Monday, 27 February 2017

Nations = Individuals

The Gospel isn't merely a secondary theme in Old Testament Prophecy. The Gospel isn't even merely an equal second ultimate-theme in Old Testament Prophecy, the other being Israel. The Gospel is the ultimate theme of Old Testament promise, shadow and prophecy!

Many consider Romans chapter 11 to be about the future of national Israel - as if the Gospel is only an equal-second concern of God's, or worse: hardly mentioned in Old Testament Prophecy at all.

But when Paul discusses Israel in Romans chapter 11, it isn't clear to me that he's necessarily thinking about the future of the polity of Israel, as a block, as a nation-State. He's probably just thinking about Israelis. About Jews. Individual Jews.

We see nations and individuals discussed the same way in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus said all nations shall be called before Him in the day of Judgment. But still, individuals from all nations shall be judged on an individual basis: it's not talking about blocks of nations. The sheep and goats are individuals, not whole nations.

Similarly in Romans chapter 11, Israel isn't necessarily literally the whole nation in future - it probably just meant Jews, individuals. Jews could still be saved if they repented and believed: God hadn't closed that door to a Jew.

That's pretty much all Paul was saying, I think. He was explaining a timeless Gospel-truth, in order to correct a potential misconception - asserting a first century reality - he probably wasn't mainly forecasting the future of the political State of Israel.

The Gospel fulfilled Israel's prophesied salvation - the Gospel isn't something else.

The remnant obtained it, and the rest were hardened and blinded, as a consequence of their unbelief.

Then through the ministries of believing-Jews, Gentiles next heard and and believed. A scenario also foreseen by the Prophets.

That outcome didn't mean however that God had closed the opportunity for Jews to be saved - any Jewish individual could still be saved, if he repented and believed.

In fact, God was using the salvation-experience of Gentiles to try to provoke that very response in more Jews!

And this scenario is to continue until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in - that is, until the end. And then all who have been born again shall see the Kingdom of God, the eternal consummation of the Gospel-Kingdom scheme.

That's pretty much what Paul was asserting in Romans 11 - I'm not convinced he was instead separating the Gospel from the supposed future-salvation of national Israel, in Bible-Prophecy, like many today are thinking.

To Paul, the Gospel was the apex of promise, shadow and prophecy. The Gospel didn't even share that podium with any other purpose and plan, in Prophecy. It was it!


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