The ‘Times of the Gentiles’ is the short period in the end times when the gentile nations will ascend in the world scene. It is also the time when America and Britain and their kin nations enter their very last few years before the Great Tribulation.
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Lk 21:24
The Gentiles are essentially the nations that are outside the English-speaking and Protestant commonwealth of nations. The non Gentiles are the peoples of USA, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the mainly Protestant countries of Netherlands, Scandinavia; also a few that are predominantly Catholic, such as France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland. Non Gentile peoples are also found in other countries such as Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, but they are only minority populations in these countries. The white race in South Africa are also non Gentiles. Please read ‘How to Understand Bible Prophecies for Today’ to know more about the identity of these nations.
As you may note, the non Gentile nations are the world’s most developed, the most blessed with natural resources, and the most advanced of all nations in every aspect of civilization in the modern era.
These physically and materially blessed nations – nations chosen by God for a purpose – have the following common features: The great majority are English speaking (about five times more than the non-English speaking chosen nations combined) and Protestant. They are all without exception democratic nations. They are all without exception Caucasian genetically.
The great majority of these nations have the Bible as their ultimate religious authority, even if it is only a nominal acknowledgment (as opposed to the Catholics who have the Pope instead). It is from these nations that the Bible was spread to all corners of the world. For these are the nations that God chose to first spread the Gospel of his Son to the gentiles. It is through the missionaries sent by these nations that countries such as India, China, Russia, South America and every other nation where you now find Bible believers, received their Gospel. It is because of these chosen nations that I, whose forefathers worshipped in idolatrous temples and burned young widows alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands, am a Bible believer and follower of Christ.
Why were these particular nations chosen, and not, say, my race? When I mean chosen, I mean in the physical and national, sense – not spiritual. Spiritually, I and all my fellow believers in Christ are the chosen ones, whatever the color of our skin or however wavy or kinky our hair. Col 3:11-12
When Abraham showed how much he loved his Creator, even above his miraculously begotten son Isaac, God was so carried away by his act of absolute faith that he made the greatest vow that he as the Eternal could ever make to a person.
Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son…I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me. Gen 22:12-18
This vow of blessings was both on a physical and a spiritual scale. Physically the descendants of Abraham – referred to in the prophecies as Jacob or Israel – are to be so numerous that they are uncountable, just as sea sand and the stars are beyond human estimate.
To the physical Israelites, God revealed himself as ‘YHWH’ – usually pronounced as ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Yehowah’ (wrongly translated as Jehovah in the older Bible versions; modern versions substitute the word LORD wherever YHWH is used).
I am the LORD [YHWH] your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex 20:2-3
The physical blessings began on a national scale with the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt into the land of Canaan, where they began to flourish as twelve tribes, or sub-nations. God gave them his laws so that by them they could be a model nation to the gentiles. Thus, it was God’s plan that through one nation of chosen people he could eventually bring his salvation through Christ to the gentile nations.
This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Ex 19:3-6
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Deu 4:5-8
The gentiles that opposed or attacked Israel were, with supernatural help, destroyed or subdued by this chosen nation. This has been the inevitable fate of all their enemies, from the ancient nations which attacked them when they got out of Egypt to the modern nations which tried to annihilate them in the last two World Wars. But the gentiles who willingly submitted to Israel and their God were absorbed as full citizens with all constitutional rights.
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself Lev 19:34 NIV
Tragically, the very thing that God warned his people to guard against – a spirit of complacency leading to idolatry – once they take his blessings for granted, did happen, with calamitous consequences for the whole nation.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deu 4:9
So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land…to give you large and beautiful cities…houses full of all good things, vineyards and olive trees…when you have eaten and are full – then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage…You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you Deu 6:10-12
Their eyes began to wander wantonly towards the gentile nations whose gods seemed far more liberal than their Yahweh. Those gods permitted sexual liberty, while theirs permitted monotonously just one bedpartner, and that for life. There were no rigid restrictions imposed by The 10 Commandments. They could have orgies and gluttonous feasts – no more concerns about getting too intoxicated; there weren’t any proscriptions at all on unclean meats – they could eat rabbits, wild boar, frog legs, and especially lobsters; no death penalty to be terrified of if they wanted to covet their neighbors’ voluptuous wives or their fine breed of donkeys. They could do, speak, and think anything their desires led them to…if only they would exchange the stern Yahweh for these more worshipper-friendly gods. All they had to do was make a few molten calves, overlay them with gold and bow down to them, and occasionally pass a few of their unlucky little ones to pass through the fire so that if for some unknown reasons the calf-gods aren’t too pleased with them, they could be appeased with these untainted-blood sacrifices.
