Father, as we now come to the time to look into Your Word, we know that Your Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. It is able to pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And so, we ask now that as we look into Your Word that it be powerfully at work in our own minds and in our own hearts. I pray for these men that You would continue to sanctify them and strengthen them, and do the same in my own life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Alright. Well, men, we are stepping back into Romans 11. So, we have spent the last month going back to the beginning of Romans 1 just to complete our study, and we have done that now. And so, I want to step back into Romans 11. And this morning we are going to be looking at verses 23 to 27, and if you’re taking notes the title of this is “The Future Salvation of Israel.”
Romans 11:23 to 27; so, I want to begin by reading these verses. And the Apostle Paul writes, “And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?” Question mark. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’ ‘This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'”
So, these verses are all about Israel, and it is all about the future of Israel. And if you picked up your Bible and began reading in Genesis and you read through the whole Old Testament, you would be impressed with several things. Obviously, God and grace and promises of a Messiah, but one dominant observation that would surely capture your attention is Israel. I mean, beginning in Genesis 12 and going all the way through to the end of Malachi, it is just non-stop God’s dealing with the nation Israel. I mean, that is obvious. It is the birth of Israel. It is their bondage in Egypt. It is their wilderness wandering. It is their going into the Promised Land. It is their being taken out of the Promised Land. It is their being brought back into the Promised Land. I mean, that is the story line of the Old Testament. It all revolves around Israel. It’s prophets, it’s kings, it’s judges. It’s the law, it’s the sacrificial system, it’s the tabernacle, it’s the temple, etc., etc.
And when you come to the New Testament, it just picks up with more Israel. In fact, when you start with Matthew 1 verse 1, it is the genealogy of the Messiah and it is just a walk through the generations of Israel. The four Gospels revolve around Jerusalem, the Pharisees. The Jewishness of it is just dominant. And then you read the book of Acts and the church is birthed in the capital city of Israel, in Jerusalem, and they finally are scattered. But Paul is going into synagogues, Jewish synagogues in the book of Acts. And we come to Romans and he says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
And so, just a casual reading of the Bible, you obviously are captivated with God’s myoptic focus on the nation Israel. So, we come to Romans 11, in the beginning of Romans 11, and God says, “I have given them a spirit of stupor. I have hardened their hearts. I have blinded their eyes. I have deafened their ears.” And so, we ask ourselves, “So, is there any future for Israel? Is it all over for Israel? Is it now only a Gentile bride for the church?”
And the importance of these verses is to give us the macro picture. It is to open up the lens and to allow us to see God’s plan for history on a large-scale basis. And what we read here is that God is not finished with Israel and that there is a future yet for Israel. And this is somewhat relevant for us as we pick up the newspaper, and Israel just won’t go away. You cannot buy a plane ticket to Sodom and Gomorrah. I mean, you can’t buy a plane ticket to the Canaanite cities, but there is Israel. And that is by no coincidence. God continues to hold His chosen people in His hand. Now, right now they are apostate. They have repudiated their Messiah and that is the reason why God has hardened their hearts and deafened their ears and blinded their eyes. And let me tell you when God does that, turn out the lights. The party is over. However, it is not completely over. And at the end of the age, before the second coming of Jesus Christ, there will be an extraordinary conversion of the nation Israel under the power of the gospel so much so that verse 26 says, “All Israel will be saved.”
So, the best is yet to come for Israel, and God is the God of history, and what we see in this is that God is sovereign in salvation and God will determine when individuals within a nation will be saved. It is all in God’s eternal purpose and plan. So that is what we are looking at here today. When we get to Romans 12 for like the next year, it is just all going to be practical daily Christian life living. We are here at the end of the highly doctrinal section. And so, Paul is about to wrap up the doctrinal section, and so we want to finish strong as we come to the end of Romans 11. God has put this in our Bible for us to understand and for us to act upon.
