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Finding Purpose-Romans with Russ Andrews episode 19

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2024 1:12 pm

Finding Purpose-Romans with Russ Andrews episode 19

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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March 20, 2024 1:12 pm

Today, Russ Andrews brings our ninetieth lesson from the book of Romans.

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I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. Good evening, men. Come on. Good evening. Can you all hear me? Good. All right. First, as a Carolina fan, kudos to my NC State Wolfpack friends.

We had a big problem with some guy named Burns. And when he hit that three at the top of the key, I knew it was all over. But anyway, congratulations. Y'all deserve it. Y'all outplayed us.

Hope we meet you again. All right, guys, just we've got these baskets out. If y'all want to make a contribution to the ministry, we appreciate it. We'll have them out next week. So if you if you write a check, it's tax deductible, make it a defining purpose and we'll use it for the glory of God.

Also, I want to these flowers are out back in the side door here. We're having a men's conference here at this church right here in this sanctuary from April 19th to the 21st. The speaker is going to be Owen Strang, who's a great speaker.

I've never heard him, but I hear he's great. And he's going to be talking about what it means to be a man. So if you think you're a man, show up. Okay, let's get the Lord in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this evening and Lord, thank you for bringing us through another year as we conclude tonight with Romans 10. Although we have a sheer night next week, Lord.

This is the last night, Lord, when the gospel we preach from this pulpit as far as Tuesday night is concerned. But, Lord, I thank you for bringing us through this and I thank you for giving us your word. And I do thank you, Lord, that you're so patient with us, that you're long suffering, that you put up with the rebellion of mankind. You did it with the Israelites and you've done it with them for three thousand years.

And you've also done it with us Gentiles for the same amount of time. So, Lord, we love you. We praise your name. And I pray to God that tonight if there's anyone sitting here who's not sure if he knows you, if he's saved, that he'll call on the name of the Lord.

And the Bible says everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be what? Saved. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Out of the title of tonight's message, faith comes from hearing. We're going to be looking at Romans chapter 10. I'm going to actually start with verse 13, 13 through 21. But before we get to Romans 10, I want you to take your Bibles and turn to Acts chapter 8. We're going to be looking at verses 26 through 39 here in Acts 8.

But to set the stage, let me tell you what's going on with the apostles at this time. In Acts chapter 7, you may remember that Stephen has been stoned and who was standing there giving his approval? Saul. What was his name later? Paul. So Paul is standing there. He's the one who's actually in charge of the execution of Stephen.

Can you believe that? So then when you get to Romans, excuse me, when you get to Acts chapter 8, it says that a great persecution, this is after the death of Stephen, a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem. And all the follows of Jesus with the exception of the apostles were scattered all throughout the region.

And as they were scattered, guess what they took with them? The gospel. Tertullian, who was an early church father, said, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

What do you mean? Well, just look at the world today. As the church is persecuted, the gospel actually advances on the blood of those martyrs. And many come to believe. And that's how the church grows. You can look at a place like Iran today. That's where the church is growing the fastest percentage-wise of any place in the world.

Did you know that? In Iran, of all places. Now, back to Acts chapter 8. In Acts chapter 8, we see Philip, who was one of the apostles. He was actually preaching north of Jerusalem in the area known as Samaria when an angel of the Lord appeared to him. And that brings us to verse 26, which says, Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Go south to the road, the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. Ever heard of Gaza?

Is it in the news every day, right? So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of the treasure, all the treasure of Candace, which is a name for the queen of the Ethiopians. It's like the title Pharaoh, Candace. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chair reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. And the spirit told Philip, Go to the chariot and stay near it. First story, then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. And Philip asked him, Do you understand what you're reading? And he said, How can I, unless someone explains it to me?

So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of scripture the eunuch was reading. He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

In his humiliation, he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants, for his life was taken from the earth? That's Isaiah 53 verses 7 and 8. The eunuch asked Philip, Tell me, please, who is this prophet talking about, himself or someone else? Then Philip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, Look, here's water.

