Sunday, 23 October 2016

Israel's Spiritual Future

When Jesus said:
Matthew 24:14
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come"
notice His words, "...and then the end will come".
"...this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed through the whole all nations...and then the end will come".
Is it fair to say it doesn't read like there's room for any gap in future history, when the Gospel must cease being preached to all nations, for some years possibly, prior to the end? but rather that the end immediately follows.
Now compare that with:
Romans 11:25,26
"...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved..."
It's reasonable to assume that the fulness of the Gentiles shall continue coming in, while ever the Gospel is still being preached to all nations, right?
If so, then the moment "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" can be equated with "the end".
And seeing the end appears to immediately follow the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, that would leave no space in future-history, prior to the end, in which the Gospel must cease being preached to the nations, and God must turn His focus away from the nations, onto Israel instead, when blindness shall be removed from Israel, and literally all Israel shall be saved.
Yes Paul then says, "...and so all Israel shall be saved..." But notice he did not say, And 'then' - but, And 'so'.
Could that mean Paul wasn't talking about sequence, but about method - not, And then...But, And so... Not predicting a future historical sequence, but referencing an already-explained, already-current method.
If so, the sense could be that the current scenario, as Paul had just finished explaining it, is to continue until the end.
What scenario? The scenario:
  • That Israel's promised-salvation hadn't failed 
  • That a remnant of Jews had indeed been saved, first 
  • That the rest were blinded
  • That Gentiles then believed
  • That this didn't mean God closed the door to Jews, but God began using Gentiles to provoke more Jews to faith, to the effect that both Gentiles and Jews were now getting saved simultaneously
  • And that all of this was the precise manner in which Israel's prophesied salvation was indeed seeing its intended fulfilment.

"And so..." (meaning, according to this manner), the promise that "...all Israel shall be saved" was seeing its intended fulfilment.
Then Paul cited a sample-prophecy:
" it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins"
which by the way, are verses which must have already been fulfilled at least in-part by Christ's first coming, not only at His second coming - or else no-one has ever yet been saved!
This outcome had been a bit of a mystery in Old Covenant times, even to the Prophets themselves - but Paul, through the Gospel, explained the precise scenario by which the promised and prophesied salvation was seeing its intended fulfilment.

If this is what Jesus meant; and if this is how Paul understood and applied Old Testament Prophecy in Romans 11, then it would mean this:

That God has only one spiritual program for everyone, including for citizens of the modern State of Israel, right up until the very end, right up until the second coming - and that program is nothing other than the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of grace. The Gospel of the Kingdom.

All men regardless of ethnicity are justified freely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ - without the deeds of the Law.

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