So, let us look at this now beginning in verse 23. And as we have a little outline to walk us through this, I want you to note in verse 23, the conversions, the conversions, because Paul states that the unbelieving Jews will be converted in the last days. So, in verse 23, “And they also.” We want to ask the question, “Who is the ‘they’?” And the “they” refers to unbelieving Jews. “They also.” The “also” means they are much like unbelieving Gentiles. “They also, if they do not continue in their unbelief.” Now that’s a double negative, “not” and “unbelief,” which means if they do not continue in their unbelief, means if they do believe in Jesus Christ. This is hinting that there is still in the future a coming to faith on a large grand scale of Jewish people, ethnic Jews, and it will happen at the time, verse 26 tells us, when “the Deliverer will come from Zion.” That is the heavenly Zion and the Deliverer is the Lord Jesus Christ. And there will be a door opened, and a great white horse, and Him who sat upon it is faithful and true, and many diadems upon His head and the blood of His enemies on His robe, and a sharp two-edged sword will come from His mouth. And He will descend out of Zion, and He will come back at the battle of Armageddon, and He will land at the Mount of Olives. And the Mount of Olives will split in two.
It is going to be a dramatic second coming of Jesus Christ. And when this Deliverer comes from Zion, at that time period there is going to be an extraordinary turning away from unbelief in the nation Israel to their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The veil will fall from their eyes and they will recognize the nail-pierced hands of the Messiah as, “That’s our Messiah that we crucified.” And they will mourn for Him and cry out for Him in true repentance and faith. That is what this is talking about.
And it says they will be grafted in. Do you see that in verse 23? They will not continue in unbelief as they have for the last two thousand years. They will be grafted in, and it is a passive verb meaning they will not graft themselves back in. Someone will act upon them, and that someone will graft them back in to the place of blessing. And that someone is sovereign God who has infinite mercy and who has limitless grace and will graft back in to the very same olive tree from which they were cut off two thousand years ago.
And he says, “For God is able to graft them in again.” And again, this hints at the future conversion of the nation Israel on a grand scale. So, this tells us that no group of people is beyond the saving power of God. And if God can do this among people that He has hardened their hearts and that He has blinded their eyes and deafened their ears, if God can do it to the nation Israel, listen! God can do it in America. God can do it in China. God can do it in Russia. God’s arm is not so short but that He cannot save. He is a God of infinite mercy and grace. And when God steps in and intervenes in the affairs of human history, it pivots in a heartbeat. And when He opens a heart, His grace comes triumphantly into that heart. So, that is the conversions and that is what is ahead.
Now second, “the comparison.” In verse 24, he draws a comparison and it is an argument from the lesser to the greater. And his argument, Paul’s argument will be, listen! If God can graft in unbelieving Gentiles, cut them off of a wild olive tree and graft them into the natural olive tree, then God can easily do it with Jews who started out in the natural olive tree and were cut off and removed. If God can graft in unbelieving Jews from another tree, God can easily do it with Jews putting them back in their place near to God and grafted into the blessings of God.
So, that is the argument of verse 24. So, let us look at it carefully. Verse 24 begins with the word “for.” I just want to make a comment there. That begins an explanation of the previous verse. I have told you before the word “for” may be Paul’s most used word in his thirteen epistles. He is always following up a verse with an explanation of what he just said and taught. So, verse 24 is inseparably connected to verse 23 just by the mere fact it begins with the word “for,” f-o-r.
“For if you.” Now, the “you” is different from the “they” in verse 23. The “you” refers to believing Gentiles. Paul is writing to the church in Rome, and the church in Rome which is far away from Jerusalem and far away from the Middle East. Rome, obviously, is in Europe, and it is a predominantly Gentile church. And so, when he says “you” in verse 24, he is addressing this to the believers in the church at Rome who are heavily Gentile-oriented.
So, “For if you were cut off,” and they were cut off by God, by the way, “from what is by nature a wild olive tree.” Now, Paul does not give us the explanation for who or what this wild olive tree is, and so we are left to work with the analogy. And if the natural olive tree is the place of blessing and the place where you hear the Word of God and the place where God is near and God is making Himself known and there is the gospel being offered to you, then this wild olive tree is an olive tree that is growing out in the wilderness, out in the desert, far removed from the hearing of the Word of God, far removed from true religion. This wild olive tree is a place of paganism. It is a place of hedonism. It is a place of false religion. It is a place of idolatrous religion.