What can stand in the way of my being baptized? And he gave orders to stop the chariot. And then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. Now, last week, you may remember from Romans chapter 8 verse 29 that we saw salvation from whose perspective? God's.

I guess you don't remember that. Tonight, I want us to see salvation from man's perspective. And here are three necessary steps that a man must take in order to be saved. First, to be saved, you must call on the name of the Lord. Second, to call upon the name of the Lord, you must hear the gospel, and then you must what?

Believe it. So I want us to take a deeper dive into this mystery of salvation and how God works through his sovereign will and our responsibility. So to be saved, you must call on the name of the Lord.

Look at verse 13. Paul writes, For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be what? Saved.

Saved. Now, from Romans 8, 29, you will remember that we looked at this unbreakable chain that begins with God's foreknowledge, his predestination, his effectual calling, which leads to the believer's justification and eventual glorification. And the truth, as I said last week, is that no man will ever call on the name of the Lord unless God first calls on him. Again, there's much mystery to the ways of God. His ways are higher than our ways, and we can't fully understand God's sovereign will and the way he works in salvation. But Jesus made two very strong statements that affirm the truth that God is solely responsible for our salvation. One is found in John 6, 44, where Jesus says, No one can come to me unless the Father does what?

Draws him. See, God must draw you to his Son. And this points to God's effectual calling. When the Holy Spirit draws you to Christ, when you hear that voice, and when you hear it with the ears of your heart, you cannot resist him. You will call on the name of the Lord when the Holy Spirit pulls you to his Son. In John 15, 16, Jesus says, You did not choose me, but I chose you. This points to God's foreordination.

And I love this truth. God foreknew, if you're in Christ, he foreknew you and me as belonging to his family, as his true children, before he even created the world. This is all from God's perspective. So what does salvation look like from man's perspective? Well, verse 13, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So how does God work to ensure that we call on the name of the Lord? Well, first, you must hear the message of the gospel, and then you must believe it.

It's that simple. Hear and what? Believe. Look at verses 14 through 17. Paul writes, How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching them?

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. What do your feet look like to God when you share the gospel with a friend? They look what? Even though they're ugly, they look what?

Beautiful. Look at verse 16, But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? And then he writes this incredible verse that many have memorized. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. By the way, men, that's why we're studying the Bible and not some book about the Bible. It's the Bible that's God's word, and it's the Bible that has supernatural power. That's why some countries ban it because they can't control it. When you let God's word loose, something's going to happen. I was telling the men tonight that there's a ministry called Elam, which is the ancient name of Iran.

And you know what they're doing? They're smuggling Bibles into Iran even today, and they've been doing this for years. And I had one of the founder's son. The founder is actually an Iranian man from Iran. His son represents the ministry in Atlanta, Georgia. And he came up several years ago to speak to the men's Tizianite Bible study.

Can you believe that? And he shared this story. There was an Iranian man who came to his front door one day in Iran, and there was a book, a little book. It was a New Testament in his language. You know what that man did? He began to read it.

You know what happened to him? He became a believer just by reading the Word of God. So let's look at the process God uses to save us. I like how John MacArthur puts it.

He actually puts it in reverse order. And here's what he says. Paul is saying that if God did not send preachers, no one can hear. If no one can hear, no one could believe. If no one could believe, no one could call on the Lord. And if no one could call on Him, no one could be saved. So this is God's sovereign process in salvation.

Again, from our perspective, first, God sends someone like you or me. Second, that someone must hear. And I believe that hearing here implies... You know how the Lord always said, let him who has ears hear?

So hearing implies understanding. And that's because the Holy Spirit, as you hear the gospel, begins to work to lift the veil from your eyes and your ears so that you can see and understand. Third, that someone who hears and understands must believe what they hear, the gospel. Fourth, if that someone believes, he will, in capital letters, he will call on the name of the Lord.

