Predestined Jews, Gentiles believers get to choose God’s Light.
God Predestined Jews to Not Get It?
Do you wonder why Jews aren’t Christians? God predestined Jews to not understand. I will try to keep it simple as a mystery is explained. A long time ago a prophet named Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon His throne. Quite an experience if you care to imagine it. (Isaiah 6:1-7) He heard God’s voice saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Notice the plural pronoun?) Isaiah opened his mouth and said, “send me.” (vs.8) God had a message for His chosen people and it wasn’t pleasant.
“Go, and say to this people: Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; least they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Seems like a pretty heavy judgement. They would not “get it.” God’s will was to prevent his chosen people from being healed.
Jesus, the Healer, spoke in parables.
Jesus came with secrets of the kingdom of heaven. These secrets were intentionally withheld from all but a few Jews. The few were chosen by the Father and given to Christ. (John 10:29; 13:18; 15:16) Those who were not chosen by God failed to understand the parables which were explained to His disciples privately. The disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables. He answered, “To you it is given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” He then said that the prophecy of Isaiah, God’s judgement on His chosen people, was being fulfilled. (Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27)
They saw the miracles, but they did not perceive. They heard, but they did not understand. The Jews did not believe because God blinded them and hardened their hearts. “God gave them a spirit of stupor….” (Romans 11:8) and “through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” (Romans 11:11) No more should we wonder why Jews are not Christians. Except for a chosen few, they remain in a “spirit of stupor.” But there is more to the story. Their day of restoration is coming. (Notice the flower ready to bloom? )
Wonder Why God Predestined Jews? Should it Matter to Christians?
Gentiles cannot rightly understand the will of God when they are ignorant of the mystery regarding Israel. Until they do understand doctrines are built on error, prophecies are misinterpreted and the very nature of God’s will in the salvation of man is argued. The apostle Paul did not want believers to be ignorant nor conceited. “…a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 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’, ‘and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27) God predestined Jews to disobedience for a time.
Through the telling of God’s grace in restoring Israel the Holy Spirit will enlighten us. Enlighten us to understand that predestination (God’s sovereign choice) concerns the people of Israel, but not the Gentiles. Through the Gospel of the Kingdom, God enables Gentiles to choose to receive or reject Jesus (sin or Him). (John 3:17-21) To be able to hear the gospel is an act of God’s grace, to respond to it is our choice. When we do we then discover that it is now “God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) That is what happens after we come into His light. Calvin (predestination) and Arminius (free will) taught views of God’s grace without considering this distinction. We will discover the perfect will of God for both Jew and Gentile as He brings this age to it’s close.
To be continued under the category “Grace.”