Romans 11:25-36

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I’m going to invite you to Romans Chapter 11. Today is where we’re going to be if you want to know more of things that are happening here at Alpine, just download the Alpine Bible Church app and click on the bulletin. You can see or you can grab a bulletin sheet on your way out that’ll tell you some more information. But we’re in Romans chapter 11. We’re we’re ending an interesting section of the book of Romans. You remember as we studied together, the first eight chapters of the Book of Romans describes for us what it means to to walk in Christ, to know Jesus and salvation and the identity that we receive in him, right? Romans Chapter five, six, seven and eight starts to talk about our identity. It comes to that pinnacle in Romans Chapter eight being adopted, being able to call God father and and the beautiful picture of what the gospel is. That’s the first eight chapters of Romans. Then we get to chapter nine, ten and 11. And Israel is asking the question, where does that put us? Right? Because we see in the New Testament that the Gentiles have come to know the Lord. By and large, the Jewish people had rejected the Messiah. There are still some Jews that followed after Jesus. Much of your New Testament written by Jews, all of your Old Testament, written by Jews. And but but what they’re seeing is the majority of the Gentiles have come to know Christ.

The majority of the Jews have rejected Christ and the Gentiles are or excuse me, the Jews are asking, where does that put us? As God abandoned us, as God forgotten about us? Or where do we fit in God’s plan as it regards to Israel in the future and all of God’s promises to to God’s chosen people? Where is their place in what God desires to do? Romans nine, 1011 explains that in terms of those three chapters, you can think of it like this. Romans Chapter nine deals with Israel in the past. Romans Chapter ten deals with Israel in the present. Romans Chapter 11 deals with Israel in the future. And these last few verses we’re going to look at again once more God’s plan for his people as he moves forward in this world. And it’s just bigger. It’s bigger than one people group. In fact, in Genesis chapter 12, when God called Abraham the first Jewish person, God says to him, through him, He will bless all nations. He repeats that in Genesis chapter 12, all the way really to the end of Genesis, to when you get to Judah, God continues to promise through that, through the line of Judah, that he will fulfill his covenant promises to his people and through them all nations would be blessed. And so God’s picture is bigger than just one people group. But sometimes in life, in relationship to Israel, we might have those same questions.

Sometimes you might feel like you’re an outsider looking in, trying to figure out where is your place in God’s plan in this world and and how is it when when God created you, what is his purpose for your life and how how can you be a part of what God desires to do in this world? And this is exactly what we’re going to look at today in Romans chapter 11, starting in verse 25, we’re going to understand God’s missional heart and then learn how we fit into that missional heart and how we can all play a part in what God desires for us. God working through the Jews to bless all people. We all struggle to to have a healthy view of how we fit into what God desires. And when you get into Romans chapter 12 to to to 16, then God starts to paint the picture of in the in the day to day experiences of your life, how you live that out MISSIONALLY in regards to to marriage and family and government. Like what is what is God’s desire for you to live that missional purpose out As we look in these last few verses, God’s bigger plan for all of us and He gives us these particular points in your notes, I’m going to give you a point. Number one, understanding God’s missional heart starts this way, that we live through humility. That point, that blank in your notes is humility.

If you want to be a part of what God desires, we need to start with a heart that is that is humble, a willingness to want to participate in what God calls us to in this world. These notes you’re going to see this morning. The first point and the last point deals with your heart before God. And all the points in between are what God’s character is demonstrated in this world. And it’s important for us to understand all of these to walk in light of all of this. If we’re going to live for his missional purpose, to see how God has communicated himself in terms of his missional heart to this world, God created his church for a purpose and we want to belong to that purpose and live out the calling for which God has has put upon us in this world. And in verse 25, it says this lest you be wise in your own sight. He starts off really with a warning Paul is acknowledging in Romans chapter 11. Yes, the Jewish people are really in this parenthetical type of place where they were God’s chosen people called to live for his mission in this world, by and large rejected the Messiah. God then brings in Team B, right? He brings you off the bench, you Gentiles. That’s everyone else that’s not Jewish. And he he works his mission through those that are willing. He works his mission through through the Gentile people.

