Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 24
“BELIEVE IN THINE HEART” – PART 2
Now we just finished Chapter 9, and that was dealing with Israel’s past so let’s go right into Romans Chapter 10, and remember this chapter will deal with Israel in this present day dispensation. And as Paul makes so plain back there in Romans Chapter 3, that now since everything has been accomplished at the Cross, and he has now been going out into the Gentile world, that there is no difference. And I can’t emphasize that enough. A Jew doesn’t have to give up his Jewishness, but they have to separate themselves from all of the Old Testament economy because this is the whole idea of this age of Grace. We have nothing to do with Law. That was all settled at the Cross. I love that verse in Colossians:
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;”
A Jew today is under no different situation than a Gentile so far as God is concerned, and they have to understand that. Since Chapter 10 of Romans is dealing with the Jew in this present age, it stands to reason that everything in Chapter 10 has an application for us. And that’s why we use this chapter so often in our salvation verses, because it’s no different for us than it is for the Jew. Salvation is now offered on that same level playing field. A Jew doesn’t have an advantage over a Gentile nor is he disadvantaged, we’re both alike, we’re all under sin, we all need salvation; there’s no difference.
But I think Paul is trying to emphasize that so many of Christendom have the opinion that God’s all through with the Jew. Because they were the quote, unquote “Christ Killers,” because they rejected their Messiah, and God sent them into a dispersion, and destroyed their Temple. This 90% think that God is through with the Jew. And I’ve made statements of what others have said, including Martin Luther, who was a detester of the Jews. I think it was from a religious point of view because again he felt they had killed the Messiah. But that is not according to Scriptures. Martin Luther might have come up with a lot of other good concepts, but he was sure in left field on that one. Now let’s read, and remember Paul is writing to Gentiles. The Book of Romans is written to the Gentile believers at Rome.
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Do you remember what Paul said about this back in Chapter 9? He said that he would even give up his own Salvation if he could see the nation saved.
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
Now, he’s talking about the Jews here, but you know what? That’s the problem with most of Christendom today. They may have a zeal, they may never miss a Church service, they may be there every time the doors are opened, but they have no knowledge of the Scriptures. They are totally ignorant of the Scriptures. I remember a couple that I once taught and they have long since died, but the wife told me, sort of puffed up as she left the class one night, that she had taught Sunday School for 30 years at the First Church in Oklahoma City, and she said,“I know my Bible.” I replied, “Well, I’m surprised you came, are you coming next week?” She said, “O yes, we’ll be back.” Well the next week on the way out she almost repeated it word for word. But bless her heart, after coming for about 4 weeks, and with no pomp or puffiness, she said, “I never knew that I was so ignorant.” Well praise the Lord when we get to the place that we realize that we don’t know it all, that’s when we begin to learn, and I’m in no different situation even yet. I told some people the other day that every day I’m seeing things that I never saw before.
As we were coming through Iowa the other night, and I was teaching some of the very people that I started with about 25 years ago, one of those ladies came to me and said, “Les we all can think back, how in the world did you put up with us as ignorant as we were?” I said, “Look, if you would have known any more than you did, then I wouldn’t have been able to teach you anything.” Because I didn’t know much more, but you see if we can just get to the place where we can understand that we really don’t know that much, then we can never exhaust this Book. And then that’s the beginning of learning when we can realize that we do not know it all. But getting back to the text, these Jews had a zealousness for God. You know how religious the Jews were, the Pharisees with their self righteousness, their robes, their praying in public. They thought they were doing God a service, but they had no knowledge, they were totally ignorant of the things of God.
“For they being ignorant…”
Ignorance doesn’t mean a lack of brain power. If we haven’t been taught something we’re ignorant of the subject, and in this case it’s just simply that they had never been taught. They had never opened up their thinking to understand what The Book says.
