2001-06-02 - Messiah: His Final Call to Israel
Messiah: His Final Call to Israel Series, Part 33
Acts 3:19-20 Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus.
Can the people of Israel, whom Peter was speaking to in this passage, as a nation, repent of what their ancestors did to Jesus of Nazareth and accept Him as Lord and Messiah? If you have followed this devotional series, you will understand that when the nation of Israel does repent and turn again that peace will spring forth throughout the entire Earth. But the complications seem to be insurmountable for Israel to examine the facts and evidence regarding Jesus of Nazareth. A great section of the nation, the ultraorthodox wing, still largely accepts the false teaching that the father of Jesus was a Roman soldier and his mother a Jewish prostitute. Moreover according to floating traditions, Jesus went to Egypt and learned the art of Black Magic, returned to Israel, and attempted to lead the nation into demonic error. The leaders of the nation were therefore justified in having Him executed as a malefactor and as one who was attempting to lead the nation away from God.
On the other hand, generally speaking, the reformed Jews acknowledge that Jesus was a good man and a great teacher. Denying the doctrine of the Trinity, they cannot believe that He was the God-man who left Heaven and entered the world through miraculous conception and Virgin Birth. Though many of them deplore the fact that He was unrighteously executed as a malefactor, they accept Him simply as a great man and an idealistic peasant who tried to lift His nation to a higher plane -- but the odds being against Him, he failed.
So long then as the Jews hold such erroneous ideas regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, just that long will they reject Him and His claims of being the Son of God, the Savior of the world and the Messiah of Israel. It is therefore psychologically impossible for them, believing as they do, to repent of having rejected Him and having demanded His execution. Believing that He was an impostor or that He was simply a good man, they cannot turn to Him for spiritual, eternal salvation.
But Peter, speaking by the Spirit of God, demands that the nation repent of rejecting Him and turn to Him, accepting Him as the Messiah of Israel. Since God does not force any man's will, He will wait until the nation has learned the truth and the facts concerning Jesus, and will of its own free choice and accord come in genuine repentance, repudiating the national sin and accepting Him as its long-expected Messiah and Savior.
God has laid this solemn duty upon His people who see the truth, to give it to the Jewish people, so they can intelligently weigh the facts and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. When Israel repents and turns to the Messiah, God will do two things -- sending "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord and that He may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus. . . " These seasons of refreshing are times of spiritual revival. The same thought is expressed by Zechariah in different words, "and I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication" (Zechariah 12:10 ). Thus a mighty spiritual awakening will sweep over the entire nation of Israel, drawing them back to God. The "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord" will be brought to a close by the personal return of the Christ to the earth -- this same Jesus whom they rejected at His first coming.
When the Lord Jesus returns to Earth, that event that is long-awaited by all believers will unfold.
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old.
The times of restoration are the Kingdom age, when the curse will be lifted from the entire creation, and the earth itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Romans 8:18-25 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to usward. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For in hope were we saved. But hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopeth for that which he seeth? But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Let us do all within our power, in love, and sympathy, to show the truth of God's Word to His Chosen People, so they will repent and turn again. Please include Israel's salvation in your prayers and also pray for success for people who are doing what they can to bring the truth to them. Thank you and may the Lord richly bless you both now and eternally for your prayers and efforts.
In His Service,