The special privilege enjoyed by Gentile believers won’t last forever.
APPRECIATING OUR SPECIAL PRIVILEGE
If the seven churches in Revelation, chapters two and three show the progression of the Church through history, and the church at Laodicea represents the state of the Church in these last days, then the Church has failed as miserably as the children of Israel. Those who espouse Replacement Theology, falsely claiming that the Church has replaced Israel as the recipient of God’s covenantal promises, should take a good look at their own failures. They have failed to spread the gospel & change the culture. These Gentiles, in their arrogance, have given no thought to their God-given purpose to make the Jews jealous (Rom. 11:11).
Yet, in spite of all our failures, God has shown such amazing grace to us Gentiles (as in Christ). May God open our eyes to see all that He has done for us. We have not even begun to realize our privileges! We, as Gentiles, have taken for granted the gift of the apostle Paul. He is not only ours, but God laid us Gentiles upon this man as He laid Israel upon Moses. Moses complained of the burden (Num. 11:11-15), but not Paul, not even of, in his own words, “that which pressed upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28, 29).
A Temporary Privilege
Having been “grafted in” to the cultivated olive tree (Rom. 11:17), we Gentiles have been raised to a position of great privilege and blessing because of the Jews’ unbelief. We have failed not only to appreciate the magnitude of God’s blessings and the privilege of our undeserved new position, but we have also failed to see the stark truth that this position of divine favor and privilege is temporary.
Two Groups of Jews
While I am still sorting all this out in my mind, my current understanding is that in the millennial kingdom, believing Jews will be grafted back into their own cultivated olive tree, receiving nourishment from the rich root of promise and blessing in Abraham, the father of all who believe in Christ (Gal. 3:29). But here, we must see a clear distinction between two “groups” of Jews. Those Jews who have received Christ prior to the Rapture had become part of the Church, part of the “one new man” (Eph. 2:15) in which there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), neither slave not free, neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28), a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) in which all are equal regarding salvation. These “former” Jews and Gentiles have become part of the heavenly Church. The have become heavenly beings with a heavenly destiny.
Once the door to the Church has been closed (at the Rapture) all the Jews who are saved through faith in Christ during the Tribulation represent the other “group of Jews. They consist of one-third of all Jews alive at that time (Zech. 13:9). They represent “true Israel,” the “all Israel” that will be saved (Rom. 11:26). They will survive the horrors of the Great Tribulation and will remain on earth which Christ will restore.
This group of believing Jews represents “national Israel.” It is then that God’s numerous promises of the coming kingdom (referred to in Matthew’s gospel as the “kingdom of heaven”) will be fulfilled. Perhaps it is called the kingdom of heaven because it is then that the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven. For centuries, people have been praying “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God answers these prayers in the millennial kingdom.
No More Divine Favor
It is at this time that the “status of divine favor” enjoyed by Gentile believers today will end. This is the point of today’s article. Knowing that something we enjoy is only temporary should make us appreciate it more. It’s sad that we take so much of what has been done for us for granted. The drastic changes we all have experienced over the past two years have brought a new normal which I believe God will use to try to wake us out of our slumber.
Next week we’ll take a deeper look at what life will be like for Jews and Gentiles during the kingdom of heaven (millennial kingdom) which may be closer that we ever imagined.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Joe Biden’s version of old sayings:
All roads lead to the mother of invention.
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