And he may do this quietly in his heart so that it's not audible. He may do it like the thief on the cross who didn't hear much of the gospel but he saw something in Jesus and he believed in his heart. And I think he called on the name of the Lord when he said, Will you remember me when you come into your kingdom? And what did Jesus say?

Right, today you'll be in paradise. And then fifth, if he calls on the name of the Lord, he will be saved. That's a promise from God. Think about the Ethiopian eunuch. God sent Philip and he explained the gospel to him from Isaiah chapter what?

Fifty-three. So the eunuch heard the word of God. And then as he listened to Paul explain it, he not only understood it but he believed it. And then in his heart, again, we don't see him calling the name of the Lord but in his heart, he was called on the name of the Lord and he was saved.

And then to show his faith publicly, he was what? Baptized. By the way, baptism should follow in that order. Salvation, then what? Baptition. Baptition, which does away with what? Childhood baptism. I'm not going to go down that road right now, although we are in a Baptist church. I grew up Methodist, by the way.

But guess what? Not everyone who heard, particularly Jesus, believed the gospel. And do you think this caught God off guard?

No. It was prophesied all throughout the Old Testament that a majority of the Israelites would not be believers. This is why Paul quotes Isaiah 53, one, which says, again, Isaiah is looking into the future and he's saying, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? So let me ask you a question. Did God send the gospel out into the known world during the days of the Old Testament?

He did. Dr. Selham, my professor at Southeastern Seminary, said, Russ, you don't really need the New Testament to share the gospel. He was an Old Testament scholar.

You can share the gospel from the Old Testament. It's all in there. It starts with Genesis 3.15.

Let me ask you another question. What did Abraham believe? He believed what? The gospel. The gospel was shared. Galatians 3, I can't remember which verse, the gospel was explained to Abraham in advance so that when he heard the gospel that God was going to bless the nation of the world through his seed, he knew what that was referring to.

His seed was singular. It was pointed to the Messiah. And it says in Genesis 15.6, Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as what? Righteousness. Again, the men and women of the Old Testament looked forward to the coming Messiah and believed and they were credited with righteousness. We look back to the same point in history, the coming of the Messiah who has come. We're all looking back towards the cross, forward to the cross or back to the cross. When we believe just like they did in the Old Testament, God credits us with righteousness.

So let me ask you this. Did God give the Israelites and lay the Jews an opportunity to hear his message? He did. Look at verse 18. I'm in Romans 10. Look at verse 18. But I ask, did they not hear?

Paul says of course they did. Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. This is a direct quote from Psalm 19 in which David writes, verses 1 through 4 of Psalm 19. The heavens declare the glory of God.

The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech. Night after night, they display knowledge. There's no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. You know what Paul is explaining here? He's explaining to us that a divine design can be seen in creation. All you have to do is look up at the universe.

When scientists look through the James Webb Space Telescope, which I looked up, it's the largest and most advanced telescope ever built. When they look through that telescope and peer into the universe, they see the hand of God. They see his imprint in creation. When a doctor looks through a sonogram at the birth of a baby, he witnesses the divine design of the human body. Romans 1-20 says, for since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without what?

Excuse. The testimony of God in creation goes forth night and day all throughout the world. And the reason Paul points to Psalm 19 is he's informing us that in a similar way, the gospel is going out to the ends of the earth. Remember, God chose Abraham so that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed. And then Abraham's descendants, the Israelites, were to be God's witnesses to the whole world, to the known world, as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

But they failed miserably. And even though they failed, God continued to raise up prophet after prophet to show the gospel to the Israelites. And what did the Israelites do to most of those prophets?

They killed them. When we move to the New Testament, we see God still at work trying to reach his people, the Jews. He raised up John the Baptist, who went about preaching a message of what?

Repentance. What happened to him? He is beheaded. Then God sent his only son, Jesus, to preach the good news of the gospel. He preached it all over Judea, Samaria. And what happened to him? He was crucified. He was crucified. So when Isaiah asked, to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed, what does he mean?