“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
And another word for believing is what? Faith! They were trying to do it with their own works, and leaving faith out of the picture. I’ve got to constantly remind us, isn’t that exactly where most people are today? They’ll do this and that, and do whatever a denomination prescribes, and they do it according to rote, and ritual, but without faith. And it’s going to count for nothing, they might just as well stay home. And Israel was no different, they kept the feast days, they wouldn’t miss a feast day for anything, and they followed the sacrifices, they followed the law to the letter, but with no faith, and as you know by now, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” That was just as true in the Old Testament economy as it is today. And so Christ was that object of faith that Israel was expected to embrace. He came proving Who He was, and they should have known Who He was. He was the fulfillment of over 360 distinct prophecies out of the Old Testament. If they knew their Bible like they thought they did, they should have recognized Him the moment He began His ministry. But why didn’t they? They didn’t know their Bible.
Now let me give you an analogy. Here I think we’re on the very closing moments of this Age of Grace. I continue to teach that I think the Lord is coming for us any day now. Now that doesn’t mean I’m setting dates, but I think that we’re getting so close as we see the world so rapidly falling into more and more wickedness. And again let me share with you about one of our listeners who called from a distant city, and this fellow was saved out of abject ungodliness himself. And he said, “Les, this country is going down the tube isn’t it?” And I told him that it has been for quite a while now. Why? Well he said, “You know the kind of men that are working for me in this moving business, these 25 or 30 young, strong hulks, these guys that can pick up a refrigerator and carry it on their back. One of these fellows came to me the other day and said, `You know, we’re living in wicked times aren’t we?'” And this guy said, “Yeah, but why do you think that?” Because he knew what kind of a lifestyle that he lived. So this worker told him that he was invited the other night to a house party, and he said the drugs and sex got so awful that he had to leave. Now if that kind of a person can’t stand it, imagine the depths that those kind of people are going. And I’m hearing it over and over, not just in our big cities, but it’s where ever you go. There is a complete breakdown in morality, there is a complete losing of Godly restraint, and it’s starting to mushroom. Well what’s it telling us? We’re getting close to the end. Let’s go for a moment to Luke Chapter 21, because I don’t won’t to be an alarmist, I’m not a sensationalist, and I have never taught sensationalism. Let’s begin with verse 25, and we may also go on back to Matthew Chapter 24.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;…”
Now what does that mean? They have problems that they have no answer to, and the world is full of it. Just in the last few days have you noticed all the turmoil in all the various areas of the world. There is new fighting all over. It seems like the whole world is in turmoil. And then you have the population problem, because the world is just being inundated with people, and some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world are having a population explosion. Well they don’t know what to do. Most of you know we just came back from Haiti a month or so back, and it’s the same way there. Abject poverty, they have nothing except kids. The world is in perplexity tonight, there is no answer to their dilemma, and these are all signs of the end time. Now read on:
“…the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
Now I know this language is primarily for the seven years of Tribulation that is coming, but we’re seeing the beginning of it. We’re seeing the stage being set for that final seven years. Now let’s look at Matthew Chapter 24, and again I’ve always taught that Matthew 24 is the Tribulation event, but they’re not going to all of a sudden come out of a sea of calm, and then just break loose, but we’re going to see everything start roaring, and the stirring of the so-called water, so that when the Tribulation comes it will just be increased tremendously. But we’re seeing the beginning of all this, and it should tell us, especially those of us who know God’s Word that we’re getting close to the end. We know it but what about the world around us? It never enters their mind. I don’t care where we go, whether it’s North, East, West, or South, its frantic building activity. Now look what Jesus said in this chapter.
“But as the days of No-e (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (And we’re seeing the introduction to it) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,…”
Is there anything wrong with that? No, but it’s that intense activity, there is just no slowing it down,. And then I read every once in awhile about the tremendous amounts of money that people are spending on their wedding reception. It’s not unusual for wealthy Jews to spend up to $40,000.00 for their kids’ wedding. Unreal isn’t it? And it’s not just over there, it’s the same way here, but nevertheless this is the make-up of society today. Now verse 39:
“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Remember how I always taught the flood? It wasn’t just the water coming up gradually from that rain, but it was an instantaneous breaking up of the fountains of the deep, it was instantaneous destruction, they never knew what hit them. And here we have it as an indication of how it’s going to happen again. Here we have the events leading up to the end times, we should know, as a nation of people with Bibles in all our homes, if America can’t be enlightened, then who in the world can be. But they aren’t, they don’t care, they have no concern for the most part. Back to Romans 10:
“For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”
Absolutely! The Mosaic system was legalism, but it also had to have faith. They couldn’t take either one by themselves, it wasn’t faith plus nothing as it is in this Age of Grace, but remember their works would never amount to anything if it was without faith. In other words, they had to do the things that God said to do under the Law, because they believed that it was what God said. But most of them left the faith element out completely and just did the works, and again that’s where we are today in Christendom. People are doing the works, they’re doing the things that they think need to be done, but without faith, and God will not accept it. Now verse 6, and that verse starts with the word “But,” and what have I always told you about that word in Scripture? It’s the flip-side.
