05 May Rise in Atheism
Romans 11:11-24 – So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
What Paul wrote has only become more pronounced. Today, the total number of Jewish people living in the nation of Israel is somewhere around 7 million. In comparison, there are a few billion people alive on the earth who profess to be Christians.
Curiously, today the nation of Israel has one of the highest percentages of atheists in the world. Despite the great history of faith that Gentiles around the world appreciate because of God’s work for, in, and through the Jewish people, the majority in Israel are atheists.
Gentile believers should be grateful to Jewish believers who carried forth faith in Jesus Christ through the Scriptures and not arrogantly believe that we are now privileged and beyond being a branch that is cut off. Historically, this arrogance and presumption is exactly what some Jewish people did and why they were branches cut off and tossed into the proverbial fire.
How thankful did you feel for salvation when you met Jesus and how can you remind yourself of and continue that joy and thankfulness even after being a Christian for many years?
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