The more the overfed and overblessed Israelites saw how the gentiles enjoyed pleasures beyond measure, the more they craved them, and finally indulged in them. The plague of idolatry and licentiousness very soon became pandemic and the whole of Israel was living just like the worst of the pagans around them. Yahweh, who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt and who prospered them to this level, was no longer in their consciousness; their minds would admit of no supreme Authority that restricted their natural cravings. And God, who never imposes his will on anyone, withdrew.
The God of Hosts (meaning ‘armies’ in Hebrew), who had always gone before the armies of Israel whenever they went to war, stopped being their commander and rear guard at battles.
as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” Jos 5:14-15
But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Is 52:12
But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. Ps 44:9
Without divine protection, the vulnerable Israelites soon became an easy and frequent target for their enemies. The apostate nation suffered ferocious attacks from those who envied them. Whenever their enemies devastated them, they would remember Yahweh and cry out to him. And every time this strange God, whose mercy never seemed to fail, unlike the other gods they had adopted, would forgive and forget how terribly he had been betrayed by his people. Their Commander would then rise, destroy their enemies and deliver them. He would resume his blessings upon the nation…until the people again overfed themselves, made golden images of fatted heifers, and committed spiritual harlotry.
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath…Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power – the day he redeemed them from the oppressor Ps 78:34-42
But this became a routine solution from trouble for Israel. Once they were delivered, they would submit to God for a few years, become wanton again, get battered by their enemies, cry out, and receive deliverance. God realized that his chosen nation will continue like this forever if he allowed it. And so, when Israel’s idolatry and wickedness became rampant one more time as usual, God decided to withdraw his presence for a much longer period than he normally did.
Around 740 BC, the northern nation of Israel, comprising ten tribes, was taken as slaves by the Assyrians to other lands. They never fully repented and hence never were able to return to their homeland till this day.
In 582 BC, the southern nation of Israel, called Judah, was taken as slaves to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. After 70 years of exile, God heard the cries of a repentant people languishing in captivity and caused king Cyrus to issue a decree that allowed the people of Judah, called Jews, to return to their homeland. But the Jews, 400 years after they had returned from exile, again forsook their God – this time by going to the extent of crucifying him. In 70 AD, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, scattering the Jews as exiles all over the world.
But God never for a moment forgot his promise to Abraham regarding his descendants. When Jesus came to the Jews, he made sure the gospel preached to them was also proclaimed to the rest of his chosen nation – the other tribes still exiled in various countries, and now referred as The Lost Sheep of Israel.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near. Mt 10:5-7
In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, granting the Jewish diaspora the right to return to their original homeland in Israel. And thus the nation of Israel was once again on the map of the world. Although named Israel, the modern nation comprises mainly the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and a portion of Levi and possibly Simeon.
The Ten Lost Sheep still await their return to their original homeland. But until then, these tribes of northern Israel have been placed in lands more naturally blessed than any other country in the world. Where are they now?
It is not the purpose of this message to get into an exposition of the migrations of the Lost Tribes. You may read that in my other messages. Suffice to say here, the lost sheep of Israel, to whom Jesus had sent his disciples to preach the gospel, began to land in the British Isles, starting with the immigration of a people called the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century AD, followed by waves of Vikings into the Isles from AD 800.
The arrival of the Anglo-Saxons …is still perceived as an important and interesting event because it is believed to have been a key factor in the identity of the present inhabitants of the British Isles, involving migration on such a scale as to permanently change the population of south-east Britain. Catherine Hills, The Origins of the English
The people who settled in the British Isles over the next few centuries flourished and became culturally, materially and socially the most advanced civilization in the world. Between the late 16th and early 18th centuries they also became militarily the world’s mightiest nation. At its height, Britain was the largest empire in history and for over a century it was the foremost global power.
By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, one-fifth of the world’s population at the time. The empire covered almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area. At its peak, it was often said that ‘the sun never sets on the British Empire’, because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous dominions.