And that is where the Gentiles were, whether it was in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Roman Empire, and just all of the Greek and Roman mythological gods and all of that. That is where these Gentiles were. And God by His mercy and grace pursued certain Gentiles who were those whom He chose before the foundation of the world, and God just intervened in the affairs of their life and God cut them off, and that was a blessing because they were cut off from false religion. They were cut off from pagan ideology and secular philosophies of Athens and the Greek philosophers, etc., that were devoid of God, the one true living God.
God intervened and cut them off. It says here, “and were grafted.” Again, I don’t want to be too given to the details here, but it is another passive verb meaning they didn’t graft themselves in. No one saves themselves, and no one seeks after God on their own. “There is none who seeks after God, no not one,” Romans 3:10 and 11. No, God is the seeker and God is the intervener and God is the convicter and the drawer and the regenerator and the granter of repentance and faith. Salvation is of the Lord. It is all of God. And so, it is implied even in the way this is stated. “They were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree.” And this cultivated olive tree is true religion. It is biblical Christianity. It is the place of God’s full blessing. It is the place of God’s grace and God’s mercy.
So, to this point in verse 24 Paul has argued, if God has done this with Gentiles who were living out in in the middle of nowhere, out in a wilderness, out in a desert, and God came to them way far away from God and cut them off from their false beliefs and brought them to the true olive tree and God grafted them in and brought them into union and communion with the one true living God, he now says, “How much more will these who are natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?”
And so, again it is an argument from the lesser to the greater and it is saying, “How much more then will God do this with these unbelieving Jews who have been cut off from the true olive tree and have been cast aside and set aside at the proper time in history when the Deliverer will come from Zion?” God will pick up these discarded branches that had been cut off and God will graft them back into their original place, back to where they started in this olive tree, which again represents the place of blessing with God. And again, the verb tenses indicate they will be grafted. They won’t graft themselves back in. This will be all the work of God. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things,” verse 36 will tell us. I can’t wait to get to that verse.
And it just says God is the initiator of all salvation. God is the accomplisher of all salvation. God is the aim and the goal of all salvation. And we see it loud and clear here in verse 24. So, verse 24 ends with a question mark. You will note it is in the form of a rhetorical question and the implied answer to this is, “Yes, God can do this. God is able to do this.” And let me just say, on a personal level, God is able to do this in your family and He is able to do it with your friends, and no one is so far removed from God, but that God is not yet greater to intervene and to bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ. It does not mean that God will. God will do what is right according to His eternal purpose and plan. But we don’t write off anyone until we show up at their funeral and there is no more opportunity for them to believe. So that is “the comparison.”
So, we come now to verse 25, “the clarification,” and it extends to the beginning of verse 26; 26 A. So, Paul now clarifies the present unbelief of Jews and their future salvation. So, verse 25 begins with our familiar word “for,” and Paul is just such a master teacher, these explanations are just coming in rapid-fire succession. So, “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery.”
Now, this tells us if Paul did not turn the cards over and let us see the other side of the tapestry, we would never know this. Now, in the Old Testament there are promises of this future salvation of Israel in the last days. That is not the mystery. We are going to see what the actual mystery is here in just a second. But he is addressing this to the believers in Rome. He says, “I do not want you, brethren,” predominantly Gentile believers, “to be uninformed,” so it is important that they know this, “of this mystery.”
Now, let us just talk for a second about a mystery. When I think of a mystery, I normally think of a conundrum, of a riddle that can’t be solved, of a puzzle that can’t be put together. It is just a mystery. There are all the pieces; I just can’t put it together. That is not how the Bible uses the word “mystery.” A mystery is not something that is difficult to grasp. A mystery is something that was previously concealed but is now made known, and when you see it is easy to understand. It is like there is a canvas over a statue and you just can’t see what is under the canvas, but as soon as the canvas is removed, “Oh, wow! I see it. Spectacular! That is not a mystery. I know exactly who that is. That is a statue of George Washington,” or whatever.
So, something has been concealed from New Testament believers that Paul is now removing the canvas to give you another insight into what God is doing in history. And so, the secret is now out. The secret is now revealed. He says, “So that you will not be wise in your own estimation.”
This is to say, “So you won’t try to figure this out on your own because you would never figure it out on your own anyway.” This comes from the genius of God, the infinite genius of God, His master plan for human history.
