Why we should celebrate our oldies
Some facts concerning the return of our Messiah. Why will this be uncomfortable for some?
"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:10-12)
At that future time God's scales of justice will take a sudden swing in favour of His people, the Jews. When that happens, all who have perpetrated anti-Semitism, who have acted against 'the apple of His eye', will be punished accordingly. By that time the Jews, who have been scattered to the four winds, will have returned to their land, Israel. In this future time God will live with His people, who will be taken from all nations. Yes, you hear me right - it's not a case, at this time, of us living in heaven with God, but rather of God coming down to earth and living with us.
The interesting verse is verse 12 which gives a pretty good description of God's view of the future and the land of Israel. Because here God explicitly states that Judah (the southern part of Israel), and, particularly Jerusalem, will be where He chooses to live in this future time, not London or New York or Paris. And the people He will choose to live with will be taken from the Jews, the apple of His eye, along with all others from the nations (Gentiles) who have been 'granted membership' into the fellowship of believers. So, be warned. Seek blessing, not judgement, by aligning yourself with God's purposes towards His ancient and modern people, the Jews.
And what of the future? For Mr. Roots (Those who believe in the Jews as a covenant people), the future of our World is very much affected by the future of Israel and the Jewish people.
God's future for Israel? It's either an easy one to answer, or a hard one, depending on how you look at it. The easy answer is that, one day, Jesus will return and all will be neat and wonderful (at least for those who believe in him). The hard bit is when we try to fill in the details between now and that glorious day.
So what do we know about the return of our Messiah? Jesus himself spoke of it in Matthew 24. He mentioned the signs that would precede that day, the deceptions and false prophets, the wars and rumours of wars, the famines and earthquakes, the persecutions, the falling away, the preaching of the gospel to all nations. There has also been a hidden clock ticking away, visible but largely ignored. This clock is the Jewish people themselves and it's all to do with 'times and seasons'.
We start with what the apostle Paul calls a mystery. He is speaking, in Romans 11 about the future of the Jewish people. In verses 25-26 he says, ‘I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited. Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved …’.
This will be continued next week …
For the previous article in this series, click here.
For the next article in this series, click here.
To find out what is my favourite book of the Bible, click here.
You can reach Steve with any comments or questions at the Saltshakers Web Community website.