on FAITH

July 21, 2017

Not Because You Go To Church, you will enter Heaven…..

Going through Romans 9 the past few days and Paul again delivers a message straight from his heart to challenge the church not to neglect the work of Christ on the cross. He starts off by saying how blessed the Israelites are being exposed to the works of God. They had a front seat to what God is doing. In verse 4-5 he enumerates the benefits of being exposed to God’s words:

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever.

And just like any human, we have a tendency to neglect what is in front of us and miss the whole point of God’s means of exposing His love and grace to us.

In Romans 9:15-18, Paul wrote:

15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

 He was saying to the church that God shows mercy and compassion to whomever He wants to show mercy and compassion. He reminds them that not because you go to church, you automatically receive God’s grace and mercy. Paul stresses the point by telling them that God’s grace is not dependent on human will or exertion (actions) but on God, whose nature is to give mercy. Just like when He chose Jacob over Esau – Jacob did not deserve God’s mercy, but He gave mercy to whom He wants to give mercy.Though both Jacob and Esau deserved punishment, God in His sovereign will choose to give grace to Jacob.
I remember growing up hearing preachings from our pastor that reminds us that not because we are going to church, we will automatically go to heaven. The same way, not because you sleep in a garage, you are a car or that eating at Mc Donalds regularly, doesn’t make you a burger.
Though the Israelites were given front seats to God’s presence, not all were saved. The same way the gospel is preached today and people hear it, not everyone responds positively. God, in His grace, softens our heart so that we may respond to His graciousness.
It brings us back to relying on God’s grace and mercy and not our own will and actions. The more I understand His grace and mercy, the more I am being transformed to Christ-likeness. It is His grace, His mercy, His power displayed that ignites the transformation in me.
Can I fully explain God’s grace? I don’t think so. All I can say is that I amazed and humbled to have been given the privilege to experience His unconditional love, grace, power, and mercy. Lord, I am forever indebted to you!
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