So, humble yourself and have a teachable spirit and let God now instruct you in the mystery which you would have never in a thousand million years come to this conclusion. “So that you will not be wise in your own estimation,” now, here is the mystery, “that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved.”
Now, there is a lot in that. He says a partial hardening has happened to Israel. What that means is, first of all, not every Jew has been hardened. The one who is writing this book is a Jew, the Apostle Paul. There are other Jews who were with him, Timothy or others in his team, I don’t want to get into Timothy, but there were Jews that were converted in the first century. I mean, look at the day of Pentecost and the vast number of Jews that were converted. In fact, the church in Jerusalem was essentially a Jewish church. So, it wasn’t a full and complete hardening of everyone in that generation, and this also indicates that this hardening is not final. It is only partial chronologically, that there will be an undoing of this hardening, and here’s the time, “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” And what that means is until the vast number of Gentiles whom God is going to save according to His predetermined plan and foreknowledge. Once God has brought in the full number of Gentiles who are going to be saved, then God will turn His attention back to the Jew. Then God will bring to the fulfillment, “All Israel will be saved.”
So, right now Israel is still sitting on a shelf, having been set aside by God. And God has hardened them, God has blinded them, God has deafened them. They have eyes; they cannot see. They have ears; they cannot hear. They have a heart; they cannot believe. And there, God is working right now predominantly with Gentiles. And when God has brought in the “fullness of the Gentiles,” and I take this to be somewhat of a figure of speech that the vast number of the Gentiles, once they have been brought to faith in Jesus Christ, God will then in the last days turn His attention back to His chosen people whom He set apart beginning with Abraham. And God will bring in a glorious evangelistic harvest of Jews. And the only one who can do this is God, because God is the one who has hardened them and only God and God alone can undo that hardening. God has blinded them. Only God can give them eyes to see. God has deafened them. Only God can give them ears to hear. And so, he says at the beginning of verse 26, “and so,” which has kind of a conclusion feel, “and so,” or so then, “all Israel will be saved.”
Well, it is obvious Israel here does not refer to the church. It is referring to ethnic Israel. It is referring to those who are of the lineage coming out of the loins of Abraham. And when it says, “All Israel will be saved,” I think that is to be taken as a figure of speech, as hyperbole, that a vast number, huge number of Jews will be saved in the last days. “Saved,” here means they will be regenerated by the Spirit of God. They will be converted, and they will be brought into saving relationship with Jesus Christ. And so, this large number of Jews will be saved. So, there is a glorious ingathering of souls that is awaiting the last day, especially among the Jewish people around the world.
Now, this leads to number four, “the confirmation.” And beginning in the middle of verse 26 and including verse 27, Paul now confirms this truth by citing the Old Testament. And the impact of this is to say to the church in Rome, “This has been in the Bible for centuries.” I am just unveiling the mystery part of this, but in seed form this was made known in the Old Testament.
So, he says in verse 26, “Just as it is written,” and he will now first quote Isaiah 59 verse 20, “The Deliverer will come.” In Isaiah, He is referred to as “The Redeemer will come,” and the Deliverer is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, which simply means the Savior will come. Salvation means deliverance from ruin, rescue from impending peril. And so, the word “Deliverer” just simply means Savior. It is nothing complicated. And to be delivered means there is something very threatening that is about to happen to you. And that which is threatening is the wrath of God, Romans 1:18. And at the end of the age, it will be the hatred of the world unleashed upon the nation Israel as it will gather together in the Middle East in an unprecedented military buildup to attempt to annihilate the Jewish people.
And there is an anti-Semitism that just will not go away, that tragically is a part of the total depravity and the radical corruption of the human heart, a satanically-inspired hatred of the Jewish people. And this Deliverer will descend from heaven at just the right moment before Israel will be wiped off the map and bring the Jewish people to faith in Christ, and Christ Himself will bodily and physically intervene.
So, that is what is being said here, “The Deliverer will come from Zion.” Interestingly, in the Isaiah 59:20 reference, it says that the Deliverer will come to Zion. Here in Romans, this Zion is the heavenly Zion. In Isaiah, it is the earthly Zion, which is Jerusalem. And what this is saying, at the second coming Jesus will come from Zion to Zion. He will come from the heavenly Zion to the earthly Zion. He will come from the throne of God in heaven to the literal city Jerusalem, and there His feet will step onto the Mount of Olives and it will split in two.
