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            God has given every human being on earth the power to choose their own destiny.  Everyone must put a trusting faith in what the Atonement Blood of Christ accomplished for them, or by their own freewill choice, they will forfeit eternal life.  A believing and enduring faith on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is our only hope of entering Heaven.

            Abraham’s example of acting faith is the only valid faith.  He Romans 4:20-21 “Did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded [absolutely certain] that God had power to do what he had promised.”

            If God is all-powerful and always faithful to His Word, then it should be easy to believe He will do amazing things for those who believe and trust Him.  Jesus said Matthew 19:26 ”With God all things are possible.”  And He told the man who needed healing for his son Mark 9:23, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." 

            God has a specific plan and purpose in everything.  Romans 9:17-18 “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in [throughout] all the earth.’  Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

            After seven dreadful plagues, Pharaoh realizes the awesome power of God.  Exodus 9:15-16 ”For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.  And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”

            The Israelites were not willing to trust God in faith, and they proved their unbelief by asking Aaron to “make us gods who will go before us” Exodus 32:1.  Trusting in any thing, any one, any plan, pill, prescription or policy—other than trusting in the living God alone, is a serious sin.  A true repentance and forsaking that misplaced trust would be necessary if we want to be forgiven.  God said the people Exodus 32:7-8 “corrupted themselves”—by their own choice, “They have turned aside quickly” from trust on Him.

            Moses prayed for God to spare them; and because ”God is love” 1 John 4:8, He will show mercy to anyone who is willing to repent, forsake their sins, and turn back to trust on Him.  It is our choice to believe Him and trust Him in faith; or to doubt Him and turn away in unbelief.  As long as our faith and dependence remains on the Atonement Blood of Christ by our own choice, we will be Romans 8:37 “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

            Our very existence depends on the mercy of God—all life is in His hands.  The apostle said Acts 17:25 ”Nor is He ministered to by human hands, as though He needed anything—but He Himself gives to all men life and breath and all things.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 ”It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”  God possesses, controls, and has power over everything.

            God has a purpose and plan for everything, and it is our choice and our responsibility to follow His plan by faith.  Things will work out for our eternal benefit, if we choose to remain in God’s plan, and not take ourselves out of that position of trust on Him by rebelling; making our own plans, and corrupting our own heart in the process.  Only God can cleanse our heart, and only we can make that choice to allow Him to do that spiritual work.

            God said Jeremiah 18:6-8 "’Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.  If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.’”  It is our choice to remain in His will by continuing to trust Him in believing faith, or to turn away in rebellion by trusting something else through unbelief.

            Romans 9:22-24 “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?  What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?”  God would be justified in destroying everyone at their first sin, but He is love, He is merciful and forgiving, so He is patient—wanting to change us, if we will allow Him, rather than give us the punishment we deserve.

            Exodus 34:5-7 “The LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.  And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate [merciful] and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness [truth], maintaining love [mercy] to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.”  God cannot forgive those who refuse to repent of unbelief.

            Romans 9:25-26 ”As He says also in Hosea [2:23]: ‘I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.’  And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God."  God wants everyone to be saved—but no one will be saved against their own will and choice.

            Knowing that God is the Creator of everything on earth, as well as the Sustainer of everyone in life, should impact everything we say and do.  Israel rejected God’s mercy and forgiveness so many times that He offered salvation to others.  Paul and Barnabas said Acts 13:46 "We had to speak the word of God to you first.  Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”  God wants everyone to believe, but everyone has to choose to believe.

            Romans 9:27-29 “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.  For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality’ Isaiah 10:22-23.  It is just as Isaiah said previously: ‘Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah’” 1:9.  Isaiah prophesied that the southern kingdom of Judah would be conquered and rejected by God because of unbelief.  The apostle knew that only a few Jews would choose to believe.

            Romans 9:30-33 “What then shall we say?  That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.  Why not?  Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.  They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’” As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts [is believing]in him will never be put to shame.’"

            If anyone does not accept and receive God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness, it is because of their own choice not to believe in the Blood Atonement He made for them.  Jesus said to unbelieving Pharisees John 8:24 ”Ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  Then He added 28, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.”  

            The Jews thought they were righteous by looking religious on the outside, but the Gentiles were willing to believe in their heart on the inside, with a trusting faith on what the shed Blood of Christ accomplished for them.  That is the only way to be righteous.  God originally planned for the sacrifice of His Son to be the foundation of all faith—but the Jews rejected the offer, and by that choice, forfeited their souls forever.

            They deliberately chose not to believe, and to intentionally reject the Only One who can forgive their sins and cleanse their heart.  By this conscious rejection of God’s Son, they condemned themselves.  John 3:18 ”He who is believing in him is not judged, but he who is not believing hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Israel’s choice not to believe Jesus, and to not trust on His Atonement sacrifice for all the sins of the world, is why they will be condemned.

            The apostle Paul said Romans 9:1 ”I speak the truth in Christ.”  He wanted to help his fellow Israelites so much, he said 3-5 “I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own [kinsmen], the people of Israel.  Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.  Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!  Amen.”

            Then the apostle spoke of true believing faith in Christ, and what makes us a true child of the Father.  Romans 9:6-7 ”It is not as though God’s word had failed.  For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.  Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.” 

            It is not our family name, and it is not our religious appearance, but only a believing, trusting and enduring faith on the Blood of Christ for everything—health without herbal medicine; healing without doctor’s prescriptions; justice without lawyer’s involvement; provisions without stored up cash; peace without worldly plans; contentment without lottery tickets; and protection without hand guns.  Romans 9:30-31 “The Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith.”

            No unrighteous person will ever enter heaven, but only those who truly are righteous—because they chose to believe in faith on the One God sent, and trusting every day on what His Atonement sacrifice accomplished for them.  Romans 4:3 ”What says the Scripture? 'And Abraham believed God, and this was placed to his credit as righteousness.'”  Unbelief is a choice—but so is belief, and faith, and Eternal Life.


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