Sunday, December 06, 2009

Obstacles to the Kingdom (3) - Reason for Season

Jesus explained how the Times of the Gentiles would come to an end.

For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt 23:39).
The Times of the Gentiles end when the majority of the Jewish accept the gospel and acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah. They will be restored to blessing, when they bless those who bring the good news of Jesus.

Paul explains the reason for the Times of the Gentiles in the book of Romans. In Romans 10:21 he describes Israel as a disobedient nation. Their hearts have been hardened (Rom 11:25), made enemies of the gospel (Rom 11:28) committed to disobedience (Rom 11:31) and broken out of the vine (Rom 11:17). Paul also promised that their stumble was not beyond recovery (Rom 11:11). He promised that a time will come when Israel is reconciled to the Lord and grafted back into his olive tree. God has promised that all Israel will be saved (Rom 11:26). They will be restored to the kingdom of God, when they accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.

The Times of the Gentiles have now lasted for 2000 years, far longer than God intended. The delay occurred because Christians have failed to share the gospel to the Jewish people. For most of the Times of the Gentiles, Christians persecuted Jews, which was wrong. In more recent times, they have encouraged Israeli militarism, which is no better. The proper response is to share the good news of Jesus with the Jewish people.

The Times of the Gentiles have been extended by the Jewish people looking to military power for their security. Many have placed their hope for safety in the Israeli state. This is a false hope that prevents Jewish people from looking to their true hope. Unfortunately, many Christians have ecouraged them to pursue this false hope. The idea that the Jewish people will be safe in the state of Israel is a lie.

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