Posts filed under ‘Judaism’
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.
Notice in Romans 11:12 (above), Paul finishes his thought by asking a question. He asks that if Israel’s “transgression” means spiritual wealth for the world and specifically, that transgression (unbelief) has allowed God to go around Israel and offer salvation directly to Gentiles, then how much more precious and rich will Israel’s “full restoration bring” to the entire world be? Here, Paul is looking forward to the coming Millennial Kingdom where the remaining future promises connected with Israel will unfold and be fulfilled. At that point, Israel will be the center of our world just as it is the center of God’s World now (cf. Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12). During the coming Millennial Kingdom, Israel will be the fountain of blessing for the entire world! It is extremely important to grasp this.
We cannot emphasize this enough. It is not about saving America because according to the Bible, an evil one is coming who will completely take over and rule the entire world. America might still be called “America” at that point, but it will most certainly not be the America that was founded by our founding fathers. When Jesus returns physically to this earth, do we actually believe He’s going to allow America to remain as America? In point of fact, He will set up His Millennial Kingdom over which He Himself will rule from His father David’s throne in Jerusalem. There will be nothing throughout the earth that He does not control. He will reign supreme for 1,000 years and nothing will deter His rule. There will not be a “president” of the United States and if is very possible that the U.S. won’t even exist at that point. Yet, patriots and Christians alike continue to spend endless hours fighting for a country while people die into eternity to the tune of 150,000 per day. Does this make any sense?
Unfortunately, in today’s religious climate, many even within Christendom see Israel as a problem rather than the source of blessing from God’s perspective. They point to the nation’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah and God’s judgment upon that nation in AD 70 by Rome. This, they believe, is when God not only judged the nation, but chose at that time to cut all ties with Israel forever. While God certainly judged, He most certainly did not cut all ties with Israel. Only through incorrect exegesis and allegorical maneuvering can God’s Word be said to teach that. The whole of the Bible does not support such an untenable position.
Romans 3:1-4 indicates that at a future point, God will revive and complete His program with Israel. He will choose a final remnant of believing Jews who will place their faith in Jesus as Savior, Messiah, and Lord and this will occur during the upcoming Tribulation period (“time of Jacob’s trouble”). God is waiting for that generation of Jews, but it is not as though He is sitting in the heavens wringing His hands wondering when or if that generation will one day appear. That generation will appear and they will appear at the exact time they are supposed to appear, according to God’s sovereignty and timing. It is already a “done” deal as far as God is concerned. Because He exists in the eternal present, He, unlike us, has already seen it happen. He knows them each by name. He sees their faces. They will embrace His salvation (cf. Zechariah 12:10).