It doesn’t mean that all of the Jewish people are are sitting on the bench. There are some that came to know Christ, right? Like the apostle Paul who writes the book of Romans. He’s certainly a Jew that continued to follow the Messiah to live for his glory in this world. But he writes to the Gentiles here in the beginning and says, look, you need to have a healthy perspective. Who you are in light of who God is. God is not working, by and large, through the Gentile people now because they’re better than the Jewish people. We’re not better than anyone. It’s only by the grace of God that we are where we are. And so he’s saying, lest you be wise in your own sight, that that the purpose which God has called you is not because you’re better than someone else. It’s purely because of the grace of God being made known in in your life that you’re able to do anything that God has called you to in this world. And this is an important message, I think, for all of God’s people. And and depending on where you are in this world. There is a flavor of temptation that can push us away from what God is communicating here. Let me just give you an example of what I mean. The tendency in every culture is to sort of take what your culture says. Take what the Bible says, and blend it together in some weird folk theology.

And we we we take the identity of our culture and we sort of press it upon what scripture says. And we have the danger of even doing that here in America. And typically within your own culture, you’re blind to those messages. You don’t always realize exactly how your culture is affecting your view of theology. And that’s certainly true in the American church. Let me let me give you an example. Sometimes when we walk into a church, we walk in with the idea of I need help and I want God to fix this this thing so that I can go on living a life of of peace or joy or no problems. Right? We just we understand there’s a problem here, and we don’t want that problem because it makes us uncomfortable. And God will tell me what I need to know to fix this problem so I can really put God back on the shelf and I can go continue to live life the way that I want, right? We sort of approach God as if God is here to serve me rather than me being created to serve him in our our culture today. The self, the idea of you being the most important thing is, is the focus of life. Life is all about you. Whatever makes you happy, whatever pleases you, that’s what you should do. Wake up tomorrow and just decide what would make you most happy and live your life for that purpose.

But but the problem with that is, and I know happiness is an important thing, Right? But God didn’t create you for happiness. God created you for holiness. And that does not happen until your life is wholly surrendered to him. To understand God made me for his purposes. And certainly in that there can be joy deeper than just happiness. There can be joy. But it’s not until my life is surrendered to that that I find the purpose which God has created me. So that journey has to begin with this place of humility, surrendering your life to God and saying, God, you made me for your purpose. You designed me. Let me understand that. And as I surrender my life to you, I walk in the joy of that relationship. But in the American church today. The way that we tend to or can dangerously treat Christianity. Is simply you show up on a Sunday and we want to give you a self-help talk of how to have your best life now. And the focus of your Christianity becomes all about you. You get a message to help you so that your life can be all about you and you can be happy with the way that you want your life to be. And if that is that certainly in Christianity, the Lord can help you in places that you’re facing struggle. But but if the message of Christianity simply ends with you, you have completely missed the purpose of the gospel.

God’s message to this world is far bigger than you. And he’s not He’s not saying, invite me into your life so that I can live your mission. God. God is saying I am inviting you into my life so you can live my mission in this world. And the only way that ever happens is if you’re willing to surrender to you to live for his glory. And so Paul is saying in the very beginning of this letter, if you want to live for the purpose which God has called you into this world, you want to understand the missional heart of God. Take note from Jesus. He was the servant of servants that gave his life for the glory of the Father. And if that is what your king was willing to do for you, then who are you as a servant of this king, to expect to live this life for your glory rather than for his? Now, I know I said a lot of yous, and it felt very accusatory. But just know I’m not talking about you specifically because you guys are perfect. I’m talking about other churches somewhere else, other people. But this is important for our lives to understand what Paul is saying in this passage, that you want to understand the way that God’s heart is working. You feel like an outsider and you’re just trying to find your place.

Well, to find your place, it’s got to be it’s got to begin with the end of yourself. In order to embrace what God has called you to in Him. Point number two, then, is his plan. Understanding his plan. I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery brothers. A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved. I’ve wrestled a little bit with this verse, not just in preparation for this message, but in theology in general, trying to understand what God is communicating best. And and there’s a there’s a little bit of a challenge to this passage. And it starts with the idea of of mystery. Paul talks about mystery multiple times in the New Testament. He he says to us, and I love that he uses this word mystery because I think it provides not not just a humility to us and surrendering to God, but a humility in our theology to say we don’t always need to act like we have it figured out. Even in the Christian faith, there are primary issues of theology and there are tertiary issues of theology, like when it comes to the inerrancy of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the Triunity of God. Those those theological foundations and Christianity, those are immovable, right? I would like to think if someone contests my faith and and I have to lay down my life for for the deity of Jesus, that I would be willing to die in the truthfulness that Jesus is, is is Lord Jesus as God, Jesus as Savior, Jesus is king.