Bible-believing preachers from Britain and other Christian nations such as the Netherlands went to all the gentile nations, spreading the Gospel that the original disciples of Christ had given them about one and half millennia ago. As a result, Christianity spread into all the nations. So did the Empire’s political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacies.
While the British were holding sway over the whole world, the nation, true to their ancestors’ nature, again began to forget their God who had given them all their glory and global dominance. The nation’s sense of morality began to decline. The chosen race again wanted a say in their choice of gods.
A group of earnest Bible believers realized that their country was becoming an unGodly nation. Looking for a new start in a new world, one hundred Puritans boarded a ship in 1620, and after a voyage of much tribulation, landed on the shores of America on Christmas day the same year. Thus began the rise of yet another global power.
By early 20th century, the sun on the British Empire began setting. With its moral decline, the empire began a corresponding descent into the economic sinkhole. Germany and the United States began to overtake Britain in material wealth. After the two world wars, Great Britain was no more viewed by the world as ‘Great’ and was no longer even a formidable industrial or military power. British India, the empire’s most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence two years after World War 2. Britain was also forced to grant independence to most of her other colonies. The last vestige of colonial greatness ended with the political transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997.
Today, Britain is literally in a pathetic state of unglory in terms of national pride. Even its so-called ‘crown jewels’ – the corporate icons of a nation’s glorious achievements – had to be sold off to the gentiles for its survival.
The scale of what is happening is truly breathtaking. No other economy is as open as Britain’s or makes takeovers so easy. The Guardian
Here are a few cases of tumbling national pride:
Airport and Seaport sectors: BAA (British Airports Authority) was sold off to the Spanish construction giant Grupo Ferrovial. London’s Independent called the $19 billion deal ‘the most dramatic example yet of the way in which strategic UK assets are falling to overseas bidders’. Many considered BAA one of Britain’s crown jewels because it owns and operates airports that handle 63 percent of travelers going in and out of Britain. Besides providing jobs for thousands of employees, BAA has played a strategic role facilitating the movement of goods and people into and out of Britain and around the world. In essence, BAA was the keeper for the United Kingdom’s air gates. P&O, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, was purchased by Dubai Ports World.
Automotive: Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, MG Rover, Mini Cooper, are now all foreign owned. (The tragic irony is that Rolls-Royce, now owned by Germany’s BMW, is the company that produced the engine that powered the World War II Spitfire fighter that was so effective in combating the German BMW-built aircraft.)
Electricity and Gas: npower, Britain’s third-largest energy supplier, was bought by German energy giant RWE Power. Another German energy giant, E.On is already Britain’s second-largest electricity and gas provider. EDF Energy, the French state-owned energy giant, is Britain’s fifth-largest electricity and gas provider. Britain’s largest gas utility, Centrica, was sold to Russian state-owned Gazprom. (Gazprom is the company that cut off the gas supply to Ukraine and consequently much of Europe some years ago in what was seen as a political spat between the two governments.)
Nuclear Power Generation: British Energy, UK’s largest electricity generation company by volume, was taken over by Électricité de France. British Energy operated eight former UK state-owned nuclear power stations and one coal-fired power station. British Nuclear Fuels, the British state-owned nuclear power manufacturer, sold its power station construction arm, Westinghouse, to Japan’s Toshiba corporation. Engineers and scientists attacked the sell-off for ‘robbing Britain of new-build expertise’.
Water: Britain’s largest water utility, Thames Water, taken over earlier by Germans, was sold to Australia’s Kemble Water Limited, with shares owned by China Investment Corporation and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Thames Water supplies water and wastewater services to millions of Britons and other customers around the globe.
Finance: Abbey National, Britain’s sixth-largest bank and second-largest mortgage lender, was purchased by Spain’s Banco Santander. Another British bank, Alliance & Leicester PLC, was acquired by the Spanish Santander Group. Even the London Stock Exchange, the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world, has to fight off hostile takeover attempts such as by Nasdaq.
I have mentioned only the critical industries where Britain’s crown jewels had to be either pawned or auctioned off. Other sell-offs may not affect national security, but they are all pride-shattering as well – from KitKat to Harry Ramsden’s, Britain’s largest fish and chips chain; from HP sauce to the Body Shop; from Manchester United to Beefeater gin; from Harrods to Savoy; and much more!
