Friday, February 16, 2007

To a Jewish Convert

Hi _______,

It was great seeing you Friday night. As fun as it was, I wish the setting could have been more intimate, because we could have carried on a freer discussion. I find that I am not really on the same page as most...

Thanks for the link. I have looked over the article & must register profound disagreement. In Romans 9, Paul is talking about the remnant of elect Jews (Isaac and Jacob were physical descendants of their fathers, not only spiritual children.) and anticipates a pouring out of blessing upon them (Rom 11). This eventuality is guaranteed by God's sovereign power and unchangeable promise.

The whole world was promised to Abraham, but ethnic Israel has a particular inheritance on the earth: Canaan. These two facts do not contradict each other. Someday, the heavenly Jerusalem will descend upon the earth, clothing it in glory. Earthly Jerusalem will then be glorified along with the rest of the world. Heavenly Jerusalem can only be called "Jerusalem" because it will someday coalesce with (and transform!) the earthly. There must be an identity between the two Jerusalems or else God has failed of his promise to restore Jerusalem (as the OT saints understood it).

Heaven is not some place in outer space. Heaven is the old earth renewed and glorified.

"Israel" cannot be simply re-defined as the Church. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David made particular promises to them and their (physical) descendants. These promises cannot fail of their fulfillment. To deny these specific promises is to depart from Biblical faith, which is the faith of historic Israel.

Someday, the Church will include Israel. The plan of redemption for the human race is that Gentiles are joined to Israel, Christ being the personal representative of Israel. The cross destroyed the barrier of separation between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:16). It did not obliterate Israel to create an entirely new entity. Rather, Israel is enlarged (and improved upon!).

_______, these comments may already express much of what you believe. However, I'm sure I've said some things you haven't considered. The widespread confusion about this matter lies in the fact that ethnic Israel is elect, but has at this time not recognized its inheritance in Christ. Jews are chosen, but remain in a state of unbelief. Many Christians cannot figure out how Jews can be both elect and apostate, and so they deny the promises found on nearly every page of the OT.

May we have the faith in our sovereign God to believe that someday he will deliver his Israel!

Blessings,

Andrew

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