Well, the arm of the Lord refers to God's power to deliver, his power to rescue, and his power to save. So how did God demonstrate his power to the Israelites? He demonstrated his power when he opened up the Red Sea and they marched through on dry ground. They witnessed his power when he provided them supernaturally with water in the desert and manna. For how many years? Forty years. Jesus revealed his power to the Jews of his day by many signs and wonders, but most of them refused to believe.

Why? John 12, 37 through 40 tells us why. Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.

This was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah the prophet. Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

So John right here is quoting the same verse that Paul quotes in Romans 10. For this reason, they could not believe because as Isaiah says elsewhere, he has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn and I will heal them. This is a hard truth, but I believe that if a man time and time and time again refuses to embrace God's grace and mercy, that is he rejects the gospel over and over and over again, God will at some point blind his eyes and permanently harden his heart. And this is why it's so important to believe the gospel when?

When you hear it. In 2 Corinthians 6 verses 1 and 2, Paul writes, As God's fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. Paul wanted to make sure they were what? Saved, even in that Corinthian church. For he says, in the time of my favor, I heard you. In the day of salvation, I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God's favor. Now is the day of salvation. Do you know, you always refer to that verse when he was doing an out, doing a crusade, a bibliogram. He would look out at that 50,000 people in the stadium and he would say, Now is the day of salvation.

Don't let this day slip you by. Isaiah 55, 6 says, Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call on him while he is near. And so if you sit here tonight and you're not sure if you're saved, if you're not sure if you know the Lord, don't let this day pass. Everyone who calls on him the Lord will be saved.

So what should you do if you're not sure? Call on the name of the Lord. If you don't know if God has called you, call on him. Now since the vast majority of Jews reject the gospel, God turned to who? The Gentiles. Look at verses 19 and 20. Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, I will make you envious by those who are not a nation.

I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding. And Isaiah Bolly says, I was found by those who did not seek me. I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. In Acts 9 and 15, Luke writes, But the Lord said to Ananias, Go, this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. This is right after he has that blinding experience of the road to Damascus. Ananias comes to him and says, You're God's chosen man. Paul was chosen by God to take the gospel to the Gentiles. But first he always went to the Jews and gave them a chance to hear. He went to the Jews first.

And every time that he entered, you know what he would do? He would first go to the synagogue. And when they kicked him out, or one time when they stoned him and left him for dead, he would go somewhere else to preach the gospel.

He would go to either a Gentile's home or he would preach publicly in some venue. We see this clearly in Acts 13. When Paul and Barnabas go to Antioch on one of his missionary journeys, they enter the synagogue on the Sabbath and they took a seat. And once the scripture had been read, the religious leaders present there said, Men, would you share a message of encouragement with us? So Paul stood up among all these religious Jews. And from the Old Testament, remember, they didn't have the New Testament. From the Old Testament, he explained the gospel.

That through Jesus Christ, they, these religious leaders, could be forgiven of their sins. And those who heard him were captivated, because they'd never heard anybody speak with such authority. So on the following Sabbath, nearly the entire city came out to hear Paul preach again. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and they turned against Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly, we had to speak the Word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the who?

Gentiles. For this is what the Lord commanded us. I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth. When the Gentiles heard this, the scripture says they were glad and honored the Word of the Lord. And catch this, and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. That's a little hint at God's foreknowers.

Do you see that there? All who were appointed for eternal life believed. One of the reasons, and we're going to see this clearly next September when we pick up with Romans 11. One of the reasons God sent the gospel to the Gentiles was to make the Israelites, the Jews, jealous, that they might turn to the Lord out of envy. Romans 11, 11 says, Again I ask, did they, talking about the Israelites, stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?

Not at all, Paul says. Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, think about this, how much greater riches would their fullness bring? In other words, if there was to be a revival in Israel today, can you imagine what that would do for the rest of the world? God has been reaching out to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for 3,000 years. And he's still reaching out to the Jews with this good news, as he's sending missionaries to New York, where 1.5 million Jews live today, approximately. And they're also going to Israel today as missionaries, many of them Messianic Jews.