And when He comes, it says, “He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” Jacob is a reference to the whole nation of Israel. It is one name in place of the whole. It would almost be like Washington D.C. representing the entire United States. And “He will remove ungodliness.” This affirms their conversion to faith in Jesus Christ, and there will be the forgiveness of sins and “this ungodliness will be removed from them” speaks of the dramatic transformation of their life.
And then in verse 27, he is merging together two Old Testament quotations into one. It is Isaiah 59:21, which is the next verse in Isaiah 59, and then there is really the bleeding in and the undertone of Jeremiah 31, 33, and 34. “This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” And so, obviously this deliverance is a deliverance from the penalty of sin. It is a deliverance from the pollution and the practice of sin and it speaks to the future conversion of the Jews on the last day.
And even Reformed theologians have understood this. Even John Murray, who was the brilliant commentator of Romans who taught at Westminster Theological Seminary, clearly understood that this is ethnic Israel. The only time I flew to Tenth Presbyterian to hear James Montgomery Boice preach, that Sunday night he actually preached Romans 11:26, “And all Israel will be saved.” And James Montgomery Boice, the greatest of all Presbyterian preachers from the last hundred years, clearly understood in the text this is a reference to the Jewish people who will be converted in the last days.
And I want to show you in the book of Revelation, maybe now to get into something mildly controversial. Yeah, wait till I get to the questions. Well, I am sorry I talked so long that there will not be…
In Revelation 7, just so you will know where I am coming from and you know that I am like an eight-point Calvinist, okay? I am highly Reformed, five are not enough for me, but I am also premillennial and I just have to be. And I take the book of Revelation in a futuristic way. I don’t think Revelation 6 through 18 has ever occurred in human history. The scale of what I read in Revelation 6 through 18 is so beyond any allegorical interpretation. And so, I believe that this is pointing to the last days.
But in Revelation chapter 7, there are some interesting things that take place. He says in verse 3, “Do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” And so, we would ask the question, “So, who are these who will be sealed on their forehead?” And so, he tells us in verse 4, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.” You know, simple me, I just take that in its most plain interpretation, whatever it is at face value. Even John Calvin said the interpretation of any passage of Scripture is what is the plainest, most obvious interpretation. So I just take Israel to be Israel.
So verse 5, “From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand.” And what is interesting is today no one knows what their tribe is. Only God knows. And what is also interesting, if you take this as a precise number and not just as a representative number, only God could do this because only God knows who is of the tribe of Gad. I mean, no one could try to stage this in other words. No one knows who is the tribe of Reuben. No one knows who is the tribe of Judah, except sovereign God in heaven.
And when God saves Israel in the last days, He knows exactly their DNA lineage. He knows exactly. He can go back two thousand years when they were scattered in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem. God knows everything instantly, immediately, perfectly, eternally, and only God will be able to save twelve thousand here, twelve thousand here, twelve thousand here of people who don’t even know what their lineage is, interesting. Verse 6: “From the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from Manasseh twelve thousand, Simeon twelve thousand.” Verse 7, “Levi twelve thousand, Issachar twelve thousand, Zebulun twelve thousand, Joseph twelve thousand, Benjamin twelve thousand.”
I think whether you take the number figurative or literal, don’t get hung up with that. Whether it is a 144,000 or whether it just represents a large number, the point is Israel will be saved in the last days, and the point is God knows their tribes. And I am not an amillennialist. I am not a postmillennialist. I don’t think that, you know, Judah represents the Baptist and Reuben represents the Presbyterians and Asher represents the Methodists, and you know, this is a picture of the church. I just take it at face value for what it says, the plainest, clearest, simplest, interpretation. That is what it is.
And so, there is going to be this extraordinary conversion in the last day, and these 144,000 will be like evangelists turned loose on the globe, and they will reach other Jews with the gospel, and they will be severely persecuted. And when you come to Revelation 14, these 144,000, “I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.” That is what is branded into their forehead. It is the saving knowledge of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. That is what is being pictured here.
