August 15: The Church and Israel

Read Ephesians 3:1-21 and Genesis 12:1-3

Throughout the book of Revelation, we find two characters and venturing through the end of the world. For one character, the outcome is favorable. For the other one, though, not so much. One character’s path to Heaven is relatively smooth and the other has a bumpy road to eternity with God. In order to fully understand the Revelation of Christ, we need to understand the difference between these two characters: The Church and Israel.

In Genesis 12, God promised the great patriarch Abraham that he would lead a great nation. He promised to give him a great land and a blessing. This nation would be so great that its people would be more numerous than the stars in the sky. God’s promise would require Abraham to uproot his life and venture out into the unknown. His act of faith would turn into the nation of Israel as it is today.

Israel is the nation of God’s chosen people. He came to save them and to change the world through them. If you read the any of the four gospels, you quickly find out the people Israel didn’t want any part of this “Jesus guy”, though. In fact, they hated Jesus and nailed Him to a cross.

After the Jewish rejection of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul’s message was that salvation is now available to the Gentiles (non-Jews). Ephesians 3 references this  “mystery”. But the Jewish people didn’t take kindly to this development. After all, they were God’s chosen people.

Jesus had John write down in Revelation that Israel’s journey is going to be tough. The tribulation is coming, and they are still blinded to the truth that Jesus is their Messiah!  They believe Jesus to have been nothing but a prophet, not the Son of God.

On the other hand, the Church, comprised largely of Gentiles, is going to be rescued from “the coming wrath” of the tribulation. We’ll learn more about these two characters in a few days, but it is key to distinguish these two primary characters in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps knowing about this difference changes things for you. Salvation is for everyone! Get out there and share hope with people, including your “5”! Everyone needs to hear about Jesus and the offer of salvation that has been extended to all!

jdl

 

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