Sunday, February 4, 2018

Bible Reading Plan thoughts: Romans 11 and the full number

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25).

John MacArthur on that verse in the sermon Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? part 6
The fullness of the Gentiles, that is when the full number of Gentiles are redeemed, the fullness of the Gentiles will bring the salvation of Israel. Follow now; the fullness of Israel will bring the kingdom. So you have the fullness of the Gentiles and then they're raptured out, God redeems Israel and when the fullness of Israel is redeemed, the kingdom comes. And so with great joy does Paul predict this tremendous event that will bring about what it says in verse 26, "And so all Israel shall be saved," after the fullness of the Gentiles have entered in.
At a certain point in earth's history to come, it is promised to us that Jesus will lift His church composed of Christians dead and alive, into heaven to be with Him. Then he will hurl His stored-up wrath upon earth to punish the unbelieving nation Israel, and the sinful Gentile world. Some people say there will be no rapture at all. Others say that it will happen at the end of or in the middle of the time of wrath (AKA the Tribulation, or Time of Jacob's Trouble). Since the rapture is in the Bible, and since it is a single even that is promised to occur, it can't happen both before the Tribulation and at the end. Therefore one of those positions is right and one of them is wrong.

Scripture supports this stance that the rapture will happen before Jesus begins the last days punishments. Paul taught this in his treatment of the subject in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians 15:42-57, it's in Revelation, as well as being taught implicitly throughout other books of the Bible.

The event is supposed to be a hope to believers, and an encouragement, said Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:18. When you look around the dark world with its sin and evil, take hope in the knowledge that Jesus has a plan. His plan includes filling a quota for His Church (Romans 11:25). When that occurs, He will remove His Bride from the wrath, because we are not appointed to it. (Revelation 3:10). We will appear before His Bema seat to receive rewards for our service to Him while we were on earth, (2 Corinthians 5:10), and then enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:7–10). Meanwhile on earth, the Tribulation will have begun.

It is a joy to understand that God has not cancelled His promises to Israel and will return His attention ot his chosen nation in due time. He will fulfill His promises, sadly, the wrath, then joyfully, the bliss.


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