It's one of the amazing things is the way that the cross and the resurrection reach over time. It wasn't just that the people that were around at that point could be forgiven. No, it's that all humanity can be forgiven and millions of people stand as evidence that God can change a life.
It's a life lesson here. God is a merciful God. God is a merciful God.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. No matter who you are or what you've done, the Bible declares that there is hope for everyone. Find out more about this amazing truth as David McGee continues in Romans chapter 11 with his teaching, God is merciful.
Here's David McGee. We're looking at Romans chapter 11 and what it's been talking about is the nature of Gentiles and Jewish people. And basically it's saying over and over that we both have to be forgiven the same way. And it's talking about that God is not finished with the Jewish people and God's not finished with the Gentiles.
He keeps, and when I say Gentile, I mean somebody that's non-Jewish. So we're going to look at Romans chapter 11 and we ended with verse 28. Last week we talked a lot about end times.
If you're into end times, I want to encourage you to go to the website, do the podcast thing or listen, but it was about end times. But let's pick it up with Romans chapter 11 verse 27. For this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.
And concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. This book, Romans, was written by Paul. And Paul wrote to the Roman church before he had ever gone there, but he knew there were believers there in this church at Rome. And so in that context or setting, Romans was written actually during the book of Acts. Now this leads to something interesting that kind of dispels one of those myths out there that says that the Bible was written long, long, long after the life and death of Jesus and these things that it's reporting. Romans is probably dated from about 55 AD. So it's about 20 years after the death of Jesus. And it takes place before Acts ended. Now Acts ends with Paul still alive. Paul was crucified by Nero and Nero actually was executed about 64 with suicide slash execution. In that, we've got Nero dying in 64.
He crucified Paul. So that had to happen before 64. We think about 62, maybe even earlier.
And why is that important? Because the book, the gospel of Luke was written before the book of Acts. So Romans is 55 and Acts is written probably about the same time, maybe a couple of years after Luke comes before it. So that probably puts the timing of the gospel of Luke probably in the 50s, maybe 15, 20 years. Luke actually quotes from Mark's gospel, which puts Mark into the 40s. So, you know, I hate to argue with the Discovery Channel or the History Channel.
Actually, that's not true. I love to argue with the Discovery Channel and the History Channel because a lot of times they just feed you propaganda that doesn't, it's not supported historically. So they kind of, that helps us to give a time and, and, and understand Luke, this guy set out to disprove the gospel of Luke, a prominent archeologist. And when he said, you know what, anything that's quantifiable or data that's in Luke that can be checked out, I'm going to check it out so I can disprove it.
And then we can all, you know, get over this whole God thing. Well, he checked it out and he found out of the 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands that are mentioned in Luke, there is not one single mistake. So if it can be trusted as an historical document, when it begins to talk about the life and the death, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it can be trusted as well. Now, and understand too, that there's a phrase that Paul who wrote the book of Romans uses in the book of Corinthians that predates actually the gospels. It's 1 Corinthians 15, 3. And this creed was already gone around and Paul says, for I delivered to you first of all, that which I also received.
Remember that phrase, we'll come back to it in a second. That Christ died for ourselves according to the scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures. And that he was seen by Cephas, then by the 12, Cephas being Peter.
After that, he was seen by over 500 brothers at once, of whom the greater part remained to the present, but some have fallen asleep. So when Paul wrote the book of Corinth, there were people that were still alive that had seen Jesus come back to life. And Paul in that first, he says, I delivered to you first of all, that which I received. The first thing that Paul received, when did Paul get saved?
According to the book of Acts, he got saved probably about 35 AD, two or three years after the death, burial, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Three years after that, the creed in the church was that Jesus Christ was God, that Jesus Christ was crucified, and he was resurrected. So this nonsense that came in like 200, 300 years later, friend, it's just that.
It's nonsense. Even the most liberal scholar will tell you that this portion of scripture predates the rest of scripture and that it was already a creed that people were saying. Now, verse 29 says, for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, or the New Living Translation puts it like this.
It says, for God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. Jonah found that out, didn't he? Because God told Jonah back in the Hebrew scriptures, what we call the Old Testament, God told Jonah, Jonah, you need to, you know, go tell these people and go tell them to come to me. And Jonah ran from that, but God kept calling him. Friend, you may be here today and you may be running from the call of God. You may be running from the hand of God and strangely enough, you've ran right into church and God is still calling you. Maybe you're sitting here today and you go, wow, you know, I've messed up a lot. I've done a lot of things wrong and I've probably done too many things wrong for me to come to God.
I'd be happy to compare notes with you, but to be honest, I can probably go to toe to toe with you on that one. As somebody that's been, man, I've been as lost as lost can be, wandering around, backsliding rock musician, just doing his own thing. And yet God kept chasing me. And one day I turned to him and said, God, will you forgive me? Absolutely. I died to forgive you.
So friend, there's hope for any and all of us. Look at verse 30. It says, for as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience. In other words, Jesus came to die for people. He offered himself salvation to the Jewish people.
First, some of them received, some of them didn't. And the Gentiles non-Jewish people were offered salvation as well. God in his mercy, we can obtain mercy.
