Summary: God can "make it so."
Israel’s National Choice
1. As a child, I remember when the original Star Trek program was introduced. Although we had a black and white television, the word was that those with color TV’s could see that Mr. Spock was greenish.
2. Marylu and I watched Star Trek, the Next Generation, but none of the other spin offs that came later. Lost interest.
3. But I noted a command that JeanLuc Piccard would give to Commander Ryker, "Number One, Make it so."
4. That command saved a lot of words or explanations; whatever was suggested would now become the plan.
5. God is a sovereign God. He says, "Make it so" and it is.
6. But often times, we are ignorant of the instructions that were stated beforehand because we have not paid attention to our Old Testaments.
7. And, in today’s text, the focus is on God’s past and promised dealings with Israel.
Main Idea: God can "make it so."
Last week, we covered the following…. (this is a brief review; sermon proper begins in point II C)
I. Israel is Guilty of REJECTING Jesus (11-18)
A. The Focus is JESUS, not His servants (11-12)
B. It is You Vs. GOD (13-16)
C. Contrast God’s PLAN and Your IGNORANCE (17-18)
A question last week: Are Jews saved just because they are Jews, part of the nation of Israel? No. Like gentiles who have not been born-again, they too are lost. But they are part of a nation and a people destined for greatness.
II. God Will Fulfill His Promises to Israel When Israel REPENTS (19-23)
A. REPENT and turn to GOD (19a)
B. To Be FORGIVEN (19b)
C. For Israel’s KINGDOM Age (19c)
1. The OT describes the NATURE of this Kingdom
GOD CAN MAKE IT SO.
This week, I’ve given you a couple of passages, one from Zechariah and one from Zephaniah that speak of the Kingdom Age. Please read them at your leisure, and note that the Kingdom Age involves God ruling from Jerusalem in a secure city, and that the Jews will be honored as throngs enter Jerusalem from around the world to worship.
==> Ezekiel’s temple measurements (Ezekiel 40-48) give two sets of important details:
(1) The details of the temple which will be built during the Millennium
(2) The land allotments for the tribes of Israel during the Millennium
If these are not to be taken literally, what good are they?
2. The NT suggests its DURATION
In the NT, we learn in Revelation that this Kingdom will last 1,000 years (Millennium)
from Revelation 20:1-3, where Satan is bound for 1,000 years.
D. For Jesus to RETURN (20)
• Romans 11:12, "But if their [the Jews’] transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!"
• "If the Israelites repent, they will be redeemed, but if not they will not be redeemed" (b. Sanh. 97b, R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, A.D. 90),
• "If the Israelites would repent for a day, the son of David (messiah) would come immediately" (p. Ta’an. 1:1 [64a]).
⇔⇔ There has always been an "Israel within Israel," a Remnant of faithful Jews. There was probably never a time when most Jews were saved, or, if so, not a very long time. The remnant varied.
Despite that fact that only a remnant truly believed throughout Israel’s history, God still made promises to the entire nation, not just the remnant. We need to remember that.
For Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth, the entire surviving nation must also be the believing remnant; they must become equivalent terms. Since God is sovereign, He will make this happen.
The connection to Zechariah is strong, showing that all surviving Israel will believe and repent at the end of the Tribulation period:
Zechariah 12:9-10, 13:1, 8-9
"On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son…
"…On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
"…’In the whole land,’ declares the LORD, ’two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ’They are my people,’ and they will say, ’The LORD is our God.’ "