Happy Tuesday, everyone. I hope your week has started off well.
A quick look at what we’ve learned so far. God created a perfect world, but man messed it up by sinning in the garden of Eden. So God initiated a plan which would redeem mankind and which would encompass all of human history. He started a story arc which began in the garden and would finish at the end of time on the earth.
We also learned that He gave us a preview or type of what He was going to do with the lives of Enoch and Noah, where He removed the righteous before judgment and provided a safe way for His chosen to make it through.
Now we jump a little further into the future and encounter the man, Abram.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3.
God chose the man Abram to be the major player in His plan to provide a redeemer for the world. He told Abram to leave his family and country and go to a land He would show him. That land is what we now call Israel.
God also told Abram that He would make Abram a great nation, or in other words give him a lot of descendants, that He would bless him and make his name great, and that He would bless the world through him. Eventually God even changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning father of many.
All of this is considered the promise to Abraham, a land, a nation, a name, and a blessing to the world. That blessing would ultimately be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and redeemer of mankind. The fulfillment of the promise God made in the garden of Eden.
So, what does this have to do with our main topic, the Rapture? Well, let’s look at two points. First, since all of history is about God’s plan to redeem mankind, and God has set up Abraham and his descendants, the Jews, as the means to implement that plan, then this world’s history is all about the Jewish people.
Second, as part of the main promise God made to Abraham, there are other “side promises” He made to him regarding his descendants, the nation of Israel as a whole. And God always keeps His promises. After He completes His redeeming plan for the whole world, He’s going to fulfill His promises to Israel.
And that’s what the end of time is all about. God will complete His work with the world and then with the nation of Israel. So, if you’re going to study end-time prophecy, you have to do it through the lens of the Jewish people because they are how God constructed history.
“Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”” Ezekiel 37:11-14.
That is why the reconstitution of the nation of Israel in 1948, is so important to Biblical prophecy. It is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37, and as God can’t fulfill promises to something that isn’t there, now He can. Which means all of the end-time prophecies which deal with those promises can now be fulfilled.
So, to recap. God announced His plan of redemption in the garden of Eden and started human history. He gave us a heads up of what he was going to do with Enoch and Noah, remove the righteous and save His chosen through judgment. Then He implemented His plan by making promises to Abraham and used him to create the Jewish people, through whom He would bring His Redeemer into the world.
Next time we’ll look at Daniel, a Jewish man whom God blessed by giving him a blueprint for the Jewish nation through the end of time. That will also give us an idea of how to view the rest of what the Bible says about the end times. We’ll also look at what God had intended for the nation of Israel with regard to the whole world.
Have a great week, and stop by Friday for the weekend message.
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