Governments in the gentile nations, on the contrary, restrict foreign takeovers. Nations like Germany, France, and Spain fight to protect their strategic industry from foreign hands. But the British apparently lack that basic sense of loyalty and pride in the crown jewels of their home country.
British politicians of all parties, unlike their continental equivalents, could not care less if British industry…is foreign-owned. Times Online
Britain’s leaders are silent about this shocking sell-offs to foreigners, including former enemies. The Guardian says the lack of outcry from the government is because, ‘apart from the US, no other economy needs the inflow of overseas cash so acutely. Britain’s industrial and financial jewels are being auctioned to pay for a record trade deficit…With no end to the trade deficit in sight, the auction will go on until the cupboard is bare…Britain is being sold off at a rate unprecedented in modern times…Yet there is no debate; scarcely an eyebrow is raised. In any other country there would be uproar…With this rate of takeover, within a generation most British workers outside the public sector will be working for foreign companies. The scale of what is happening is truly breathtaking compared with even five years ago.’
And that warning by Guardian was in 2006!
For Little Britain, the loss of ownership of these companies is even more than a security or economic concern – it is a sign that the nation is in its last throes, and that the ‘times of the gentiles’ have begun, according to the unfailing prophecies in the Bible.
As the 19th century was the century of Britain’s greatness, the 20th century was the period in which America became the world’s undisputed leading global power in every respect. But American too started following in the steps of her elder sister Britain. It’s become even more idolatrous and its harlotry even more shocking.
Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. They became prostitutes…The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine…Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine…Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister…I saw that she too defiled herself…But she carried her prostitution still further. Eze 23:2-14
Billy Graham said that America’s greatest sin was illicit sex. And he also stated something I repeat in total affirmation: ‘If God doesn’t come soon and bring judgment upon the United States, He’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!’
This statement, frequently attributed to Billy Graham, actually originated with his wife, Ruth, during a review of her husband’s manuscript for his book, World Aflame, published in 1965. He had just finished a chapter vividly describing the sinful conditions in America, and gave it to Ruth to read. She was very much sobered by the writing and returned the document to the study where he was writing and laid it on his desk, saying, ‘Billy, if God doesn’t come soon and bring judgment upon the United States, He’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!’ The account was recalled briefly as an illustration in a message by Dr. James Kennedy (pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian, Fort Lauderdale, Florida), entitled ‘Prayer and the World Crisis’, at the National Prayer Congress, Dallas, Texas in 1976. The statement has frequently been requoted by many others since that time.
We can know from the Scriptures that the nation of America, along with the rest of the Lost Sheep of Israel, is more guilty of adultery against their God than any other nation in history. Here are two verses that prove that.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Mt 24:37-39
In the last days, the spiritual state of the nations chosen by God would be like that of the world just before it perished in the Deluge in Noah’s time.
But its punishment is greater than what Noah’s generation had to suffer.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has NOT been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Mt 24:21 [Emphasis mine]
Obviously, the greater the sin, the greater the punishment.
So filthy is the moral state of the so-called Christian nations today that even pagan people in other nations who have not known the true God despise America and her sister nations for their depravity.
Remember the days when you were putting on airs, acting so high and mighty, looking down on sister Sodom? That was before your evil ways were exposed. And now you’re the butt of contempt, despised by the Edomite women, the Philistine women, and everybody else around. But you have to face it, to accept the shame of your obscene and vile life. Eze 16:56-58
For one, I have not yet heard of any non Bible-holding nation officially sanctioning gay marriages – a nauseating abomination to God! Worse, there are even mainstream Christian churches that take a soft, neutral stand on this issue, not to mention the many false churches of the synagogue of Satan that call themselves ‘pro-gay’.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Lev 18:22
The nations called by God to be a model to other nations, when their sins are greater than those of the nations they are supposed to be a light to, then surely we can expect a swift and terrible penalty on them. America and other present-day descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel are already seriously sick as a consequence of their sins, but they refuse to acknowledge it.
I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me…the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the feet even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment. Is 1:2,5-6
Every facet of Western civilization is on the brink of total collapse. Already, the US is tottering on the edge of economic depression such as never happened in its history – an economic collapse from which it will never recover, unlike the Great Depression of the 1930s. Wise economists are crying out their warnings. But the nation prefers to listen to the soothing words of its false seers.
