Welcomed or Doomed?

Romans 9:19-33 (ESV)

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.

Yesterday, we looked at the first half of this chapter. We discussed salvation is by Grace, not works. We also looked at the Sacrifice Christ made so that we may be free.

Now this half, speaks about some people being destined for destruction. This is hard. How can a loving God send people to destruction?–short answer, He doesn’t. What He does, is calls those whom He foreknew as receptive to Him, and the others GOD DOES NOT FORCE to love Him. The problem is, that we all sin, and fall short of God’s requirements. God looks at the heart, and those who are humble and submit to Him, He accepts.

But even if God did choose to send some to destruction, He is the Creator, He may choose whom He will. But Jesus died for all, you say. This is true, but not all receive Him. Jesus said that whomever received Him, He had the power to give to them eternal life. Rather than moan and groan about whom is or is not accepted into God’s Kingdom, we should love people, and tell them about the Gift of God that is available if they will simply accept it.

I am still amazed that God chose me. He has blessed me with a wonderful family: a wonderful wife, two sons, and a daughter.

I continually wonder about why God puts up with us the way He does, and then I remember, Oh, right, Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of all who will come to Him! So spread the word! Get others interested in this Marvelous God. The one who came to earth to pay our penalty, so we can have fellowship with Him once again.

by Virgil Stripes

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