Summary: God’s Kingdom may seem to just "happen," but behind the scenes is God’s Sovereign hand; He has a plan and He executes His plan perfectly.
1. BERLIN (Reuters) - A German telecommunications company said on Tuesday it is developing the first mobile phone that will alert users when their breath is bad or if they are giving off offensive smells.
The phone will use a tiny chip measuring less than one millimeter to detect unpleasant odors, a spokeswoman for Siemens Mobile said. A research team in the southern city of Munich is developing the device using new sensor technology."
2. The marvels of modern technology will now address bad breath!
3. But bad breath is a symptom; there are many possible causes.
4. This last Tuesday, our flock group went out to dinner at Pastariffic. As we were talking to Lisa Leonard, she mentioned that her husband, Bob, does not like garlic bread-- nor garlic breath.
5. So Lisa is trying to get all the garlic she can now while Bob is away!
6. How do we develop tastes for different foods? Who knows. Sometimes it seems as though it "just happens."
7. A lot of things in life seem random, and I believe many of them are.
8. But God’s Kingdom is not randomn.
Main idea: God’s Kingdom may seem to just "happen," but behind the scenes is God’s Sovereign hand; He has a plan and He executes His plan perfectly.
TS------------„³ There are two principles we can draw from God¡¦s Sovereign dealings with Israel and with the gentile nations.
I. The MAJORITY is Not Always Right (1-10)
1. MOST Jews rejected Jesus, but not all did; some believed
2. PAUL believed (1)
„h If there is one exception to a rule, it is not completely universal
3. Those whom God ELECTED believed (2a)
* There were many, many exceptions; thousands of Jews believed; these were the called
1 Corinthians 1:23-24, "...but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."
* As a matter of fact, by the end of the first century, a higher percentage of Jews had believed in Christ than the Romans or Greeks
* But still only a minority; but majorities do not impress God
4. God always has a REMNANT (2b-4)
* Example of Elijah and the 7,000 Reserved by God
* 450 prophets of Baal, 400 of Asherah
* Elijah is the sole prophet of God
* After this victory, Elijah flees to Horeb, depressed
(1) God tells him, "I have reserved 7,000"
o Paul takes an incident that is descriptive and makes it prescriptive: God always has His remnant¡K
o The idea of a remnant fits well into the word "church" (called out ones); the implication: true believers will always be a minority
o Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(2) Get this point: It is important for us to realize that we are part of a team, though in a minority, we are a sizeable minority; we are not worker bees without a hive, but our efforts, combined and networked with that of many others, produces sweet honey to the glory of God
(3) This is another reason why it is important for Christians to GET TOGHETHER and serve God together; when we isolate ourselves, we get depressed and begin thinking we are the only true servants God has; cults start this way!
(4) On the other end of the spectrum, Christians in American are having a hard time adjusting to their new minority status; do we lie down and play dead, do we enter the debate and persuade others (my view), or do we try to bring out the steam roller and remain a mystery to those with differing world views? Do we vent our aggravations in mass or do we seek to reasonably and fairly argue our case? Are we after truth or intimidation?
5. God chooses by GRACE (5)
* In His grace, God planned it that that way
* Grace means favor; it means God chose to be unusually kind to us even though we did nothing to deserve it!
6. If I lift a FINGER to be saved, then I am no longer saved by grace (6)
* A work is anything we can DO
o So even our response of faith and repentance is a work of God within us
o 2 Timothy 2:25, "Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth."
7.The CHOSEN obtained salvation, but the non-elect of Israel were hardened (7)