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August 28, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Gary Reimers continues a doctrinal series entitled, “Return of the King” and the scripture is Genesis 15.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform. Today's message will be preached by seminary professor Dr. Gary Reamer. I am very pleased to be a part of this series eschatology is very important, not just so that we know what's going to happen, but God's word all of God's word was written so that we will know how to live today. That includes the parts that are past history and those that are about the future. In every instance, God's word guarantees. There is a message of something that he wants us to know and something he wants us to change something as a result, even of a topic about the future of Israel that he wants to be different in your life this morning. Last week, VP hence visited the World War II death camp in Auschwitz alongside the president of Poland.
He laid a memorial wreath in memory of the 1 million Jewish people who were murdered at that site.
That formal ceremony was another opportunity to draw worldwide attention to the Nazi effort years ago to exterminate God's people in the Holocaust was a horrible period of time, but in reality it was just one of many attempts to get rid of God's people throughout world history, villages, nations, even entire empires have tried to eliminate the Jewish people from the Egyptians in the time of Moses to the Russian pogroms in the 19th century to the rising anti-Semitism of the 21st century.
That's a real issue in our day. God is not just a string of bad luck for the Jews. There is something going on behind all of this opposition and attempt to destroy what's going on behind it all is the bitter hatred and opposition for everything that God stands for on the part of Satan and all of his forces. So, what hope is there for the future of the nation of Israel. So what hope do you have for the future.
What hope do you have to resist all of those attacks and all of that opposition this morning to look at several passages of Scripture passages that tell us that God has given some special promises to his people about the future.
And yes, that future is stated in terms in the passages will look at in terms of the future of Israel. But there are parallel promises for all of God's people today. The reality is that our God keeps his promises is given specific promises for us today, and in fact some of these promises for the nation of Israel. He has graciously expanded so that we are now included even if were not Jewish that's just the grace of God. So let's get started. We have several passages to look at and in a few different categories. First to realize that the Lord has promised his people in Genesis chapter 15 I encourage you to turn their fee would Genesis 15, the Lord has promised his people a permanent home in the land a permanent home in what the Old Testament refers to as the land of Canaan, Genesis 15, has a very peculiar ceremony going on, God instructs Abraham to take a set of animals a cow and also a goat and also this is listed in verse nine, also a Rand Manna turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he tells Abraham I want you to slaughter these animals and for the larger animals divide each of them into and put them parallel to each other and then the two dead birds just put them opposite each other so that's the set up for something God is going to do.
This seems really weird to us, but this was a known ceremony on that day somebody that was about to enter into a solemn covenant.
He was about to promise something a few verses later in verse 17 God conducted than this formal ceremony where it says that it came to pass that as the sun went down and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace that's a fire pot of a PN of a mobile furnace and a burning lamp or a torch past between those pieces of the animals I what's going on here is that God is about to transfer the ownership of the land of Canaan to the Jews that transfer is through this formal ceremony, where he conducted this ceremony all by himself. Abraham is just awoken from a deep sleep that God put on him and he wakes up in time to observe what God is doing God does not invite Abraham to walk in between those pieces with him.
God doesn't by himself. That is a unilateral covenant God is giving a promise and that promise has no condition Abraham has nothing that he has to do in order to earn that covenant God is simply giving it to him and ratifying that promise through this ceremony. Verse 18. He tells us what this promise is is is in the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying unto thy seed have I given this land, and then he names the territory by its extremities. He says from the river of Egypt and the South West unto the great river Euphrates. That's in the Northeast. He just described the land of Canaan. What he has just done was confirmed an earlier promise. He had said to Abraham a few chapters earlier. I am going to give this to you but notice the wording in verse 18. Again, unto thy seed have I given that is, it was a promise earlier now it's a done deed. I just gave you that land back to acknowledge that all land belongs to God. It is his to give.
