Without Repentance

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Romans chapter 11.

Before I knew the Lord Jesus, I desperately sought to fit in with the crowd. As a young boy I discovered the “joy” of eye glasses when only 7 years old. My test scores were horrible in first grade. One day the teacher noticed I was squinting as I looked at the blackboard. The school nurse recommended I go to an eye doctor. Boom! I had to wear glasses.

Throughout most of my school years I was picked on, bullied, and made to feel less than. Overweight, I was “fat boy”. With eye glasses I was “four eyed”. So I drifted toward the others who were outcasts, the shunned. I don’t say this to make you feel sorry for me. I don’t feel sorry for myself. The truth is, the devil has done this to many people throughout the history of man. Frequently I read in the obituaries of those who “died suddenly at home”. I suspect this is the result of drug abuse (which I toyed with before Jesus found me) and suicide or suicidal behavior (again, thank you Jesus for saving me). This is what the devil does. He wants to devalue us. I see the devil in so many things today.

The devil is in the Church that refuses to speak the truth in love.
The devil is in the racist of whatever color who devalues others.
The devil is in the classroom that teaches all ___ people are racist.
The devil is in the young girl shunned, until she gives her body away.
The devil tells us to be proud of sin, that there is no sin.
The devil tells us to hate one another.
The devil confuses us, drawing us away from the Bible.
The devil calls us back to Egypt, tempts us, tells us to follow lies.

My salvation came when one young man, Ricky Allen, invited me to Church. My salvation came when I came into that house of worship, a hot mess, where the Preacher spoke the truth in love. On that day I heard the call of Jesus to salvation. That was the best day of my life. As I studied the Scripture, I came across this verse:

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

I love that verse. It is this verse that anchors my heart to Jesus. This verse explains why I no longer follow the crowd, but follow Jesus. I pray that you, too, will stop following the crowd, and that you will follow Jesus with me. Let’s break this verse down:

Without Repentance”

The words without repentance is but one word in the Greek, ἀμεταμέλητος ametamélētos, {pronounced am-et-am-el’-ay-tos}. The word can be translated as “irrevokable, without change of mind, without repentance”. To “repent” is to change your mind from what you thought to something else. Repentance always brings with it a change of behavior. This Greek word is only found twice in the Scripture: in THIS text, and in

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of (ametamélētos): but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

In order to be saved a person must first REPENT. There are many who PROFESS to be Christians, but are not, because they have never REPENTED. Genuine repentance comes from godly sorrow – a realization that what I was doing is not compatible to what God my Creator has ordered. There is a sorrow of the world that is NOT genuine repentance. There is the sorrow of Judas Iscariot who, betraying Jesus Christ, was ashamed of what he did before the priests of Israel, but cared little for what God thought. Judas killed himself, a sad testament to anyone who followed Jesus for over three years.

Repentance. It is by repentance – genuine repentance – that we are saved. John the Baptist preached:

Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2)

Our Lord Jesus preached:

Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

The Apostles preached:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)

Repentance is not just something that we who are human must do – it is something that God Himself can do. When Israel kept rejecting the Word of God, the Lord God told Moses:

Exodus 32:9-10 I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people: 10 now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee {Moses} a great nation.

Moses prayed for Israel unto God, and prayed for the glory of God. The Bible says:

Exodus 32:14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

God can repent. When God saw the spread of evil throughout the world, the Bible says:

Genesis 6:5-7 … God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth

Chad Napier of Christianity.com notes:

In his “Exposition of the Bible” John Gill explained that God never changes his mind or alters his purposes, “though he sometimes changes the course and dispensations of his providence.” God knew of the resistance and the downfall of man before He created man. His original purpose as stated in Genesis 2:15 was for Adam and Eve was to live in the garden, cultivate it, and be prosperous. However, as is the case in all the dispensational periods, God knew man would rebel against Him. God’s repentance was not that he was surprised or should not have made man, but that the providence of man had to change because of the introduction of sin.”

When God’s creation will not do what God commands it to do, God can repent Himself, and change the circumstances or the blessings that He has given. But

God’s Ultimate Purpose Cannot Be Averted

God calls humans to repentance. He calls us to cease being our own gods, and to follow Him. When we follow Him then:

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

If we who are His by faith follow God, albeit imperfectly, God nonetheless will continue with us. But even if we rebel and reject the Word of God, God’s ULTIMATE PURPOSE will be fulfilled.

