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Throwing Salvation Away

Romans 11:13-16
I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. (NIV)

Most people can remember the anguish of realising that something precious has been thrown away. It was not intentional, but careless. Either it was accidentally thrown away along with other things, or it was carelessness because attention had been focussed somewhere else, or its value had not been understood at the time. That was the Apostle Paul's concern for his own people, the Jews. Salvation in Christ had been offered to them, but they did not recognise Jesus as the Saviour and threw away their promised salvation.

Paul wanted to stir his own people into realising that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. Some of the Gentiles had understood and now valued Jesus very highly. But Paul did not want his own people to miss the grace of God. The root of faith had been planted in Israel. New Gentile branches had been grafted in but he wanted Israelites to receive the new life of Jesus as well.

Paul is specifically talking about his missionary zeal for the Jews, and that remains a special concern for those who love Jesus. However, the principle also applies to everybody who has had some background teaching in God's Word, been brought up in a Christian family, or even who have started to serve in the Christian church. It is right that believers should care about their family, friends and colleagues who have known about Christ, but have disregarded His value and separated themselves from His love. True hearted believers will painfully long that they will receive His grace they once heard about; even though they have now become careless and reject His promises. It is right to grieve over such people. Don't stop speaking the truth to them. Some will want to turn and be saved.

Dear Lord. Thank You for Your patience, even with those who turn away from You. Even though they may carelessly reject Your love, help me to be faithful to Your Word and not secret about Your love. Forgive me when I have been reluctant to be open about You with those who protest their indifference. Help me to be bold. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams