1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. Rom. 9:1–8, NASB
I just spent the last several days traveling from Kansas City to the Washington D.C. area and back. While it was merciful to get away from this dreadful heat wave and drought that has persisted since May 29th, I looked very hard for God’s people in the D.C. area, in Baltimore and Annapolis. I saw lots of church buildings, but I’m not sure I came across a lot of Christians. We ate in a restaurant in Georgetown on Saturday night and there were three men and a woman at the table next to us in a very long and serious discussion. They looked very distinguished. In between the serving of the courses they went over a very formal document in which they attempted to define what the terms “Born-Again” and “Evangelical” meant and how it would be handled by whatever “organization” that document defined. My wife and I discussed it later and she succinctly stated that I could have settled all of their confusion very quickly with some direct preaching from the Word.