whatever increase, or maybe you were a trader or shipper and you had more olive oil or olives or whatever, what you did to recognize that God had blessed you, you took out the first fruits of that and you gave it to the Lord. It's where we get the concept for the tithe. The tithe is Hebrew for tenth.
One tenth of your increase that year, you would take to the temple. And also what people would do is they wouldn't even harvest the rest of it. They wouldn't taste one bit of it until they'd taken the first fruits and taken it to the priest and say it here. And as it says, if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy.
What's that mean? If you were given bread, if you gave 10 percent of the bread, then the rest of the bread was consecrated to God. And what he's saying here in the application of this lineage of Israel is Abraham was the first fruits, therefore the rest of the remnant is called under that covenant. We talked about covenant a few weeks ago. David was the head of a covenant, was the first fruits, if you will. Every king after him, God said, well, I'm going to honor my covenant with David.
Why? Because the rest of it was holy because the first fruits was holy, were holy. Verse 17, and if some of the branches were broken off and you being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them and were with them became a partaker of the root and the fatness of the olive tree. Verse 18, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. Now, let's be careful in this passage of taking Paul's analogy too far in the sense of because I've some people look at this passage and they apply some of the concepts of the security of God's grace.
And I think you need to be really careful with that because the context is he's speaking of Israel. And we're talking about grafted in. And I think we got a photo of a tree grafted in. What that is is when you take part of another tree and you actually stick it down into another part of a tree and you get, it's called hybrid vigor.
In other words, because of the mix, it does better and you're able to get the benefits of both parts. So that's grafted in. So this is the picture of what Paul's talking about here, that Gentiles were grafted in. The Hebrew scriptures, two-thirds of the Bible prophesied Jewish Messiah, that we're able to be grafted into the blessings of Abraham. Galatians chapter three, verse 28 says, there's no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for you are all Christians. You are one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs. And now all the promises of God gave to him belong to you. It's amazing when Paul says that. And I, you know, I've studied a lot and then studied the Jewish roots of Christianity and to be honest, I mean, I really started digging and started this government.
I felt ripped off. I've been a Christian for years and years. I've been attending church for years and years. And I thought, why didn't no, why didn't anyone tell me what this has to do? Because I thought, well, that's Old Testament. That doesn't have to do with me. That has to do with Israel. That doesn't have anything to do with me. And then you look at a verse like this and says, we're children of Abraham. We're heirs of these promises. I don't know about you, but what, I mean, if you got a letter tomorrow in the mail and it said, oh, just want to let you know that you're an heir or an heiress, would you be a little bit curious about what you were inheriting? Oh, probably not. You probably wouldn't even answer that letter, would you? No, if you got a man, I would be like, do I call? Where do I go?
What do I do? I want to find out. Well gang, you are heir and heiresses. Aren't you curious about what these blessings are? These blessings that flow through Abraham, through David, through Jesus Christ. Guys, if we're children of Abraham, you can't be antisemitic.
You can't dislike or hate the Jews. And if you have one shred of that in you, you need to repent and ask God to forgive you. And you need to do it today. You need to do it today. Everything that we have is rooted in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah going back Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. It all flows through 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. 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. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll-free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David Magee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? This month, when you give to Cross the Bridge, we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood entitled, A Father's Blessing. The number to call is 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508 or go online to crossthebridge.com. While you're there, make sure to sign up for David's email devotional and begin receiving daily inspiration in your inbox. That website again is crossthebridge.com. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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