'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
The Apostle Paul makes a dramatic statement when he says that "all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:25-29). How can this be?
Millions of Jews have perished since Paul and Jesus walked the earth. And there were millions more who died prior to that time. They died most of the time as the result of rebellion against God, and were finally taken captive for the last time, subsequently being scattered throughout the earth.
During the times of Jesus and Paul, some of the writings of some of the Apostles were addressed to "those of the dispersion", that is, the Israelites of the last captivity, long before Jesus came to die for all peoples on the earth. (Acts 17:16-34; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
There is an intriguing passage in the Old Testament that speaks of a time in the future when all of Israel will be resurrected - not to immediate eternal life, but a physical resurrection of all those of Israel who will come to life, and live again on the earth as Jesus Christ begins a new world. (Ezekiel 36:22-37; 37:1-14).
In this new world of a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6), commonly called the "Millennium", many of Israel will live again and finally accept their Messiah. Some perhaps will assist the Apostles who will be judging and governing the twelve tribes of Israel. At least one of the several annual festivals of Israel will be re-instituted. Perhaps many of these resurrected ones of Israel will assist in the administration of these festival days.
As the Apostle Paul states in defending the predestination of the Jews, eventually they will again be chosen for a very important future, and defends the advantage of being a Jew. Their rejection of their Messiah, and the Savior of all peoples of the earth, will eventually be ended. There will be great healing of the enmity between Jew and Gentile, a binding of the two as one (Romans 11:17-24).
At the present time Gentiles are being "grafted in" to the "vine" of the original heritage of the promises originally made to Abraham. Some of Paul's greatest controversies and struggles were with the classical Jewish leaders of that time. When he was blinded and converted by Jesus on a road he was traveling, and had to be led to his destination, Jesus spoke to him personally. There, on that road, began hope for the Gentile world (Acts 26:15-20)
For now, Israel is rejecting their Messiah. During this interlude of time, the Gospel is being preached to the Gentile world, until "the times of the Gentiles come in". (Romans 11:22-25). Jewish rejection and enmity toward Paul, coupled with his mission to the Gentiles would eventually osculates to the point of thrusting Paul into a personal witness to the Roman Emperor. Was this personal witness of Paul to become the seed of the "Christian" Roman Empire which developed around 300 A.D.? Some historians believe so.
But initially, Paul's primary evangelizing, after going to the Jews first and receiving their rejection of the gospel, was to the Gentile world. However, beginning with the coming of the Savior into the world, God is now commanding all peoples to repent - Jew and Gentile (Acts 17:15-30). Eventually all Israel, at least in the main, will be saved. And perhaps most of the Gentile world will be saved also.
There will finally be a complete re-gathering of those of Jewish decent from all over the earth, and the acceptance of Messiah, along with most of the Gentile world. The punishment of all those - Jew and Gentile - who refuse to come up to Jerusalem to observe the holy days during the Millennium undoubtedly serve to motivate the Jew and Gentile healing the long standing breach between the two.
God knows what He is doing. He will heal forever the breach between Israelites and Gentiles.They will eventually become one people of God after the return of Jesus to rule the world. The enmity between Jew and Gentile will be ended forever. But it can only happen through the second coming of Jesus Christ - the Lord and Savior of both (Matthew 19:27-29).
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
"And everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. And it shall be that whoso of the families of the earth shall not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, upon them there shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt does not go up to Jerusalem and present themselves, upon them there shall be no rain, but there shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite the nations that go not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the consequent punishment of the sin of Egypt and the consequent punishment of the sin of all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." - Zechariah 14:16-19 (AMP)
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