“But the righteousness which is of faith (That righteousness that comes by believing the Word of God) speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above): Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (Now look at verse 8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;”
Now when I deal with that situation that we don’t have to ascend to some high mountain to find Christ, or go down into the lowest portions of the earth to find Him, but where is He? Right in front of us. Now here I always like to go back to John’s Gospel Chapter 10, and that is probably as good an illustration that I can find. And Christ is using Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep. But not only is He the Shepherd, but He is also the “Door” to the sheepfold. Now let’s look at it, and Jesus is speaking.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” Most people just read that, and all they picture is somebody just trying to steal a sheep or lamb. But this is a spiritual thing. What’s He telling us? That people who try to gain heaven other than what He has described, are going to be cast out as thieves and robbers.
“But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”Now I want you to come all the way down to verse 6:
“This parable spake Jesus unto them; (Jesus is talking to His own people, the Children of Israel) but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. (They were blind, ignorant, and now He’s going to clarify it.) Then said Jesus unto them again, `Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.'”
What’s Jesus saying? He is the only way, and it’s no different today, but they try to come in every other way except the way that Christ has given us. Now whenever I’ve taught this chapter in the past, how have I put it? Where was the door to that sheep fold? Not way up on some sheer cliff, or across that raging river, but right in front of them at ground level where anybody could walk through. And remember as you walk down that river of life that we all walk, we see the door with a sign on it that says, “Whosoever will may come.” And when you walk through that door, we can look back at that door, and we can see written on the other side “Chosen before the foundation of the world.” But this is exactly what Paul is saying here in Romans Chapter 10. You don’t have to ascend some place and bring Christ down to your level where you can approach Him. Or you don’t have to bring Him up from the deep, because He’s right in front of every person.
A question came up the other afternoon, “What about people who have never heard the Gospel?” (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4.) And we think there are people maybe in the dark parts of Africa, or South America, are they lost? Of course they’re lost. Why? Because The Book says that every man that comes into this world has been enlightened. Let me show you in John’s Gospel, I found this verse not long ago, and I thought I knew John’s Gospel, but here was a verse that I had totally missed all these years. And this is what The Book says even though I can’t comprehend it, and I can’t explain it logically, but the Sovereign God has said it, and He will never send someone to an eternal doom without cause. This verse is speaking of Jesus coming of course in His first Advent as John the Baptist had announced Him remember.
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Now when I saw that I thought, I’d never seen that before. How many times have people asked me about these people who have never heard the Gospel. Well I know that Romans 1:18 says that they are without excuse.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
But you see here in John’s Gospel is why they’re without excuse. No human being has ever come into life on this planet without having the light that God has given him, and consequently they’re going to be held responsible for it. Now go back to Romans Chapter 10, and verse 8:
“But what saith it? (The Scriptures) The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,…”
This isn’t just a casual statement; it means what it says The Word is there for the taking so why don’t they take it? Because the Word says that they refuse to step into the light because the light will reveal what they’re really made of, and they don’t want to see or hear. And so they reject the Light, to their own doom, and it’s sad, because Christ tasted death for every man as in II Corinthians 5:
II Corinthians 5:14
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” Now that’s what The Book says, and we have to understand that. Now coming back to verse 8 again.
“But what saith it? The word is night thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith,…” Not works, not legalism, but the Word of faith, or belief. Let’s turn real quick to Romans Chapter 1, and this says it no differently than many other Scripture verses.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;…”
And you can follow these Scripture references through, and it’s always Paul’s admonition to him that believeth.