Posts filed under ‘israel’
We also need to remember that though the people who start out entering the Millennial Kingdom will all be saved, others will be born during the 1,000 years. Because more human beings will be born during those 1,000 years of peace, they will be born with a sin nature and because of that, will need to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, who will be physically ruling over all the earth at that time. Because of this, Israel will finally fulfill its original purpose of being a light to all nations regarding salvation. This is clear in passages such as Zechariah 1:11 and 8:23 as well as Malachi 3:12.
We know that Jesus currently sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven and He rules with Him now (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:8-9; John 1:1-3; 17:5; Acts 7:55-56). However, if we consider just Psalm 2, we learn that God the Father will install as ruler His Son, Jesus, to rule the nations from Zion (Jerusalem). It is an interesting Psalm and one that is tied to God the Son’s future rule over all the earth. Revelation tells us that He will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27) and this refers to His physical rule over all the earth. It is difficult to understand Scripture in terms of allegory when it is too clear that the texts are to be taken literally, just as the texts were to be taken literally referring to Christ’s physical birth as an infant into this world as a human being (while retaining His full deity; the God-Man with two natures; Philippians 2).
Paul also makes a distinction between salvation and the fulfillment of God’s plans, purposes, and promises for the nation of Israel. Paul assures us that salvation is gained in the exact same way for everyone – both Jew and Gentile – and that is through faith. There should be no debate about that. But God’s plan for individual Christians (whether Jew or Gentile) is rarely the same once salvation is gained. Paul concludes that this is also true where national Israel is concerned and takes pains to make this point very clear. In spite of this, many are unable to see his point and misunderstand what he is teaching.
In essence, this entire portion of Romans 9 – 11 is where Paul reveals two completely different periods of God’s dealings with national Israel. They are 1) the current period of loss through unbelief, and 2) the future period of fullness when God will have taken the final remnant from among Jews during the coming Tribulation. Those Jews who survive that terrible time of God’s wrath (“the time of Jacob’s trouble,” cf. Jeremiah 30:7), without dying will be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom over which Jesus Himself will reign immediately following the Tribulation.
If folks would stop, step back, and look at Romans 11 as a whole, it is fairly easy to see that Paul’s argument sets out to prove that Israel is not permanently rejected by God, but the nation has only been temporarily set aside. Since the time of Jesus, Jews like Paul have been added by faith to God’s Kingdom. The one change is that Gentiles now also are added the same way since God has temporarily placed Israel the nation on the shelf. At a point in the future, during the coming Tribulation period, God will once again turn His attention to Israel the nation and begin restoring her fortunes, which will find complete fulfillment during the Millennial Kingdom immediately following the Tribulation.
Centuries ago, if a person brought a tree into their home, decorated it, and set it in a corner, it was clear to everyone then that the tree was dedicated to Asherah. No one would miss that fact, so God told the Israelites that they should not do that. In fact, God pointed out that they were to avoid every form of idolatry. God gave plenty of rules and laws through Moses that the people of Israel were to obey. The Church is not Israel and because of that, many of those rules do not apply to us, especially rules that are culturally based from hundreds or even a few thousand years ago.
If the people of my generation are leaving God behind and embracing all forms of idolatry and sin, how much more difficult will it be for young people of today to become and remain anchored to God now? Every generation must ask the question: what will they do with God? Starting out strong is wonderful. Remaining strong to the end is preferred and too many are not ending on that note. Too many are like Susan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, who finds the things of this world too alluring to avoid. In the end, she shuts down her once thriving affection for Aslan, exchanging it for the love of the world.