Monday, May 19, 2014
“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).
Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.
It was truly God’s wisdom and grace to take the Devil’s primary human vessel, Saul of Tarsus, and transform him into the Lord Jesus Christ’s chief human instrument. Never in human history had the Creator God of heaven and earth done something so unexpected, drastic, and amazing. He had paused Israel’s program (and delayed His wrath) indefinitely, when nothing but wrath should have instantly fallen on Christ-rejecting mankind! Rather than coming back in wrath, the Lord Jesus Christ returned in Acts chapter 9—in grace, mercy, and peace, to Saul. Rather than whisking off Saul into everlasting hellfire, the Lord Jesus Christ began and revealed a new program, the Dispensation of Grace, and saved him! The man who had imprisoned and killed more Messianic Jews than anyone else at the time, became God’s apostle of the Gentiles (Acts 9:15,16; Romans 11:11).
Saul, now the Apostle Paul, began preaching Jesus Christ as fervently as when he hated and blasphemed Him. The ascended Lord Jesus Christ personally commissioned Paul to preach to all people, every lost Jew and Gentile, “the Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24), the very grace of God that saved his wretched soul when he was an undeserving sinner (1 Timothy 1:13-16)! Paul’s Gospel, the good news Jesus Christ revealed exclusively to him on the road to Damascus (Romans 3:9–5:20; Romans 11:11,12; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 1:11-20; Ephesians 3:1-11; et al.), communicated that God’s grace was being offered to the entire world apart from Israel and her program. Everything that God could do for every lost and dying sinner—forgiveness of sins, justification, new life, deliverance from Satan, a home in heaven, et cetera—was all being offered to the world through Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 Timothy 2:3-7; Titus 1:1-3; et al.).
For 2,000 years, God has offered to all people His grace through Calvary’s finished crosswork. While often scorned and rejected, His continued longsuffering keeps His wrath in abeyance….