God Will Bring us Home

Home is the most attractive place to be. Two types of home, one is the sanctuary place of worship, and one is our own home. We all long to be home! We all want to be home. But I am referring to the eternal home which far exceeds the earthly home now. Just take a look now in winter New York, when I feel the cold outside, I long to be home. Do you have such longing to be home with our Father in heaven one day?

Jeremiah, Deuteronomy all spoke of the scattering of the Jews from Israel because of their sins against the Lord, and indeed they were scattered in exile numerous times, and the glorious temple built by King Solomon was totally destroyed and demolished. Such was the vengeance and fury of God towards the unfaithful Israelis in the Old testament. The result was devastating, and more in history.

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The song that really inspired me to write this blog comes from a beautiful song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_GsKLJcum8   by Aaron Shust. The song beautifully captures the mood and sentiment from the different prophetic scriptures in the Old Testament or Torah, and connects with the redemptive scriptures in Christ in the New testament.

Psalm 105: you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.

Here God is speaking to the children of Abraham, the tribe of Israel that God remembers his covenant with forever, and the promises he made with Abraham, Isaac for a thousand generations. Of course, we now believers in Christ, are now the true children of Abraham.

Galatians 3 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

 Who are the children of Abraham? Those who have faith in Christ! Amen.

Gal 3: 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In Christ, we are all children of God through faith. God will bring home the physical tribe and the spiritual tribe home. Some of the physical tribe also belongs to the spiritual tribe. The Spiritual tribe is all those who put their faith in Christ, or the Elect, as in the bible ,

Matt 24 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

So there are two home comings for the people of God and the people of the physical Israel. Many theologians disagree on the importance of the Jewish nation to Christ.

Romans 11:25  I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  zDid you see that? “”….in this way all Israel will be saved”. If you read:

Romans 11: 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

You will see that it appears to be the total sovereign mercy of God upon us, the elect or the people that been saved in Christ, and also the nation of Israel. It is all about the mercy of God! Because they Israel have disobeyed, they were cast off, until the time came when God showed his mercy to bring them back. Same thing as for the gentiles. We were rebellious and disobeyed, until God showed mercy to bring us back to him.

Paul maintains that the purpose of God stands firm and immovable, by which he had once deigned to choose them for himself as a peculiar nation. Since then it cannot possibly be, that the Lord will depart from that covenant which he made with Abraham, “I will be the God of thy seed,” (Gen. 17:7,) it is evident that he has not wholly turned away his kindness from the Jewish nation.[1]

And so this blindness served the providence of God in furthering the salvation of the Gentiles, which he had designed. And the fulness of the Gentiles is to be taken for a great number[2]

Romans 11:  25 ……. a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27    “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Now Calvin has this commentary on this verse: [3]  But how does he make that connection and assertion? Here it is: [4]

How so? Because in Gal 6:15-16 Paul talks about the “Israel of God’. See below:

Galatians 6: 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

This “Israel of God” in v16 clearly refers to the spiritual Israel that includes everyone that have faith in Jesus Christ, as in v15 says “..neither circumcision not uncircumcision, but a new creation’. New Creation here means the Elect, the entire tribe of Gentiles and Jews that put their faith in Christ. I think we can agree with that. As per Calvin, with that as the basis, all those above about the Jews been hardened, so the gentiles being swept into God’s kingdom until their number is reached, then the whole of Israel shall be saved, refers to the whole Christendom.

Israel will come home. Christians will come home. But the way Paul articulated in Romans 11 shows how clearly he differentiated the Jews and Gentiles in the salvation, until all of Israel will be saved. Therefore I would contend that in this instance its all Israel (physical) will be saved after the Gentiles reached their number predestined by God, because in the verse prior, Paul says Israel has experienced partial hardening, that refers to the Jews, not the Christian body, but right after that it says after the gentiles reached their fullness, all Israel will be saved. I would say that’s the Jews.

The Jews are coming home to God, we the gentile believers are coming back to God our maker. So both Jews and gentiles are one in Christ Jesus for Christ has broken down the wall of hostility.

Ephesians 2: 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility..18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

We are all Coming Home, our Eternal Home

Jesus has made both Jews and Gentiles one, broken down in his own flesh the diving wall of hostility. Amen.

[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (p. 441). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Ibid (p. 436)

[3] Ibid (p. 437) “And so all Israel, &c. Many understand this of the Jewish people, as though Paul had said, that religion would again be restored among them as before: but I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning,—“When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first-born in God’s family

[4] Ibid This interpretation seems to me the most suitable, because Paul intended here to set forth the completion of the kingdom of Christ, which is by no means to be confined to the Jews, but is to include the whole world. The same manner of speaking we find in Gal. 6:16. The Israel of God is what he calls the Church, gathered alike from Jews and Gentiles; and he sets the people, thus collected from their dispersion, in opposition to the carnal children of Abraham, who had departed from his faith

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