He is here bequeathed of this land to Abraham and his descendents. Even though there were other people currently living there and they would continue to live there for hundreds of years and later he was going to bring Abraham's descendents back and they were actually going to have the opportunity to possess it so important fact about the future of Israel is that God gave them this land way back then and it still the law, it still belongs to them today that second part becomes clearer returned to chapter 17 chapter 17 we see that God extended their ownership to continue forever gets explicit about this in chapter 17. Beginning in verse seven he says I will establish my covenant between me and the and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after the and I will give unto thy seed and thy seed after the unto thee and thy seed after the, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession and I will be there God what he promises here then is that he will continue to maintain his promise to the Jews, and that they will continue to own the title to that territory. Even if other people might inhabit that territory from time to time as is has happened throughout history. I noticed there is one part of that promise from God that he has not fulfilled you.
He says at the end of that verse, I will be there God but that is not true for the nation of Israel today reality. There it is that it is largely a godless society. Though in many ways very religious. But God the God of heaven is not there God today. Not as he has revealed himself further in the New Testament, and so as I make that statement based on these passages that God has given the land of Canaan to his people, the Jews. Forever. That is not to justify how the current nation of Israel obtained control of that land in recent history the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs is not part of our topic today.
The point is whoever is living there now and whatever mixture there might be.
Now there is coming a day when the rightful owners as God has designated them will in fact take full control of their land of you know Christ as your Savior, and he has made a very similar promise to you as well.
He has promised you all home forever. Jesus himself gave that promise in in John chapter 14 verse three where he says I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also. No doubt you have a great number of trials that you are going to face through the rest of the semester through all next year and for the rest of your life. There will be times that it seems like it's just too hard.
This is just too much. I'm going to give in. I don't think there is a future here but God has promised that if you will persevere. He will be faithful. He will be faithful even if we have all experienced times of failure. Any property is promised to you that whatever this life looks like there is a home in heaven prepared for you to know that we have a place in eternity to live that's great, but I guarantee of eternal life with nothing much to do while we're there. That doesn't sound so exciting. But in fact is not God's plan that we lay back on clouds and strong harps. And of wonder what were going to do the next day he actually has a plan of a role for his people. That includes the Jewish people. The Lord has promised his people a permanent role in the world an important role in the world still in Genesis this time. Chapter 22.
A familiar passage of Scripture passage of Scripture that what where Abraham has just passed the test. All the horrible tests from Abraham's perspective is where he was commanded by God to offer his son Isaac as an offering on an altar, Abraham's about to obey. He's about to do that. It's unthinkable from our perspective, God stopped him. In verse 16 he says in response to what Abraham did, he said, by myself, have I sworn Seth, the Lord for because thou hast done this thing and has not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless the and and multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and is a sandwiches upon the seashore.
And I noticed the last part of that verse and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
Now at first thought it might appear that God is saying that they will be gatekeepers, but is goes far beyond just keeping again and giving people access the gate of the city in the ancient world was the City Hall and if it's the capital city that it's the capital is what it's where all the transactions of significance take place legal professional political the city gate and that is the area right inside the gate the courtyard in that city gate. That's where the king would set an issue his ruling. That's where the judges would sit and rule on legal cases. So what is it mean that your seed will possess the gate of his enemies of the gate is the center of government.
What he's promising the Jewish people is that they will conquer their foes. They are going to control the government of all their enemies and that's pretty much every other nation in the world.
Israel has remarkably few true friends there going to conquer all of their enemies going to do so for one reason Abraham decided to obey the Lord, and in response to that the Lord decided to bless his offspring. Here is an absolute certainty God has in his future role for the people of Israel. They will control the government's of all of their enemy nations. Furthermore, another passage that we tend not to look at too often apart from Christmastime. But these are familiar verses in Isaiah Isaiah chapter 9 is a good verses for Christmas, but they're good at other times as well. Isaiah 9 verse six says, for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. We know from the New Testament. This child is Jesus, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.
He's going to be in charge. His name shall be called wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of peace of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David. There is Jesus's qualification to rule the world.