And those things matter. Those things are immovable. But but in regards to how God works out, the particularities of those things, there are some things I understand brothers and sisters in Christ, they don’t always agree in, for example, exactly how the second coming of Christ is going to work. Some people like to pretend like they get out. They they get out there their their bunkers that they build for doomsday, you know, And they write out all these charts of exactly every world leader that is of Satan or something. And they know exactly how everything’s going to work out to the to the end of days. Like I have my idea of what I think. But but I’m reminded that in the first century, most people got Jesus’s first coming wrong. And I don’t want to be so arrogant as to claim I have every detail of Jesus second coming, right? There’s a little bit of mystery in the how God works and and for the Jewish people, the idea of the Gentiles being grafted in right. And the hardening of Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles. That was a bit of a mystery to them. They didn’t understand how God was going to work exactly like that. And yet that mystery has been revealed that God is now moving through the Gentile people, all nations coming to know Christ and and to move in this world to proclaim the goodness of God.

Like it’s not to just be with one people that God is for every tribe, tongue and language. His plan moving in this world. And so our heart should should match God’s heart. And there’s a group called the Joshua Project. In fact, if you can Google it later today if you’re interested. Joshua Project Net, you can see all of the demographic studies they do of, of the needs of of people around the world knowing that God has called his church to minister to the lost in this world for the sake of the gospel. Some of the statistics regarding Christianity and the Commission that God has called us to, to go into this world and reach the Gentile nations, all ethnic groups, all people groups. Joshua Project does a great job. And in talking about the needs around the world, but the majority of the world that still needs the gospel, ironically, is what’s called the 1040 Window, ten degrees north of the equator, 40 degrees north of the equator involving these continents Africa, Asia and Europe. 43% of the world’s population lives here and 7400 unreached people. Groups out of the 17,000 people groups throughout the world. A couple more statistics on there for you. 85% of unreached people groups live in this 1040 window. So when you think in terms of unreached people groups, let me tell you what that means.

It means there is less than 2% of an evangelical Christian presence in this area of the 1040 window. I love sharing statistics like this because, you know, most missiologists say about Utah. Utah is somewhere, right, about 2% evangelical Christian. So you live in terms of what Joshua project would call an unreached people group location in the world, the most unreached evangelical place in the United States. That’s where you are. And so the carrying that need and seeing that need, having lived in Utah, we can have a greater heart, I think, for unreached people, groups around the world. But here’s the reality. For every one unreached people group, there are over 1000 evangelical churches. Meaning it shouldn’t be any problem for all of us to come together and just reach them all tomorrow. But reality is statistically Christian sin less than 1% of their missionary force to that 1040 window. So you think about people that are missionaries that go around the world and preach the gospel. Less than 1% of those go to where 43% of the population is, where the majority of unreached people groups are. Less than 1% of mission giving goes to that. 98% or excuse me, out of all the Christians in the world, statistically, we use 98% of our wealth on ourselves. 2% of our wealth. We give towards what God calls us to in this in this world.

Missionally living for His glory, to proclaim his message, to see the church go forth out of that 2% that we give less than 1% of that money goes to the 1040 window. But God. Has a plan. And in this way, he says, all Israel will be saved. Some people ask the question, what exactly does it mean that all Israel will be saved? There’s a few different theologies in Christianity that try to figure out what all Israel will be saved. Some believe in what’s called replacement theology that God’s done with Israel. Now the church becomes Israel. I don’t hold to that belief, but there is a passage in Galatians chapter three, starting in verse six, that talks about anyone that’s of faith is a seed of Abraham, meaning there are those that are born physically as Jews. But but there are those who are reborn spiritually in Abraham because Abraham had faith in God. And Abraham claimed this message of faith. And if you put that faith in the same God of Abraham, then you are spiritually born into Abraham’s family. So what Galatians Chapter three talks about in verse six and on. But I think in verse 26, he is specifically talking about the Jewish people. And if you go back and read in Romans 11, verse 11, he he says to us that God is using the Gentiles in order to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy. He says that again in verse 14 of Chapter 11, that while God is working his message out through the Gentile people to proclaim his gospel in the world, at the same time, he’s also using that to provoke the the Jewish people to to to see the need for Christ in their life.