We can obtain mercy. It's one of the amazing things is the way that the cross and the resurrection reach over time. It wasn't just that the people that were around at that point could be forgiven. No, it's that all humanity can be forgiven. And millions of people stand as evidence that God can change a life.
It's a life lesson here. God is a merciful God. God is a merciful God.
You know, we know this in part because you can look around and, and although sometimes it seems like, you know, when something bad happens to somebody, we're like, oh, God is so quick to judge. Friend, but can't you think of dozens of people that are acting up, doing their own thing, hurting people, and yet God in his mercy is still allowing them to exist. God in his mercy is still reaching out to them.
The worst mass murderer on the planet today could today ask Jesus to forgive him of his sins and God would do it. The offer that came from the cross 2,000 years ago, friend, the offer the offer is still stands. It's still extended to each and every one of us today. 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. Verse 31, even so these also have now been disobedient that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy for God has committed them all to disobedience that he might have mercy on all. Now what in the world pastor David, what in the world does that verse mean for God has committed them all to disobedience?
Here's the drill. If any of us in here, including myself, could earn God's favor in doing the right thing all the time, then there would be a select group of people who could become Christians. Now I know that some Christians out there they they they pretend or they act or they portray that you know if you're good enough for long enough you can join this little elite club we call Christianity. That's not biblical Christianity. Biblical Christianity says every one of us is messed up. Romans 3 10 says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and and none there's none righteous no not one. Romans 3 23. There's none righteous no not one. So because none of us have earned it God offers his mercy to all. See if somebody could earn it God say okay well they'll just earn it I won't have to send my son down there to die he won't have to be crucified on the cross because you know some guy in Kernersville is getting it right. That's not what happened is it?
None of us could earn it. All of us all of us have gone astray so God offers his mercy to us. Well surely this is to a select small group of people who are really kind of acting right. God in other words God looks down and he looks at some people and he looks at some people and goes oh there's there's that person with a spark of innate human goodness in them. I think I'll save them.
Somehow we think that. Friend when I found the Lord I don't mean to put too fine a point on it but I was a gentile heathen dog running as fast as I could on my way to hell. And if and if it was about merit or earning it forget about it. I said God can you forgive me because what are you talking about? I know what you've done son get out of here. So inviting somebody to church one day and they said well I don't know can somebody like me go to church? I said brother if the walls didn't cave in and when I walked in you're okay you're safe it'll be all right. So who does this extend to? This promise this offer of forgiveness. Mentally we do we really think well you got to look like this and you got to look like that and you know a lot of churches they they feel like you you have to have a suit on to come in. I got no problem with suits I own I have suits but man I'm just glad you're here.
I don't care if you're in a t-shirt and shorts and flip-flop or you're in a suit I don't care what you wear I'm just glad you're here because this goes out to everybody. Matthew 10 32 says if anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth I will openly acknowledge that person before my father in heaven. Anyone. Look at Matthew 10 39 whoever tries to gain his own life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will gain it. Look at that word whoever. It's always disturbing when people go well Christianity is so exclusive such an exclusive religion.
No it's not. These verses show whoever it doesn't matter who you are where you've been what you've done or what you believed in the past. You can be a whoever. John 1 12 says this but as many as received him to them he gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in his name. Now I understand we all like to say that we're all children of God. We're created by God fair enough all of us are but according to the Bible we are not all children of God. We need to go through this adoption process that the book of Romans talks about and what John 1 12 to receive him to believe in him to become. We'll talk more about that but John 3 36 says whoever believes in the son is eternal life.
Whoever disobeys the son will not have life but will remain under God's punishment. Whoever. Whoever.
Not if you dress right if you look right if you don't have tats piercings or long hair or this or that or the other. No whoever. Whoever. John 4 13 then Jesus answered whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with life-giving water and give him eternal life. So now we got two whoever's right we got the whoever who rejects Jesus and will be thirsty live a life of thirst and we got whoever's they will drink from him or drink from that eternal water if you will that is Jesus. I gotta be honest with you friend when I came to Jesus the first time I really and asked him to forgive me I really expected him to say no.
I did. He's gonna say well you know you've done this and you've done that and then as a Christian when I messed up let me let me cure you of something if you're thinking you can only become a Christian when you don't sin anymore let me help you with something there. Then who could become a Christian? See some people paint that picture where you can come to Jesus ask him to forgive you as long as you promise never to do anything wrong ever again. Let me ask you a question what kind of idiot would make that promise? I mean seriously if your brain is functioning especially if you're married you're not going to make a promise like that. Why?
Because you know you can't do it. So we come to God with our fears and with our doubts but we can come to him believing he is and we can come to him knowing friend knowing he will receive us because he tells us in John 637 everyone who my father gives me will come to me and I will never turn away anyone who comes to me. We do something at the end of our Sunday morning services. I give an invitation I make an offer for people to come forward and do you realize that anybody who comes forward will be received by the Lord? Anybody that comes forward to ask him to forgive him will be forgiven?
