Why some and not others?
Sadly some just refuse to come home! Some will reject God’s love time and time again. The fault is their own. God’s love for them has never wavered. Don’t reject God’s love when it is offered freely to you! This is your opportunity! The good news of Christ is offered to you today! Why are some lost? They reject God’s love in Christ.
But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19 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.”
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
There are really two mottos by which one can live. One motto leads to a wasted life and the other leads to a fulfilling and rewarding life. Here they are: “Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today!” And the other: “The perfect day to begin any project is tomorrow!” Clearly the latter motto is the motto of the lazy man who has no ambition and no desire to make the most of each new day. Such a man will not go far in this world. The first motto is the motto of the man who makes the most of each new day. He is the man who lays his head down on his pillow at night exhausted from the day’s activities. He may not have gotten everything done that day that he wanted to, but he didn’t “burn any daylight” either. He used the time given him to the best of his ability.
What all of this has to do with the word of God is simply this: Today is our opportunity to hear the Word of God. How many days like this do you think you have left? I wonder if the people in Nazareth who listened to Jesus in the synagogue that day realized that would be their only opportunity to sit at his feet in their church to hear his word! Sometimes we handle the Word of God so carelessly. Such a lazy attitude toward the means of grace if not corrected will lead to our spiritual ruin. Day by day we slip farther and farther away from God. It has happened before as we will hear in this portion of God’s Word. Only by God’s grace can we avoid making the same mistake. So, let us “not put off until tomorrow what we can do right now!” Let us listen to the Word of God. Cherish it. And share it before we perish!
There are some things that God teaches us in his Word that are difficult for us to understand. Such as “why are some saved and others are lost?” In chapters 9-11 of Romans, St. Paul teaches us the answer to that question. Let us learn from him today!
Why Some and Not Others?
Because some reject God’s love
Because God saves us by his grace
A couple verses earlier St. Paul had made the comment: “Not all the Israelites accepted the good news” (Ro 10:16). To which St. Paul responds in our text: “But I ask, Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” The problem is not that the people didn’t hear the Word of God. The problem is that the Word of God wasn’t important to them! It is always and only the means of grace that saves sinners. But if people don’t care about the means of grace, they are rejecting God’s love for them. Sadly, the gospel does fall on deaf ears! Some simply don’t care! The Word of God is not a priority in their lives. They think they have a hundred “tomorrows” to hear the Word! Remember, time is flying by.
Paul raises another question: Did Israel not understand?” Is that why so many Jews rejected the gospel? Was it unclear? If the Word of God is so unclear, why then do so many others get it? The problem was that the Jews rejected it! They had it with them for generations and squandered the opportunity God had given them! So many people grow up in a Christian home and are exposed to the Word of God for years and they still have no urgency about hearing the Word of God. Worship isn’t important because the Word of God isn’t important to them! The bottom line is that many do reject God’s love for them.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” Do you think the heathen nations to which the apostles spread the gospel were looking for the gospel? Did God command to come to church? No! He commanded the church to go to them! “I was found by those who did not seek me!” Sinners are looking for a god who will reward them for being good. Sinners want a god who won’t send anyone to hell. They don’t want a just and holy god. They want a god who will accept them on their own terms. God has to find us because search as we might, we would never find him! He causes us to see that we need a Savior. He shows us our sins so that we can see how much we need him. He works faith in our hearts. God looked for us and he found us!
God never tires of searching for the lost. Again St. Paul quotes from Isaiah and says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” If you were to hold out your hands for your grandchild to come running into your arms, eventually they will either come or you will give up trying! God’s hands never grow weary. He longs for sinners to return to him. His arms are always open. He sees us when we run away from him and he finds us when we are lost and he longs to embrace us again!
Sadly some just refuse to come home! Some will reject God’s love time and time again. The fault is their own. God’s love for them has never wavered. Don’t reject God’s love when it is offered freely to you! This is your opportunity! The good news of Christ is offered to you today! Why