And so the point of it to say like, look, the Old Testament written by Jews, New Testament, written by the majority of Jews. And so we have their message that they carried forth, we learn from from their scriptures and what was taught. And and while the Gentiles proclaim this message, by and large. God says ultimately he will provoke the Jewish people to faith as well. What Paul is driving to. As a people unified of every tribe and tongue and language. God wants us striving together in Him. God is a beautiful, creative God, in fact, in Africa. Last weekend we were reminded of that. We show up to church. They worship a little different than we worship here. Not wrong, but different. You know, when you turn to the New Testament and you think what? What should a church service look like? Do you know there’s nowhere in the New Testament that prescribes for you exactly what a church service looks like. There are places in the New Testament that describes what the church does when they gather, but there’s not the particularities of exactly how that should look and when it should happen and how long it should last.

And I think the reason the Lord did that is because he knows among every culture and people group, we’re all a little unique. And what speaks to our heart is a little different here in Utah. Our experience is a little more maybe I’ll describe it as reverential, right? We we we sometimes keep to ourselves, not a not a whole lot of amen going out loud. I don’t think. Okay. But but you go to you go to Africa and for the for the first time ever for me, I was involved in a Congo line of worship. And somehow we incorporated, Simon says, into our into our worship time. I don’t know. I don’t know how that works here. But but that’s what happened. But they love the Lord and they were genuinely praising God. So I would say ours. Not that they’re not reverential. I think their reverence just looks a little different. But we’re we’re just a little more keep to ourselves reverential, right? And and in their culture, they’re a little more lavish and joyful in the way that they do things. Not bad. Not wrong. Just different. And I think this is what the Lord is describing in this passage, that his desire working through all people groups, his plan, understanding his heart for for everyone. And then he goes on this point number three. His truth. His plan, his truth, and he says as it is written. The deliverer will come from Zion.

He will banish Ungodliness from Jacob. And this will be my covenant with him when I take away their sins. Paul is is going back into the book of Isaiah, chapter 59, and he’s reminding us of what what the Messiah will do to rule and reign, right? He’s driving towards this, the King of Kings ruling and reigning from Zion, which is not in America. This is this is a picture of really Israel and Jerusalem. And it’s a greater picture of God’s ruling and reigning over all things. So it’s a reminder of of what the gospel is about this place of freedom, where God has control, every tribe, tongue, language, bowing before him. So it’s this truth that that that we have opportunity to share that God, that God created us in his image for relationship in him, that that man sinned against God. But God did not reject us in our sin. That even while we were sinners, Christ pursued us and Jesus will. He came in the flesh. He gave his life that we could have freedom in him. And he was resurrected from the grave. And one day he will return and he will rule and reign as king of kings and Lord of Lords. And he sits on his throne today. Over his church, calling them on his mission in this world, that we would proclaim that truth, that Jesus has conquered sin, Satan and death, and we can all in that promise have freedom in him if we, by faith, would trust in Christ.

And Isaiah 59 is that that picture of that message to see the beauty of God who became flesh origin, one of the early church fathers. He said this at one time. He said there was a village who had a created a statue that was so great, so big that it was so large. They couldn’t even they didn’t even know who the statue was honoring. And so in order for the village to understand who the statue was honoring, they shrunk the statue to a smaller size so the people could recognize who the statue was created in honor to. And then Origin said, And that is what God did with his son. Christ is the image of the invisible God. That’s what it tells us in Colossians chapter one, verse 15. God in the flesh. That you could see what he was like. And his heart was missional. Pursuing our lives, that we could find redemption and forgiveness in him, because apart from him, we had no hope. And that plan, that truth that sets us free. And then he goes on verse 28 and he says this, and the next blink of your notes is to understand his faithfulness. His faithfulness. As regards the gospel. They are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers for the gift and the calling of God are irrevocable. So he’s saying the Jewish people, by and large, had rejected the Messiah becoming enemies.

But what does God do? He doesn’t retaliate as as their enemy in response. But rather he remembers the promises to Israel that he had made, the promises to the forefathers. And so he remained true to his calling and his promises because they were irrevocable. The God’s nature does not change. The same God that they worship in the Old Testament is the same God that you worship today. It tells us in second Timothy, chapter two, verse 13, If we are faithless, he remains faithful. It’s beautiful that God’s grace is new to you every morning, no matter how many times you feel like you fall. God remains consistent, which is different than the way that we operate in our culture. When people offend us, we use that excuse to get nasty in return. But that is not the heart of God. The heart of God is gracious and forgiving. It reminds me of the story of the woman at the well in John chapter four. Married five times. The man that she is with currently when Jesus meets her is not even her husband. But yet Jesus does not give up on her. Because his character. Never changes. God is a gracious God in his his faithfulness. Adoniram Judson, one of the famous missionaries to Burma. Three years into his mission in Burma, they asked for a report that determined whether or not he was being successful.