People don't come forward and I stand up here and go uh you're in don't think so uh oh yeah you're in can you go sit back down please it's not going to work for you. No that's not what happens anyone anyone what an awesome promise. John 11 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die do you believe this? Whoever Titus 2 11 for God has revealed his grace for the salvation of all mankind. First Timothy 2 6 who gave himself to redeem all mankind that was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved. God wants everyone to be saved? Yeah he does. He wants everyone to be saved. So does that mean everybody's going to be saved? Sadly enough no.
Sadly enough no. See God loves us enough to allow us to make the decisions in our life. You know if you're a parent you know at some point you come to that place and you know when you're when your little boy or little girl is one two three you can make most of the decisions and they get to be four five and six well you're making less of them and as your child grows older you make less and less of them. Why do you do that?
Well because you love your kids and you want to allow them that that freedom. God loves us and he wants us to choose him not just be you know robots okay everybody's saved everybody has to love me everybody has to worship. But friend don't ever say how can a loving God send anyone to hell? God doesn't send anyone to hell. First of all let's understand and I believe hell is a literal place it's spoken of in the bible.
You know I don't scream at people I don't throw things and you know I believe that if you can talk about a place like hell without a tear in your eye there's something wrong in your heart. The place wasn't even created for people it was created as a punishment for our enemy of our souls this being called satan and his demons. God doesn't send anybody there. Some people sadly enough will choose it. God set up every kind of warning sign around there and yet some people go well that's where I'm headed and Jesus says you know what if that's where you're headed you're going to have to cross over over my dead body.
Literally. Some people choose it. Some people choose to reject God their whole life and with their last dying breath God honors that request.
Honors that request. But he wants everyone including you to be saved. 2 Peter 3 9 says the Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return as some people think no he's being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish so he's given more time for everyone to repent. More time. He's given more time. Time is precious.
Again if you've had kids you realize how precious they are because there's just a few years you know when they're really little that they're chasing you around and then what happens what changes as they grow up now the father or the mother chases them around and you realize how precious time is and how precious time was and you've been given this day. Revelation 22 17 says the spirit and the bride say come let each one who hears them say come let the thirsty ones come anyone who wants to let them come and drink the water of life without charge. Ain't that cool?
That is that's awesome anyone who wants to. So how can people say well there's anything in there exclusive religion. Not according to all the verses I just read you. Well I think there are many ways to God.
Well you know I guess I'd have to agree with you on that. There are many ways to God but what happens when you get there depends on how you process the information I'm giving you today. See because if you approach God and you've rejected his son and the sacrifice of his son. Friend that's not going to go well because Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life nobody comes to the father but by me.
You realize nobody else has said that. Nobody else has said you know what I am the only way. He didn't say I know the way or I can show you the way. Jesus said I am the way.
Acts chapter 4 verse 12 says there is no other name under heaven which we can be saved. I got a t-shirt has a cross has a picture of Buddha on the cross and under it says what's wrong with this picture. Buddha didn't die for my sins. Buddha didn't say I'm the way the truth of life. Jesus said that and some people go well that's in that kind of exclusive saying there's only one way.
No no no no no no no whoever whoever whoever whoever whoever whoever whoever. If you're sitting in front of the doctor and the doctor says hey you are dying of a dreaded disease you got about seven days to live. You're going to say okay well is there any hope any good news and doctors oh yeah well I was going to get to that but yeah there is a cure and I can give it to you right now and you'll be just fine and you'll get your 72.3 years. Will you then turn to him go well gee doc it's kind of never mind it is there only one cure. You know you probably won't you'll be grateful for that one cure.
Gang there's a disease that's hurt more people that's killed more people than cancer and heart disease and all these things. That disease is called sin and there is a cure that cure is Jesus but friend let me tell you and let me be honest and as real as I can there's only one cure and his name is Jesus. His name is Jesus but this extends to whoever.
All you need to do and what I want to help you do is to figure out which whoever are you. Are you the whoever rejects Jesus will not be forgiven of his sins or are you the whoever who will accept his forgiveness be forgiven of your sins and be in heaven forevermore. You get to choose and a graphic picture of this Jesus when he died on the cross and you've probably seen the picture of the three crosses you know Jesus was in the middle there was a thief on each side who was also being punished also being crucified also dying. They both in the beginning were kind of making fun of Jesus and then one of them began to think you know what there's something different about this guy and there's the other one kept making fun of him this one other said you know what leave him alone you know what we we deserve this but this guy's not done anything. There was something about Jesus that he saw or heard that made him know he was more than just a man and he turned to him and said will you remember me and Jesus says well look at you you thief you being crucified obviously you don't make the grade you can't join our little exclusive club. It's not what Jesus said. Jesus said today you'll be with me in paradise.
Now that guy didn't go through catechism confirmation didn't get baptized didn't memorize the ten commandments didn't go to Sunday school but it got to heaven so what I'm here to help you today with is figure out which thief are you. Every one of us has done something wrong but this group over here that rejects Jesus well and you don't want to spend time with Jesus you will be eternally separated from him you'll get your wish but those who will turn to him and say Jesus will you forgive me Jesus absolutly. 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 failed 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 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 McGee 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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