The future and the nation of Israel
Given that the present age is described as the times of the Gentiles and that those times are coming to an end, questions arise about the role of Israel in God’s purpose for the end of this age. Cp Luke 21:24. Gentiles is always an ethnic term that is defined as all who are non-Jew. The use of the term Gentile always infers a consideration of Israel and the Jews. God’s revealed purpose for the future involves the following key events among the nation of Israel and in the land of Israel.
The nation of Israel has a special place in God’s dealings with the earth. That special place has not been subsumed by the New Testament Church. Cp Isaiah 54:9, Jeremiah 31:35-36, Matthew 24:34, Romans 11:1-5, 25-29.
The restoration of the Jews to their own land. The Jews will return to their own land but in a state of unbelief. This is clear from a number of passages that refer to a work of conversion that occurs after when they are in their land. Cp Ezekiel 36:24-27, Joel 3:1-2, 20, Zechariah 12:10, 13:1. This aspect of the prophecy has begun to be fulfilled since 1948.
The time of Jacob’s trouble, Jeremiah 30:7. Between the restoration of Israel to their land and their prophesied conversion lies what Scripture describes as Jacob’s trouble. Through this time of trouble and persecution God will preserve an elect remnant which He will save at Christ’s appearing. Cp Zechariah 13:8-9, Matthew 24:21-22. This persecution will reach a climax under the Antichrist in his final 3 1/2 years. It will primarily be directed against Israel but will also include Jewish and non-Jewish Christians. Cp Daniel 11:31-33, Matthew 24:15-22, Revelation 12:1-6, 13:7.
The conversion of the Jews. This will be effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit at the time of Christ’s appearing in glory. Cp Matt 24:29-30, Zechariah 14:3-4, 12:9-10, Hosea 3:-5, Psalm 102:16, Matthew 23:39. On the basis of Romans 11:26 it appears that all Jews in Israel who survive this tribulation period to witness the return of Christ will be converted and welcome Him as their Redeemer.
Judah and Israel will be brought back from all lands to their own land. Cp Isaiah 11:11-12, 43:5-6, 27:12-13, 66:20, Jeremiah 16:14-15, 23:7-8, 31:38, Jeremiah 32:36-42, Ezekiel 34:13-14, 36:8, 10, 11, 24, 33-5, 37:21-25, 39:25-26, Hosea 1:11, Micah 4:6-7, Zechariah 8:3-5, 7-8, 10:8-10, 12:6, 14:10-11.
God’s people are commanded to pray for the restoration of Jerusalem. Cp Isaiah 2:6-7, Psalm 122:6. The Christian is to have an interest in the nation of Israel because God has such interest. To pray for this is tantamount to praying as John prayed, Even so come Lord Jesus.
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