Adoniram Judson didn’t see a single convert in Burma until his sixth year, but in year three, they asked him for a report to determine his success, and he simply replied with, as he said, as much as there is a God who will fulfill all his promises, that’s what a success is measured by. It’s not based on your performance. It’s based on his. His character. His promises. And by year three. By worldly standards, yes. Adoniram Judson would not have been considered successful. But he knew he served a faithful God. And today in Burma, there are now hundreds of churches and thousands of converts because Adoniram Judson remained consistent in his walk with with the Lord, knowing that God’s promises were always true. Next. This is mercy. Verse 30. He goes on and says, For just as you were at one time, disobedient to God, but now have received mercy because of their disobedience. So they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you, they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience that he may have mercy on all. What is he acknowledging here? Is that, God, he’s a he’s a just God. God will judge. In order to be good, he must judge. And he will judge sin if we die. Apart from God. Apart from Christ, apart from His forgiveness, we will be judged in that sin. That’s why we need Jesus.

But He reminds us in the same passage that while we sin, he is also merciful. A mercy means withholding what we do deserve. And the only reason he does that is because of his grace that he pursued us in the sin and he still gave his life for you while you were a sinner. And that becomes the the beauty of our invitation to belong to him. There was a famous Christian missionary that once said she heard a group of believers marking remarking about the trouble in the world. And and this missionary responded this way. They said, Maybe. Maybe they’re starved for bread in Africa. But you are starved for love in America. How much this world needs the mercy of God. Needs the grace of God. Is the platform of invitation to belong to the mission of God. It is the only reason we have a place to come before God because of what He has done for us. And so then Paul brings us to this last place, this place of worship. And this is how he ends in verse 33 to verse 36 to talk about worship. And this is again, the beginning starts with you, right through humility, the surrendering of yourself. And it continues in your life to live in this missional heart of God by your worship in that that as you come humbly, you continue to worship this king because he alone is worthy. It’s not about him being invited to serve you and your plan for this world, but you surrendering your life to serve him and his plan for this world that happens through through worship.

John Piper and his famous book, Let the let the Nations be Glad. He says this missions exist because worship does not that we’re called in this world to go into this world to represent Jesus to others. So they come to know him and respond in worship. That’s that’s the whole purpose of mission. We live on mission to call people, to worship, to understand the purpose for which they were created in Christ. Because apart from that, we will never fulfill the reason for our existence. But worship. Brings us to that beautiful place to connect to our our creator. In verse 33, he gives us these three exclamations and then verse 34 and 35, he asks three questions, and then finally he gives us a conclusion in verse 36, and these these thoughts that Paul is sharing, I don’t really think he’s he’s really sharing them, us, these thoughts to to necessarily dive deep theologically, but just to embrace the the statement that he’s talking about and let our heart be provoked to worship of this great God who has invited us to participate in this calling of the world. This is all the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. Thought one. How unsearchable are his judgments? And then thought thought three How inscrutable his ways.

He’s saying to us that in terms of God’s judgment, he’s not saying that this is God’s judicial decision, but rather his executive decision for salvation in this world. The way that God has worked out his plan and he says, how inscrutable are his ways, meaning you will spend the rest of your days, all of eternity, exploring the depth of God and you will never come to the end. This is how great God is that you in his riches and wisdom that you have the opportunity to be a part of that. And then he asked these questions. He says, For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he he might be repaid. God, in his brilliance, he’s identifying for us. And then in verse 36, he says, For from him and through him and to him are all things to him be glory forever and ever. Amen. I mean, these verses are intended to provoke your heart to worship this unfathomable God that while he became personal for us in flesh, to die for you. He is also magnificently brilliant. To adapt. We we can’t even fully define or comprehend. Yet he allows us, us, us to be a part of of that to worship. Can I tell you one of the hardest things for me, when I when I was in Africa this past week was on a Sunday, this time last week.

After the church services, we went up and prayed on this mountain for the ministry there. And and then they took us through the village just to pray with people. And little cynical in my heart got to each home and ask them what their needs were and their their prayer requests tended to be, I just want enough food to eat. Or I just need a place where I have a roof that’s not leaking. Or one lady looked like she was maybe in her 70s. Had her grandkids or great grandkids around. Asked us to pray that she could find a job. I don’t know how this lady was even going to be capable of working, but her request of us was was to have a job and and our group would take time praying. And I didn’t even step forward in the group time of prayer. I just sat back and thought, this is. A little bit crazy to me. Somewhat foolish. And I’ll tell you, there’s a solution to this in a minute, so just hold with me. But but the reason I was having a difficult time with this is not because I didn’t think their prayers were important. It just feels dumb to be a part of one of the wealthiest nations in the history of of existence, sitting with someone that has nothing, praying for them to have something without recognizing that we might be that solution. Just as Phil’s asinine.