If you haven’t yet, please read my message ‘America – the Unthinkable Is Poised to Happen’, where I mentioned that the economist Robert Wiedemer has stated that ‘the people in Washington have failed miserably’. Wiedemer had predicted America’s four-bubble meltdown in the housing, stock, private debt, and consumer spending markets that almost sunk America in 2008. But his predictions were pooh-poohed by the more reputable economists such as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his successor Ben Bernanke. Wiedemer now warns of far greater troubles for the nation in the next very few years.
But is America paying attention? The Scripture doesn’t give us much hope for the chosen nation as a whole. But on an individual level, you and your family can be protected from the sooncoming endtime events that will bring terrible suffering upon all mankind, starting with the Great Tribulation of the nations that had betrayed God.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Lk 21:36
While the good times of the chosen nations are swiftly ending, the gentiles are rising with a domino effect in all the continents with a speed greater than did Britain and US. The gentile nations began their quick ascend on the world scene with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economic rise of the BRICS nations, and above all the rise of the European Union – soon to be a political union, according to prophecy.
In his book, The Great Super Cycle, David Skarica says:
The U.S. ‘empire’ is undergoing a tectonic shift of gravity. As when Great Britain lost its empire in the 1940s and ’50s as the world’s economic power shifted to the United States, America now is facing the same dramatic axis shift to Asian economic powers such as China and India.
America has betrayed its Maker more blatantly than any other of the chosen nations. So flagrant is America’s rebellion against their God that the nation officially banned prayer in all its schools since 1962. No kid is allowed in their premises to thank the One who gave them every blessing. I read a case of a child getting into trouble with the school authorities for even praying over her food. They don’t want God to be in their schools. But, funnily, they assumed that once God is out, the devil too will stay out. Is it any coincidence that public schools in America are increasingly becoming the devil’s playground for shooting deaths? Here are what some thinking people are saying:
American political figures, such as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, as well as Bryan Fischer, a director in the American Family Association, have stated that the removal of school prayer from schools has led to increased school shootings. Wikipedia
A recent statistical analysis by David Barton graphically illustrates how America has plummeted from righteous living, prosperity and success in the last quarter century. Consider the following chart compiled from his study, America: To Pray or Not to Pray…As you might have already noticed on Mr. Barton’s graph, America’s moral decline rapidly accelerated following one event – the U.S. Supreme Court’s removal of prayer from our nation’s schools. On June 25, l962, 39 million students were forbidden to do what they and their predecessors had been doing since the founding of our nation – publicly calling upon the name of the Lord at the beginning of each school day. The New York school children which prompted the Engel vs. Vitale ruling had simply prayed: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee and beg Thy blessing over us, our parents, our teachers and our nation.
America has experienced radical decline in each of the four areas which the children’s prayer touched upon: youth, family, education, national life…By the judicial act of forbidding invocation, the Court audaciously elevated a secularized system of education beyond the authority, reach and blessing of God Himself. Worse than taking the Lord’s sacred name in vain is treating it with contempt, denying it its rightful place and stripping it from public use and even from the lips of children. Jesus’ own expressed desire, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them” was also violated by these judges, many of whom were raised in Christian homes. forerunner.com
God is no more in America’s schools. He is no more in any of America’s institutions. He is no more going out with US armies anywhere. The Vietnam War was the first indication that God is no more the rear guard of his chosen people’s armies. The blessings that Britain and US have been enjoying for hundreds of years started evaporating since the past four or five decades. Very soon – and I am almost sure that I will see it with my own eyes – the descendants of Abraham are once more going into captivity as slaves.
The Times of the Gentiles will end and the Times of Israel revive only when Christ returns and, one last time, rescues his people from their captivity among the Gentile nations.
Before I close, I want to pass on to you one more understanding about the ‘Times of the Gentiles’.
Israel turned away from God and did not fulfill their purpose of being a light to the gentiles. Now, God is giving the chance to the gentiles. Ironically, it is through the gentiles that God will turn Israel back to him. Paul summarizes the role of Israel and Gentiles in God’s plan:
I ask, then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not!…No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning…Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it…For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree…
I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved…
Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead…Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will share in God’s mercy…For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone…Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Rm 11:1-33 NLT