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The people of the Jewish nation must come to God through faith in Christ, just like the people of every other nation. God Chose Abraham to be the father of the Jewish Nation and made a covenant with Abraham that through him, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. And that they as a nation were to bless the nations around them. The promise was to bring the "promised seed", the Messiah through the family line of Abraham and Sarah. Gal 3:16 - "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Abraham believed God, and received it by faith. All those who receive the promise of "the Seed, Christ" receive it by faith in Christ. Gal 3:6-9 says, "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." God has a plan for the nation of Israel, the physical children of Abraham, to bless them as a nation, but individually, they must receive 'the seed of Abraham" by faith in order to be spiritual heirs of the promise of salvation. Today there are many people of the Jewish nation who are recognising Jesus as the promised messiah and seed of Abraham. This is why we call them Messianic Jews.
It is important for all believers to keep in mind that God's instruction to His prophet Isaiah was to rebuke and warn Israel about their disobedience, but Isaiah 6:9 tells us that Isaiah was told to " Go and tell this people: 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding: Be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they may see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Also, Romans 11:8 - "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day." In the book of Romans, Paul explains that it has been God's plan all along to blind His people Israel until "the fullness of the Gentiles" is accomplished. Deut. 32:21 is Moses' prophecy of Israel's fall and redemption. Paul in Romans declares that Israel's fall is temporary (Rom. 11:11), and their blindness was designed by God to bring about salvation for the Gentiles. In Ephesians 2:15, Paul, as led by the Spirit of God, anticipated the coming together of Jewish and Gentile believers as "One New Man" through Jesus (Yeshua), "our peace". While both Jew and Gentile maintain their God-given identities, the primary identity of the one new man is Jesus, Yeshua. In John 17:22-23, Jesus prayed for the "oneness" of His people. Paul explains in Romans 10:19,11:11 and 11:14 that God intends to use the Gentile church to "provoke the Jews to jealousy". The coming to faith of the Jews---their "re-gathering" and "re-grafting into the original olive tree" will be caused by the unity of all believers, both Jew and Gentile, the "one new man. This will precipitate the opening of the eyes and ears of the 99% of Jews who have yet to come to the knowledge of their Messiah Yeshua. (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:25). At that time, it will be Israel's cry, provoked by jealousy for God's covenantal promise to them, of "Baruch Haba Ba Shem Adonai!" ("Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord"), declared by Jesus Himself as a condition of His return in Luke 13:34-35, that will usher in Jesus' second coming.
“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Luke 3:7–9) Not to encouaging a word for them. It gets worse. Hebrews 1:1,2,3 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:" This is Gods doing and is marvelous in our eyes. But the Jewish people have not, for the most part, seen this! As they rejected this! Luke 20:17. And Paul further states, Romans 10:12 "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that 'call' upon him." But the only hope for them is, Hebrews 11:23. "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again." Its still boils down to a question of belief verses unbelief! Verse 26, "And 'so' all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:" This 'so' is a key word, meaning "in this manner." Just as what the 'so' in John 3:16 means. God 'shows' His love for us by doing something. They still have to come by belief! There will be no free ride. When the enemy (all the nations mentioned in Revelations) are surrounding them, they will call out to Jesus. Pray for Israel.
It is important to note that God raised Israel (Jews) not to have them as an exclusively saved nation whilst everyone else was lost. God raised Israel as an instrument or an agent which He was going to use to save the rest of Humanity. In my view God wanted a group of people taught and practicing His will so that all nations can come to know Him and be saved. Having said that, this does not exclude salvation through Jesus Christ. Let me be clear that there is salvation through no other. My point is that the Jews (Israel) were supposed (as a nation) to introduce Jesus to the world. God having given all the information about Jesus in scripture wanted Israel to then welcome Christ into the world, protect Him and support Him in His work. Even the manner of His death would have been different. Needless to say rebellion after rebellion led to God leaving them as a nation. They are still welcome in salvation through Jesus Christ like any person. The essence of Christianity is that once you are saved you become a spiritual Israelite. Hence you can claim the blessings and promises God has set aside for Israel. However there are responsibilities that go along with the blessings, your job is to lead any one who does not believe in Christ (spiritual Gentiles) to salvation, just like ancient Israel was meant to do. In my view ancient Israel lost their privileged position as God's ambassadors because they began to view salvation as a birth right rather a spiritual relationship with their God. They somehow forgot that salvation was conditional upon them remaining faithful to God. This is a grim lesson for all of us who claim to be Christians today (modern Israel). We too can be lost if we take the salvation offered through Jesus Christ for granted. We are going to be like the 5 foolish virgins.
Jews are not saved because they are Jews. People are only saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul teaches that the Children of Abraham are spiritual not physical, marked out because they share the same faith as Abraham, not because they share the same genes. (Gal 3:7) No one is saved because they are born Jewish. You have to put your trust in Jesus and that's the same whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. And it is because salvation is through faith that there is now no longer any distinction between Jews and Gentiles. (Gal 3:28) There is no special purpose for the Jews. The only chosen people are now people of faith. All come by faith or not at all. Regards, Philip
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