God's Kindness Gone Fishing Series Romans 11:1-24 9 am Service
Gone Fishing Series
The average person does not come to the Lord through us preaching hellfire and brimstone; they come through acts of kindness. We live in a mean and cruel world. When we consistently show people kindness, we gain their hearts, and they become open to our message. Family members often become very resistant, where we can't convince them with words, but if we can maintain our changed attitude and approach in life, it will eventually be hard for them to deny.
It seemed that God had rejected the Israelites for rejecting His Son. The church's history shows many believers have been deceived to think so, but that is not the case, as presented in Romans 11. The Lord allowed judgment to fall on the children of Israel, where they were taken into captivity numerous times in the OT, but it was always for them to learn their lesson and eventually be restored. The Lord never changes, He loves the nation of Israel and always will, and it is promised that just as there was a remnant of prophets who did not bow down to Baal, there is and will be a remnant of Jewish people that put their faith in Jesus Christ.
We may need to separate ourselves from those we love for a period because of their hostility towards us, but it is not that we have rejected them. We trust the Lord to continue drawing our entire households and friends to salvation. Paul focused his ministry on Gentiles but always tried to reach Jews first in every city he visited.
People don't like feeling rejected, but as children of God, we are not to become bitter but rather to continue to show God's grace-His undeserved kindness. There is no greater power than love; it reaps coals on the heads of those who curse us, eventually causing them to open their hearts to God. They may remain asleep for an extended period as described in Romans 11:7-8; they may stumble and fall seemingly beyond recovery; it is the consequences of their disobedience. Yet, the blessings of God will make them jealous, and they will eventually humble themselves and accept the incredible mercy of God.
We are beyond grateful to be grafted into the olive branch as children of Abraham, children of faith, but let us not be hostile towards those who have been cut off. God is both kind and severe. He judges and also shows mercy. Our job is to hate sin but love the sinner, to draw people back, not push them away. As it says in verse 24, just as God grafted us into his cultivated tree, he will graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong.
Let us never give up on our loved ones; we may have to keep our distance for a while, but never too far away where we cannot be reached when they change their heart and seek us out. Let us stand on the promises of salvation for both the nation of Israel and are lost Gentile family and friends.
Joshua Kennedy, Pastor
2235 Ocean Heights
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
(609) 927-4560(w), (609) 402-8869(c)