Are you spiritually blind?
What an indictment. To be given a spirit of stupor and made spiritually blind. We are
Talking about God’s chosen people Israel here. Though chapters 9-11 are dealing with Israel on a national level, let’s get a little personal here. How would you feel if I told you that you are blind and in a stupor and destined to go to Hell and worse off, that you have no choice in the matter? It flies in the face of our natural desire to be in control of our own destiny. You may not believe in God and heaven, but you certainly don’t want to go to the Bible’s concept of hell do you? Reason it out. You are a sinner, God is righteous. There is nothing you can do to help yourself. If God is who he claims to be also a God of love, and did for you what his word says he did in the death of Christ on your behalf; then there is no other real option for you if you choose not to believe. It is like you choose not to take the special drug which can save your life. Only an idiot would refuse. You can deny the whole thing and cling to your man made philosophies and religions to your peril or you can respond to his drawing at your heart and accept his invitation which he offers to the entire world to receive forgiveness and salvation. This is why Jesus died for your sins. Repent of your imagined sovereignty or die separated from God. Bend the knee voluntarily to Christ now and receive eternal life or bend the knee involuntarily later as you receive the verdict of condemnation. Do not think you can take your chances based on the world’s (Satan’s) myriad of alternative theories of the afterlife. Do you want to experience God telling you to go to hell, or experience him welcoming you into heaven? As Heb 3:7, 8 say: 7“Today, if you hear his voice (as written in his word), 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion…” You are not destined to heaven or hell. Your whole choice in the matter is whether you will respond to the Spirit (not resist) and allow him to give you faith and save you.
The remnant of Israel
Romans 11: 1-10 Use this link for the NIV or use your favorite Bible. Highlight verses 4, 5, 8, 10
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who draws and calls all men to salvation but I realize that only a remnant will believe and take me up on my invitation. Even from among my chosen people. I know who you are and I would love that you would simply believe the testimony of my Word to you. Do not harden your heart as old Pharaoh did, or you will find yourself as one of those in Rom 9:22 to whom I will withhold my mercy and send to hell. I know that you don’t fully understand how my sovereignty fits together with your free will. But know this; I do know who will believe and who will not. I know who will receive my gift of forgiveness and righteousness and who will insist on clinging to their own standard of righteousness to their eternal peril. I know whose names are written in my book of life and whom I will cast out. You don’t, thus the choice is yours to make here and now. Which group do you want to be in? Simply don’t resist but accept my gift of faith and my righteousness will be given to you; just do not resist when you hear my calling or drawing. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3). “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me” (John 6:44, Amp.). Respond right away.
I AM the God who gives everyone an intelligent choice. My testimony is through my Word, through the Holy Spirit, through your conscience and through Creation itself. You know that my testimony is true. All will be held accountable to them. I AM also the God who allows alternative explanations to your existence so that you must make a choice between my clear testimony and the world’s alternative explanations through religion, philosophy and evolution. You would not be much of a free agent without something to choose from now would you? Even the angels had one choice given to them. But take care what choice you make. If you continue to choose what the world has to offer over my testimony, and when you turn your back on my Spirit’s drawing for the last time, your eyes will be darkened, your ears stopped up and your back will be bent forever. You only have this life to make the right choice which will affect where you spend eternity. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Don’t put it off. Heb 3:7, 8 “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion…”
Stupor of complacency is God’s mercy being taken for granted
Jn 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
The very blessings that God has given the Jews because of his promises became a curse to them. They allowed their blessings to lull them into thinking that since God was taking care of them, they must be OK just the way they were and thus did not need to change a thing in their life styles or beliefs. Many times God had to allow punishment to come and shake them out of their complacency. We in the Gentile Christian West, do the same thing in our lives where, although we don’t have his promise of physical blessings as a result of obedience to the Law as did the Jewish nation, we still allow God’s blessings on our lives and country to lull us into a stupor of complacency toward our inherent sinful condition. (Rom 2:4 says “Or do you show contempt (take for granted) for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”) Consequently we live our lives for our own pleasures, taking God’s mercy and forgiveness for granted until one day “All hell will break loose” in our lives and we won’t have a clue as to why (like old Job); and like Job’s wife told him to do, we shake our fist at God because we thought we were such good people that He should not allow any hardships to befall us. Instead King David says in Ps 119:67-72
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
You will do what you want to do most
Not everyone will respond to God’s drawing. It requires them to repent and accept that invitation of grace which goes against our natural grain of pride. We do not know why he would choose us from all the people of the world, but what is more truly amazing is why some cannot accept this wonderful offer of salvation. Maybe we don’t like the idea that he is sovereign and we are not. But, we do know that it is God who draws men to himself. He does so in different ways and gives them the desire to respond. Sometimes he lets our lives come to ruin to break our pride and to get our attention, and other times he uses blessing and mercy to draw us to himself if we would recognize them as coming from his hand of love. In his sovereignty He knows what it will take in your particular life to bring you to your senses to respond in humility to your need of his salvation. Beware though, if you have felt his drawing, don’t delay, respond to his offer before he removes from you the ability to see spiritually and gives you a spirit of stupor which prevents you from making the choice that leads to life. Also you need to act on that desire before the evil one comes to pluck it away, or crowds it out with the desires and influences of the world. There is a saying that “You do what you want to do most, not what you say you want to do” – no excuses. God extended his invitation to save you; the ball is in your court now. You can experience his kindness now or his severity later. So what do you want to do most? Do you want to see or remain blind? I am not saying that you have any part of your salvation as that is all of God’s work in us to his glory. What I am saying is that he lets us resist to our own demise if we would; I.e. He will not save you against your will, but he will save you if you simply let him by responding to his grace through his gift of faith. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” God already knows what your answer will be. But he still leaves it up to you to make.
More to come,