A Messianic Jew is someone who believes that Jesus is their Messiah, Christian Jews, if you will. And these missionaries are going to Israel, where about 8 million Jews live today. Do you know there are only about 15 million Jews in the world?

Why so small? The Holocaust. But sadly, the great majority of Israel still rejects the gospel.

Why? Why do they still reject it? Well, look at verse 21. But concerning Israel, he says, all day long, I've held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people. He could say the same thing about Gentiles, could he not? But I want to focus on Israel tonight, on the Jews. In Luke 19, Jesus shows his love for his people, the Jews. Remember, Jesus was Jewish. And with great sorrow, he actually issues a very dire warning. Look at Luke 19, 41 through 44.

It says, as Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, if you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embarkment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, remember that.

They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you. I could say the same thing about America. Billy Graham has preached in this country so many times, it's ridiculous. But America has not recognized the time of God's coming. Now, I would like to close tonight with some thoughts regarding Israel and what I believe its spiritual future will be. Hope for Israel is a ministry in the heart of Jerusalem. They have Gentiles and Messianic Jews as part of this ministry. And their main aim is to bring the hope of Messiah back to Israel where it went forth from 2,000 years ago. The gospel began in Jerusalem and it's coming back to Jerusalem. In fact, there are many believers in China who were saved. I read this in a book, I don't remember the name of the book.

But this is 10 or 15 years ago. They believe their mission is to walk to Israel, which means they're walking through all these Muslim countries because they want to share the gospel along the way to who? Muslims. And they want to end up in Israel sharing it with Jews.

Do you know what they're doing with their lives when they do that? Putting them at great risk. Can you imagine going through a Muslim country and sharing the gospel? The following article about the rebirth of the nation of Israel comes from their website.

So what I'm doing, I'm quoting here information that is some of my words, but it's mostly words that I received when I read this article. And it just shows you what has happened in Israel's history. In April of 70 AD, a lot of you will know this, 40 years after Jesus' prophecy in Luke, the Roman general Titus besieged the city of Jerusalem with over 100,000 people trapped inside. Anarchy, fear, and starvation reigned within the city walls. Outside the city camp, the Romans, who would crucify any man, woman, or child trying to flee the city.

So many crosses were being made that the woods and the surrounding area were almost completely deforested. After a four-month siege on the 10th of August, the Romans stormed the city, killing everyone who was left inside and completely destroying the city and the temple. It was said that so many were slain on the temple mount that the stairs to the temple flowed with blood. As the fire set by the Romans raged through the sanctuary in the temple, the silver and gold which had been placed there for safekeeping melted and ran down between the stones. So you know what the Roman soldiers did? They tore apart the stones to retrieve the gold and silver, literally leaving not one stone left upon another, as Yeshua had foretold 40 years earlier. If God's Word says it, what?

You can believe it. At first, after they destroyed Jerusalem in the temple, the Romans forbade Jews to enter Jerusalem. And then 60 years later, with another failed revolt on the part of the Jews against the Romans, they were scattered out of Judea. They thus began the period of the second Jewish exile, which was much longer than the first exile, which is the Babylonian exile, which lasted how many years?

Seventy. For the next 1,900 years, the Jewish people would be scattered throughout the earth where they would endure relentless persecution. Despite centuries of separation, Jerusalem remained the dream at the core of every Jewish heart. Throughout the generations, when gathering together to celebrate Passover each year, the Jews around the world would end their meal with a proclamation next year in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is like a magnet to the Jews. In Luke 21 verses 20 and 24, Jesus prophesied this.

Are you ready? But when you see Jerusalem surrendered by armies, then know that its desolation is near. He's talking about 70 AD. And they will fall by the sword and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Did you hear that?

Is it not still true? Hamas or Gentiles, they trampled Israel on October the 7th. On May 14th, 1948, a miracle occurred when Israel became a nation born in a day fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 66 verse 8.

