Surprises of Heaven

“Knowing everything in advance, God has the advantage of seeing the end from the beginning, and with this knowledge His determining of the final outcome is certain.” Stuart Briscoe, Romans

Discussion Guide for Romans 11:1-10

Main Idea: In heaven, we will be surprised at who is there…and who is not there!

CONNECTING

Do you know people who have grown up in a Christian home, studied the Bible or attended church regularly that now are hardened against Christ? Do you have an idea of why they walked away?
Read Romans 11:1-10. How is the problem of 11:1 similar to the one in Romans 9:6? How does the example of Paul’s life begin to answer this question?

UNDERSTANDING

Read Romans 11:1-6. What does God’s gracious “foreknowledge” mean? How does the Apostle Paul contrast our “works” with God’s “grace in Romans 11:5-6?
How does Elijah (11:2-5) remind us of why some unexpected people are followers of Jesus Christ? Read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 19. Why did he feel alone? How did God help him through his discouragement?
Read Romans 11:7-10. How can we understand “hardening” based on the Old Testament quotations in this section? How does Romans 10:1 help me with my response to those who appear “hardened”?

LIVING

Are there people you think are beyond God’s reach? Are you ever tempted to think that even God has given up on them? How can you correct this mistaken attitude?
Why do we often get “used to” the unbelief of people we know? Why might we stop grieving over their hardened hearts? How can this passage help us not give up on them?

ASSIGNMENT

Does the gospel still apply to Jewish people? Is it right to try to win them (or Muslims and Hindus) to Christ? Do a web search for Christian organizations or Messianic Churches that reach out to Jewish people. Report to your LIFE group what you learn about these devoted believers.
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