Why are we having to pray when the answer is already here? Right. And here we are asking that this person can have food when we’re more than capable of just walking to the grocery. Give me five minutes. I’ll be right back. Right. And we did. We did. The good thing. Good news for you is a couple of days later, we circled back and gave these people food. So. So that was good. But it just felt ridiculous. It reminded me of James chapter two, verse 16. It says, Who are you man of wealth to? To look at someone who has no clothing or food and just tell them be warm and filled and wish them well on their way and send them away when God has already gifted you with the opportunity to give to them. We are the the greatest nation in terms of wealth that’s existed in history. And to just use it on ourselves. That’s insane. That’s stupid. In fact, you could you could look at a believer that might claim all these things of Christ. And if you examine their life and you see no generosity, you might want to question whether or not they genuinely believe in Jesus. Do you really believe what Scripture says? Now, now, let me just tell you this, because my danger in saying all this is then to say and you should feel guilty, right? Like, I don’t want to drive you to guilt. Here’s what I think the solution is.

And I think this is what Paul is saying in this passage. The true solution to your heart to be a generous person. It’s not guilt. It’s worship. It’s worship. When you really understand what Jesus has done for you. When you see a God who gave up everything from his throne. To become the servant of servants and offer his life for you and then call you to live your life for him. How could you be anything less than a person of generosity? Because it is the very nature of the gospel. If we were to call ourselves Christian and then walk out here and only use the gifts and the talents God has given us to serve ourselves, Can can I tell you? You’re fooling yourself into thinking you’re a Christian? That faith. James says Chapter two does not save you. When a believer truly understands the graciousness of God that has been poured out into your life, you can’t help but respond in a worshipful way that says, And now God use me too. I want to make a difference in this world, the way you used your life to make a difference in my own. And it’s when that life is surrendered. That the beauty of what Christ desires to do in you is fulfilled. When the Apostle Paul wrote much of the New Testament. You know, one of the interesting things about the apostle Paul. You read his letters, you never see Paul stopping to talk about the architecture of the places that he visited or really much about the culture of the people groups that he was a part of.

Paul had one focus. That gospel being made known in the hearts of people. He desired that people would know Jesus in in worship. Missions exist because worship does not. So let me just give you one little story here to end. This is a little historical for us because this happened almost 160 years ago in Virginia. Appomattox, Virginia. This happened on Palm Sunday, April 9th, 1865. This was the time that the Southern Army surrendered to the Northern Army in the Civil War. 750,000 people died. Soldiers died during the civil war. That would be the equivalent if that war happened today as the bloodiest war in American history. If that war happened today, it would be the equivalent of eight. 8 million soldiers dying in America. It was at Appomattox on this this farm in which generally surrendered to General Grant and the Civil War was was over a writer about this this time described it this way Bruce Catton He said this it was Palm Sunday and they the soldiers would like to see Easter and with the guns quieted, it might be easier to comprehend the mystery and the promises of that day. Yet the fact of peace and no more killing and an open road, an open road home seemed to have been too big to grasp right at that moment.

And in the enormous silence that lay upon the field, men remembered that they had marched far and were very tired, and they wondered when the wagon trains would come up with rations. They had been warring. And all they long for. Was peace. Almost 160 years passed. And for us today, it’s easy to look at that moment to those soldiers that surrendered to the south and the south and say. And you were on the wrong side of history. You were on the wrong side of history. And the cost they paid. The lives that were lost. Guys, Can I tell you, in this world today, there is a far greater battle happening than even the Civil War. It’s the battle for the soul. And some of us are warring on the wrong side of history. And some of us don’t even know it. Rather than give our lives to Christ for the glory for which he has created us. We’re fighting against the one who desires to offer us peace. To live for a purpose greater. Then? Just myself. I can think is a parallel. These two stories here you are just one week away from Palm Sunday. And what a beautiful time it is knowing Easter is coming. To get off my throne. And to come to Jesus. And simply say to him in humble service. What? I give you my life. Your plan. Your truth. Your promises. God, your faithfulness. Your mercy. May my life be one of worship because you alone are worthy.

Romans 12:1-8