Go look it up. On that day, its founding leader, David Ben-Gurion, declared independence for the Jewish state. Immediately, Israel was attacked by five invading Arab armies. Again, this was back in 1948. And even though Israel was outmanned, it had a few weapons. I think they stole a tank from the British and they had about 10,000 rifles and they had two or three planes they threw together. They fought against five well-armed armies. The Lord gave them victory.

But it's only a partial victory. Because the Jordanian army had captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Old City. And they banished the Jews from those areas, which the Old City contained what? The temple ground, the Temple Mount. All of this would change in the miraculous six-day war in 1967. Just two days into that war, Israeli paratroopers captured the Old City from the Jordanians and secured the Temple Mount. At once, over the Israeli radio could be heard a victorious shout. The Temple Mount is in our hands. The Temple Mount is in our hands. For the first time in 1,900 years since the devastating destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, in the long and miserable exile, Jews had returned to Israel and Jerusalem was again in their control. Dazed and awestruck, the battle-weary Israeli paratroopers made their way to the Western Wall.

Touching the stones of the ancient wall, it says the soldiers wept. That's what Jerusalem means to the Jews. Now, for the past 50 years, Jews from all over the world have been returning to the homeland. I remember when I was working as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, one day on the front page, it mentioned, I think there were 12 747s that took off from Ethiopia with all the Ethiopian Jews, and they were headed for Israel. And I think five babies were born in flight.

I'd have to find it, but there's a passage in the Bible that says they were returned bearing children. And I've read that, and I thought about Scripture. See, we need to look at the world through the lens of what?

Scripture. And as you know from the news, Israel is still surrounded by enemies who cry out. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Did you know that there are about 490 million Muslims that surround Israel, a nation of about 7 million Jews?

They are numbered 70 to 1. More of the land mass of all the Arab nations surrounding Israel turns about 7 million square miles. Israel is only 7,500 square miles. Arab nations are 800 times larger than Israel, which is only one-fifth the size of Kentucky.

The widest part is only 15 miles wide. Yet they cry out, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. How much more land do the Arabs need? None. How much more do they want? Just the land that belongs to Israel. It's like the rich man who was asked, who was worth billions, how much more money do you need?

You know what he said? Just one more dollar. I personally believe that the only reason why Israel even exists is because of God's sovereign will and His divine protection of His people, the Jews.

How else can you explain it? I also believe, along with many other believers, that God is not finished with Israel, spiritually speaking. The prophet Zechariah seems to point to a day in our future when God will have mercy once again and draw these obstinate people to Himself, just like I hope He does with our country. Zechariah 12, 10 says, I believe Zechariah is looking into the future, he says, and I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. And then Zechariah 13, 1 says, on that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and iniquity. Next September, when we come together, we will pick up our study of Romans and learn that Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.

Did you hear that? Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles comes in. Did you know that if you look through the Bible, God measures things? He measured the sin of the Amorites for 400 years before He allowed the Abraham's descendants to have the land. He gave the Canaanites 400 years to repent, but He was measuring their sin. I believe He measured the world of sin before the flood. I believe He's measuring the sin of the world right now, and at some point when it reaches its limit, God's going to say enough. But He's also measuring the number of Gentiles.

So here's the question for you to ponder over the summer. Has the full number of Gentiles come into the kingdom of God yet? And are we to expect a revival in the Holy Land in the near future?

If you want to understand what Paul says about this, let me see you in September and bring a friend with you. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word, and Lord, thank You that You're so patient with Israel, just like You're so patient with us, and yet at some point Your patience does run out. I pray, Lord, that You'll have mercy on the nation of Israel. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which Scripture tells us to do, and we pray, Lord, that there will be an outpouring of Your Spirit in the Holy Land soon. I also pray, Lord, for our country, that You'll have mercy on our country and that You'll bring revival to our country once again. And may that revival begin right here in our hearts and spread out through this community. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at findingpurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at findingpurpose.net. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-20 14:26:41 / 2024-03-20 14:42:06 / 15

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