I wish all of Romans could be like chapter 8. However, Paul is called to take on the seriously challenging work of teaching about both acceptance and rejection, particularly as it applies to both Jews and Gentiles. Romans 9:1-29 is a really heavy, but really necessary chapter. In this episode of Christianity 101 we explore the huge topic of God’s Sovereignty.
Everything seemed to be just fine. He knew I attended church, he seemed to be interested in it, so I shared the Gospel with him. What followed absolutely took me by surprise. I wouldn’t say he became hostile, but there was a level of anger in his reaction. The communication of the Gospel flatlined a friendship and caused a person to choose to reject Jesus. I walked away from the conversation thinking, “Man, if I kept my mouth shut maybe things would be better.” But, I know that’s not true. What do I do when a clear understanding of the Gospel is the very thing that causes someone to reject me and Jesus?
I have spoken to people who find it hard to talk about God, judgment and acceptance in the same sentence. Some have told me they feel that God accepts everyone so the church should never preach about judgment and get so picky about some sins over others. Others have told me they feel that God, in concept, is too judging, not accepting and completely unfair to mix the good people in with the bad.
“I’m a fraud.” “My relationship with God is on the rocks.” “I think I’m failing.” As a pastor, those are statements I hear from time to time from really great people, both new Believers and long standing Believers, who are being really honest about their feelings. Thank God that Christianity is based on our inadequacy rather than our ability.