He's the son of David, and so the promise in this verse is that the son of David will govern the world, and that kingdom as he says in that verse is going to be everlasting. There will be no and to the kingdom that Christ establishes as the son of David, one more verse than that on that topic from the book of Daniel. Daniel chapter 7, actually two verses. Verses 13 and 14 Daniel seven says verse 13 I saw in the night visions, this is Daniel speaking, and behold, one like the Son of Man, that sound familiar. That's actually where Jesus got his self designation. He continually referred to himself as the Son of Man, he is the Son of Man that Daniel saw in this vision. He came with the clouds of heaven came to the ancient of days, that's the father and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom and that all people, nations and languages should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
A little additional information than from Daniel who tells us that not only will Christ kingdom be everlasting, his kingdom will be universal. All peoples of all nations, all languages and there are the Jews in that future kingdom with a role helping in the government of not just their own nation but of the entire world of the Jews of the nation of Israel and Jews, mostly Jews all across the country all across the world are in desperate need of spiritual transformation. We have a promise in God's word about that as well and that is that the Lord has promised a permanent place in his heart, there is a spiritual future for Israel and for that turned back to Jeremiah chapter 31 Jeremiah 31. A very important passage beginning in verse 31 saying that God is going to offer a new a new covenant to the people of Israel. He says the days, saith the Lord that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. That's very specific that only applies to the Jewish people, not according to the covenant I made with their fathers. When he took them from the land of Egypt.
He says which my covenant, they break. Although I was in husband unto them, but it's going to be a new covenant. He says in verse 34 they shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them set the Lord and I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.
They are going to receive this new covenant God says when he offers that to them and they accept in fact it's already on the table as far as God is concerned they have accepted it yet but they're going to end at that time God guarantees their forgiveness of sin, and furthermore the following verses. He also guarantees their existence as a nation, not just as God's Old Testament people that will be blended into his New Testament people.
The church, but he guarantees here their existence as a distinct nation of people exactly what God's word says in verses 35 to 37 and he says that guarantee is just as certain as creation itself may have one New Testament passage to consider. That's Romans chapter 11 Romans 11. The apostle Paul answers an important question. The question is of God's given all these promises to the nation of Israel, why is it that they are responding.
Why is it that there are so few Jewish people that had trusted Christ as Savior. Thank God for each one of them, why aren't there more. Doesn't look like God is actually fulfilling his promise. But in Romans chapter 11 verse 25. Paul knows that we wonder about these things so he says I would not brother, and that ye should be ignorant of this mystery that you should be wise in your own conceits as if we are better than they are.
That blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. There is going to be a time when they accept his Messiah right now God is primarily saving Gentiles in this age we thank God for the exceptions of the Jews it that respond to the gospel in faith, but this is the time of the Gentiles right now and we are to take full advantage of that by preaching the gospel to everybody who will listen.
Verse 26 goes on to say that when that time is is complete, he says.
And so, at that time all Israel shall be saved.
When is that going to happen. Scripture tells us elsewhere that it's going to happen as Jesus returns to this earth.
They are going to according to Zacharias prophecy they are going to see the one that they pierce and they are going to mourn and repent and respond in faith and all Israel, that is all those Jews living at that time are all going to turn to Christ as Savior. That's a promise. God's telling us how this is going to work is going to fulfill all these promises in the millennium and then that is going to continue on into what we call the eternal state is going to fulfill all his promises because he always keeps his promises including his promises to you is promised you a home in heaven is promised you a permanent role in this world.
Scripture says we will live and reign with Christ. We will also participate in his worldwide kingdom and he also promises a permanent place in his heart, give trusted Christ as Savior. You are always going to be his truck wisely tell us all this he knows you have some difficult exams coming up soon knows, there may be a looming school bill waiting for you.
You got decisions to make about the future. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. God says but I have promised, I'm going to help you through those times, and I've got better times in store.
Will you trust him. The test is trusting him when things are hard. Trust him because you look to God's word and you tell the Lord I will leave that you will keep your promises. Now you don't have to worry about the future. Just trust him to give you wisdom and grace to sustain you through every trial. In the meantime, I urge you are right now. Tell the Lord you want his help to trust him even in the heart that you believe his promises.
Father, we are thankful that you have issued clear promises in your word that you have a plan, not just for this age but for our long-term future.
Father, we need your help to trust you through it all, would you help us, we pray, Jesus, you been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Gary Rivers, which is part of the study series about the second coming of Christ.
Join us again next week for more sermons about the second coming here on The Daily Platform