THE HOPE OF ISRAEL
By Jon D. Bekemeyer
Scripture Reading: Acts 26:6-7, 28:20
Five times in the book of Acts the Apostle Paul mentions that the preaching of the resurrection was the reason for his difficulties. Four of these five times he refers to the resurrection as a hope, a future expectation. Then in his last reference to this issue, he refers to the resurrection as the hope of Israel.
There are many distinctions between the mystery program and the prophetic program. One relates to Heavenly Places; the other relates to the Earth. One involves a Body; the other involves a Nation. One follows Christ as the Head; the other follows Christ as the King. These distinctions are clearly revealed in God's Word; but in our zeal for these distinctions, we must not overlook the things that are common. Such as, that which is our "blessed hope" (our resurrection at the Rapture) is also the hope of Israel (their resurrection at the Second Coming).
When the Lord fulfills His prophetic promises, it will be a marvelous thing. The curse will be lifted from the earth. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Isaiah 11:9). It will be inhabited only by those who are righteous (Psalm 25:12-13), and it will be ruled directly by God (Zechariah 14:9).
But what about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who died thousands of years ago? They never experienced these kingdom blessings. Yet, Matthew 8:11 tells us that they will be there in the kingdom of Heaven. What about the heroes Of the faith listed in Hebrews 11 who died before they received the promise? They too will be there, as well as every other Old Testament saint. This could only be possible through resurrection, which is truly, the hope of Israel.
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