Friday, October 16, 2015

Dial Daily Bread: "A Remnant" Will Receive the Full Gift of Repentance

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Lord has a special love for the Jewish people, according to Paul's Romans (chapters 9-11). The apostle's idea is not mere personal national or ethnic pride on his part; it's theological. That is, he sees the Jews as God's chosen descendants of Abraham who were called to win the world to reconciliation with God, and thus put an end to the misery that sin has caused to the human race.

But the Jews did what all of us have done--they sinned against God. The divine call to Abraham and his descendants did not abolish the sinful nature that they, along with all of us, inherited from the fallen Adam. That "carnal mind," says Paul, "is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).

In God's special call to the Jews, He allowed them to demonstrate what that carnal mind can do when it does what it wants to do. The Jews were left on their own to act out to the full that enmity in that they crucified their God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

No pagan people have ever fallen that low. Jeremiah asks, "Has a[ny other] nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit" (2:11). They have led the world in "enmity against God" and raised a cross on which they crucified Him in the most public manner possible.

Nevertheless, He has forgiven them, for when their leaders incited the Romans to drive the nails through His wrists and ankle bones, the Messiah prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). That means He has forgiven all the Jews in a corporate or legal sense; but they as individuals can never receive the blessing of that forgiveness until they realize what the sin is (not only was, for it continues), and open their hearts to receive the gift of repentance which will always lead to confession and recovery of what they threw away

Paul says that "a remnant" will come to realize the truth and will receive the full gift of repentance (Rom. 11:5). They will lead out in the last gospel task of lighting the world with the glory of "the everlasting gospel" which will be "the third angel's message in verity." Those who were called to herald it to the world have refused to do so, "just like the Jews" who refused to evangelize their world for thousands of years.

Thank God that repentance is possible. God has faith in human beings that they will eventually respond appropriately. But why must we delay that wondrous time any longer?

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 14, 2007.

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