Still Hope for Anyone – The Plan and the People (Romans 9-11)

As long as there is still air in our lungs, we still have the opportunity to respond to the good news of Jesus.

Still Hope for Anyone – The Plan and the People (Romans 9-11)
What’s your favorite word to describe God? I know it’s an impossible question but if you only got to use one word to describe the character of God, what would you use? Perhaps mighty, holy, magnificent, all-knowing, just or even loving. Maybe you would find a word from scripture like merciful or compassionate.
If I could only use one word, if I only got to paint a picture for you of who God is with one word, I think I’d pick the word faithful. It’s my favorite word to describe God. Faithful. A promise keeper. God always does what he says he will do. God has always been consistent, always been honorable and has never let his people down. Even when things didn’t seem to make sense, even when his people panic and try to do things their own way, in the end God’s promises have always come true.
Perhaps it’s my affinity for God’s faithfulness that made one particular line stand out from Michael’s sermon this last week. “Because God is faithful, hope is available to everyone.” Not because of anything we have done, but because of the very nature and character of who God is, because he keeps his promises and has the power to deliver exactly what he declares, we have hope.
When I first saw the title for the sermon this week I had to smile. I love the phrase “hope for everyone”. It reminds me of some friends who planted a church out in California a few years ago with that same phrase plastered on everything they put out. Hope for everyone. It’s beautiful. It’s inclusive. It’s positive. It’s unconditional and available to anyone no matter what they have said or done in their past. The truth of the phrase is simply that no matter who we are or what we have done, if we humble ourselves and admit that we are powerless to do anything about our sin, then we are given hope because of what Jesus has already done.
Let’s be honest, Christians can sometimes be accused of being exclusive, of having a lot of rules or of finding their confidence in the things they do instead of the work Jesus did on their behalf. But this passage from Sunday shatters that. Romans 9 through 11 are all about God’s plan and how it is and always will be best. It works perfectly because he is faithful.
Finally, let’s deal with that other word from the sermon title I skipped right over, still. Still as in it’s not expired. The opportunity hasn’t passed. As long as there is still air in our lungs, we still have the opportunity to respond to the good news of Jesus. So if you haven’t done that yet, why not? What about your plan is better than his?¬†Perhaps you have responded so what is convicting you right now is someone else you know that needs to accept this hope. If that’s the case, what are you going to do about it? Perhaps sitting in your seat on Sunday you joined with others in praying the names of those you know who don’t know Christ. Have you done anything since that moment? What could you do right now? It’s true, there is hope for everyone. My prayer for us as a church is that this week we seize the opportunity to receive this hope and invite others to receive it as well.

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