“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps,” which is a celebration instrument, “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures.” So, I think the Lamb standing on Mount Zion is the heavenly Zion and these 144,000 are no longer on the earth. They actually are before the throne of God in heaven. And it is because they have been martyred and because they have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ at a time at the end of the age when unprecedented and unparalleled persecution will come upon those who name the name of Christ.
So, verse 3, “They sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures.” Literally translated out of the Greek is “the four living ones” meaning four guardian angels, four living angels who guard the throne of God on the four corners of the throne. “And the elders,” representing all the redeemed of all the ages, “and no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth.”
In other words, they were converted in such a dramatic fashion and they paid such an extraordinary price for their faith that there is a depth of their knowledge of God and love for Christ that even those already in heaven cannot fully understand as they have gone through the deep waters of the great tribulation and unleashed persecution upon them. They sing a song that even the elders are not quite as familiar with that song. Verse 4, “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” Verse 5, “And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” And it speaks of the dramatic conversion that they will undergo.
And as you recall when I read Romans 11:26, it says, “He will remove ungodliness from Jacob and take away their sins.” This is just an echo of the ungodliness that will be removed, the blatant womanizing and immorality and adultery, even pornography, etc., etc., etc., that when they are converted it says they will not defile themselves with women anymore. They will be chaste. They will be preserved in purity and cleanliness, which will cause them to stand out like bright shining stars on a dark night as they live in the last chapter of human history.
So, I know I’ve opened Pandora’s Box, and I know that some are in shock to hear these words come from my mouth. And so, whatever questions you have, whatever comment you want to make, I am more than happy to let Kent answer those for you. So, if there is anyone here in the room…I will tell you what. I didn’t even end with some application. Let me just end with some application. Let me do that. Let me give you three words. I see my son James over there with a “So what?” So we got to have a “So what?”
Number one, rest. You need to rest in the fact that God is sovereignly in control of human history. He is directing all events to their appointed end. And even as you know, rumblings, the coronavirus, and interestingly enough, well, I won’t get into anymore…no, no, no, I won’t get into anymore Revelation. Interestingly enough, one of the judgments is “pestilence.” So, we just need to rest that God has it all under control, and we need to act wisely and take precautions and act responsibly. But God has already appointed the end and He has already appointed all the means to that end. So, you can just rest in God’s sovereignty over human history.
Second, realize. Having looked at this, we need to realize afresh that salvation is of the Lord, that every new birth is a divine miracle, that God is active and man is passive, that God is the seeker, not man. The Bible says, “There is none who seeks after God, no not one.” If you had a seeker-sensitive church service, the only person to show up would be God. God is the seeker and God is the one who draws people to Himself so that we will seek the Lord. “Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” But the initiator of all seeking is God. God is the one who cuts off the branch. God is the one who grafts in the branch. Salvation is of the Lord. So, we need to realize afresh from this passage that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ today, it is because God pursued you, because God sought you, and God grafted you in to the place of blessing and you are now in union and communion with God through His Son Jesus Christ. So, all praise goes to God for your salvation. So, afresh again this morning, give glory to God for your place in this olive tree.
And then third, rejoice. Rejoice that God has taken away your sins. Rejoice that God has removed your ungodliness. Rejoice that He has grafted you into the place of blessing, a place that you would have never known on your own, and even your worst days are good days because God has opened the windows of heaven and has poured out His blessing upon your life. Even your worst days are good days because of what God has done in your life.
So, there is the closing, and I will tell you what. I will give you a fourth R, “repent.” And if you have never repented of your sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ…I don’t know where we are on God’s calendar, but I will tell you this: we are closer to the time of the return of Christ than we have ever been before. I will tell you that. And if you have never believed in Christ, you need to stop procrastinating because there is going to be the time when there will be no more time and there will be no second chance. You either believe in Christ in this lifetime or you will never believe in Him. And so, repent, turn away from your sin, turn away from your false religion, and turn to the one true living God through His Son Jesus Christ and He will save you, and He will graft you in to the fullness of His blessing.
Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” His supply far exceeds your needs. His supply far exceeds whatever demand you would have. So, turn to Him and He is your all-sufficient Savior.