That’s what the Apostle is talking about in this text. As he wrote of Christ to the Roman Church, there were many Gentiles who began to teach that God was done with Israel. This nonsense is even taught in the world today. I have heard professors and scholars say, “Israel rejected Jesus Christ, so Jesus turned away from Israel forever, and put the Church in place of Israel”. That’s not true, and the Apostle addresses this. Read with me:

Romans 11:1-5 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of {Elijah}? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

When people see that word election, they get frightened. Do you know what election means? It means that GOD’S PURPOSE AND PLAN WILL BE FULFILLED. God’s call to a people has a purpose. When God called Israel out of Egypt, Moses told them:

Deuteronomy 6:23 {God} brought us out from {Egypt}, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.

God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God made promises, and plans, and God’s plans will always be met.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

When God led Israel out of Egypt, God knew that both believer and unbeliever were within His nation. This has always been true of Israel, and has always been true of the Church. Believer and unbeliever are on the “membership rolls”, but God’s purpose will be fulfilled. God told Israel through the Prophet:

Isaiah 48:12-13 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. 13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Notice how God addresses Israel. He calls that nation “Jacob and Israel”. When you read of “Jacob”, this was the unbeliever that God would one day make into “Israel”. It is God’s will that “Israel” possess the Promised Land. It is God’s will that the Messiah one day rule the world from Jerusalem in “Israel”. The God Who made the stars “stand up together” is the same God Who will one day redeem that nation. Why? Because God loves a challenge! God told Israel:

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

What God has determined to do with Israel, He will do with Israel. Israel has a purpose, and God will fulfill His purpose in Israel. Why? Because He is God. Because:

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

What God has ordained will come to pass! It is a dangerous game any nation plays who stands against God’s Israel. Some say, “But Israel is filled with Christ killers, and haters of the Messiah”. That may or may not be true. But the Bible tells us to look deeper. We read:

Romans 11:7-12 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them: 10 let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?

God’s purpose in Israel was to one day bring Christ into the world. God’s purpose in Israel was the bring not just Jews, but Gentiles into the Kingdom of Christ. God’s purpose in Israel is to one day bring Messiah back into the world, to be the base where Jesus Christ governs the world from.

God is not done with Israel. We read:

Romans 11:17-20 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

The Church came about because some of the “branches” of Israel, the unbelieving branches, were “broken off”. Why were they broken off? Because of unbelief. The Apostle warns us:

Romans 11:21-22 … for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

God’s purposes will be fulfilled.

If You Are The Called Of Christ,
You Had Best Follow Christ

Israel lost their blessing from God because they frequently ceased operating by faith in Him. It is a foolish thing to presume upon God! If you have been called of Christ, then you are to follow Christ in your daily walk. We studied this text Sunday night:

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Preach! The GIFT of salvation always comes with a CALL. You are CALLED into God’s Kingdom. You are CALLED to follow Jesus. You are CALLED to be obedient children. You are CALLED to worship God. You are CALLED from lost Egypt to go to the Promised Canaan.

It is the devil’s lie that you can be given the GIFT and not be expected by God to fulfill the CALLING. Look at Israel. Look at how many times Israel was under the heel of an enemy nation. If you are called of Christ, you are to follow Christ. My brother in Christ Tim Laws once told me: “It’s hard to hear God’s voice when you’ve already decided what you want Him to say”. That is so very true. Let us heed God’s Word.

Let’s put away our thoughts, and turn to God’s Word for His standard. The Christian, saved by the GIFT of God, is CALLED to do and believe what God says. What God says is in God’s Word, not in our imaginations. If you are saved by the free GIFT, then you are CALLED, you are PREDESTINED to do what God called you to do. The Apostle put it this way:

Romans 8:28-31 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

You as Christians are Christians by GOD’S GIFT. If you are GIFTED, you are CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. Not your purpose, but His.

If you believe “all things work together for your good”, then this is inexplicably tied to your CALLING. If you believe that you are “predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son”, this is tied to your calling. If you believe that you are going to Heaven, then you cannot neglect that holy chain of truths (verse 30)”

“whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”

You are called. “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine” (Isaiah 43:1) says the Lord. “Ye are not your own … For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You belong to God, not to yourself. Joshua told Israel, “choose you this day whom ye will serve(Joshua 24:15). God does not call you to serve yourself. He calls you to serve Him, to love Him, to walk with Him.

This is where blessing is found, walking with and loving God every day. Blindness will be on Israel until the “fullness of the Gentiles comes in”. There will come a day – I do not know when – when God the Son will return for His Church. On that day of Rapture we who love Him shall feel His fullest embrace. Our bodies shall be changed, “and so we shall ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). God’s will for Israel shall be fulfilled.

Romans 11:26-27 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Israel shall be saved during the Millennium. God shall be triumphant! Praise the name of Jesus forever! Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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