Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Is the Kingdom of God Like This?

From a distance, the mountains looked almost like a single mountain-system. The distance between the separate mountain peaks couldn't be clearly seen, as in the first photo.

But when I got in the car and drove to the location, it became clearer that considerable distance actually spans between the separate peaks, even though the peaks are part of the same mountain-system, as seen in the second photo.

Is Bible-Prophecy a bit like that? The Old Testament prophets foresaw and predicted things like the restoration of Israel from captivity, then Messiah's coming and Kingdom - almost like a single salvation event: while the disciples, after being with Jesus and hearing Him expound the Scriptures after His resurrection, were able to understand more clearly that some time was to span between Messiah's first and second comings - but that didn't mean they were experiencing something different to what the Prophets had foreseen. 

The fact they came to understand that Messiah's second coming was to be distinct from His first coming, did not mean Israel's salvation had not come. It didn't mean the Kingdom hadn't been inaugurated. It didn't mean everything the Prophets spoke about had been delayed. It did not mean the Gospel was a separate plan altogether, inserted only while we wait for God's Kingdom plan to resume - just like the fact that when I was on location I was able to see considerable distance spanning between the mountain peaks, did not mean that I was at a different mountain-system altogether to the one I'd seen from a distance. It was the same thing!

The perspective I had on location, better explained the view I'd seen only obscurely from the distance. Similarly, it's the New Testament which explains what Kingdom-prophecies in the Old Testament mean. 

The Gospel and God's Kingdom-plan for Israel are not two separate things. The Prophets foresaw it as a mystery - the Gospel revealed it! Like the same mountain viewed from a distance as a unit, and close-up with better perspective.

The Apostles' doctrine was: Israel's salvation had not failed - the Gospel is God's Salvation/Kingdom plan for Israel - but not all believed. Gentiles also heard, and believed the same Gospel of the Kingdom - and were justified, without the deeds of the Law.

But only the born-again shall see the Kingdom of heaven!

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