2001-04-26 - Without Repentance
Rom 11:28-29 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (NAS)
Less than 100 years after the death of the Lord Jesus, the nation that had been Israel had been shattered under the heel of the Roman Army. Those who held to the Jewish faith and culture were largely scattered to the four winds in search of the basics of life - food and shelter. Jerusalem had been sieged and ruined. The political Messiah Israel had waited for, who would throw off the yoke of tyranny and oppression had not come. But still Messiah had come.
Those who suffered through the siege of Jerusalem saw and lived horrors that are almost unthinkable. For many, it must have been a devastating experience physically, mentally and spiritually. Jesus had not come as they expected Him to come, and so He was rejected as Messiah. This rejection was in the plan of God in order to allow the rest of the people of the earth to be given the chance to hear the gospel. During the intervening centuries, a line of thinking formed that held the promises made to Israel had been given to the body of Christ. But here, we see a clear statement that says God will not go back on His promise. Today, we see Israel as a nation again, though spiritually awaiting revival, they are back in the land. God has preserved His chosen people and is quietly about the work of setting the stage for many amazing things to come. He has never repented of His promise to Israel.
It is the same with you and me, or anyone who claims the name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Though we may fail Him through deliberate disobedience at times, His gift of eternal life to us and the promises associated with it are never in jeopardy. The rewards available to us in eternity may be lost or gained, but the promise of salvation is not. And since Christ is our model, the promises we make to Him and to each other should hold as true and as fast be it a wedding vow or a promise of friendship. We are mortal and fallible men and women who will have struggles and squabbles that will try to separate us if we let them get between us. In the end, it is the same type of unyielding forgiveness and acceptance without repentance that holds earthly relationships together - spouse, sibling or friend, that Jesus has for each one who comes to Him with a penitent heart.
Num 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (NAS)
Lord Jesus - give us eyes to see and hearts to learn to imitate You in the firmness of Your promise. We must stand by our families and friends alike - never yielding to anger or sin, always ready to forgive and restore even before forgiveness is asked. As You were in the word bringing forgiveness to mankind while we were still Your enemies, give us endless actions and words to reach the hardened heart and firm hands of restoration to those who will hear. Amen.
Grace & Peace,