25 December, 2005

Pray for Zion's Peace

Friends, as the physical seed of Abraham remembers their protection during the time of the Maccabees, I would ask that you take these eight days to remember the Jews in your family worship. Pray that the Lord will keep his promise to convert the Jews and bring them back into the fold of God. May they see Jesus Christ for who he is- The King of the Jews.

Romans 11:25-26. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

What do we pray for in the second petition of the Lord's Prayer?

In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come,) acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan,we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fullness of the Gentiles brought in; the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances, purged from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate: that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted: that Christ would rule in our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him forever: and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends.

Question 191, Westminster Larger Catechism

19 comments:

Ellie said...

We share a jewish friend who is frequently on my mind and tugging at my heart. I believe that we will some time in the furture have the opportunity to open the door to salvation to her and I believe she will gracefully walk totally in. This has been in my heart for some time. God has his own time table but I'm ready and waiting, are you???

I had no idea the second petition of the Lord's Prayer had so much meaning.Our Pastor frequently reminds us re: Satans dominion on the earth. You theologians can really redefine reality and it is very sobering.(Get thee behind me satan!!)

What's your opinion on the antichrist making his appearance know in Israel, possibly being warmly received as the messiah. My thinking is that things will get worse in Israel before the true Deliever arrives!

Anonymous said...

Christ will restore Israel and the temple at his second coming. God is not finished with them yet.

Nate said...

Anon
The temple will never be restored...that would be a blasphemy to go back to sacrifices. That is why Christ came in judgment on the temple & Jerusalem in 70AD. (See Mark 13, Mat 24, & Luke (?)21.
The Jews will be converted to Chrstianity before the second coming, not at it. If it were at it then they all they would have is the judgment day before them.

edwardseanist said...

THat is interesting. I never thought about how blasphemous it would be for the temple to be restored. Good post Nate.

Penumbra said...

Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem now. There is no nation of Israel as God's favored people. God "dwells in the midst" of his church now. God comforts believers with the gospel. Micah 4:13 prophesies of the daughter of Zion in humility having her horn made iron, her hoofs brass, and beating in pieces many people. One error of the Judaizers was thinking that the Christ would set up an earthly kingdom and subdue all nations to Israel. What envy many Jews had when they realized that the "good news" was salvation and adoption into God's family for Jews and Gentiles! How wrong the Jews were! They no longer have God's right hand and should no longer be referred to as the daughters of Zion. That position is the Church's alone.

Ahh, it's question 191 where the ARP Confession is inconsistent with the ARP Larger Catechism on the civil magistrate! Now I remember.

Anonymous said...

Israel will be restored. I have checked those passages you refered to and Christ is talking about things to come during his second coming. They have not occured yet. I think the premils have this one right. Can't you just admit that your theology is wrong for once?

Nate said...

What do you mean that you have "checked those passages"?

The historic Christian church has not held to- but condemned premil theology until the end of the 19th century when it became popular.

I am looking at eschatology with 2000 years of church history and you are looking at it with the CI Scofield ref. bible....

Not to sound elitist, but in the scope of history-this remains a very new and strange doctrine...

Plus the premil stuff is very American. Most countries of the world do not obsess about the end times in the way that American evangelicals do. They have an escatology that they believe- they are just not obsessed.

At any rate- are you praying for the Jews conversion?

shawn said...

Penumbra: Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem now. There is no nation of Israel as God's favored people.

How do you explain away Rom 11?

Smart Aleck said...

Whether the temple will be rebuilt is in the future and we can not see into the future, but Nate is correct that is blasphemy not to trust the finish work of Jesus Christ's sacrifice and turn back to animal sacrifices. But just because it is blasphemy doesn't mean sinful people won't do it. One thing is sure it is not going to be anyone way of salvation, that is in trusting in Christ alone.

Penumbra - Just because God has given salvation to all nations, doesn't mean he doesn't have a specail place for the nation of Isreal, read Romans 11 (Nate quoted part in the post) but it talks of how since Isreal rejected the message how it was given to the gentiles but one day Isreal will turn back unto Him.

Nate said...

If the Temple is rebuilt in Israel it is not because it is part of God's redemptive plan. I think that when Christ said in Matthew 23- YOUR house is left unto you desolate (in reference to the temple)... he gave his opinion on the temple and the Jewish economy.

Are we praying for the conversion of the Jews?

Nate said...

FROM THE WESTMINSTER DIRECTORY FOR PUBLICK WORSHIP (1646)
On what ministers should pray about before the sermon (excerpt):

"To pray for the propagation of the gospel and kingdom of Christ to all nations; for the conversion of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles, the fall of Antichrist, and the hastening of the second coming of our Lord; for the deliverance of the distressed churches abroad from the tyranny of the antichristian faction, and from the cruel oppressions and blasphemies of the Turk......"

Penumbra said...

Shawn,
Don't be so flippant in assuming that your interpretation of Romans 11 is the correct one. Especially if you actually want an explanation. There is no reason why I would have to "explain away" Romans 11.

Nate,
I don't like the direction of your argument with premillenialists. Do you value 1700 years of church history over the word of God? You write "what do you mean you checked those passages", but then you respond with the consensus of the masses over 1700 years of history instead of scripture.

Come on, guys! What is this? An eschatalogy bashing session?

In any case, I pray for the conversion of unbelievers. How do I know the next guy is a Jew? Because he says so? Let him show me the records back to Jacob! Maybe he's not a true Jew, but a member of the Synogogue of Satan? Oh, wait. A true Jew is a Christian, so there's no need to pray for his conversion!

Nate said...

I maintain my position is conformable to the Word of God as well as the Reformed confessions.

What I have been trying to avoid is an eschatological battle here. If you notice I have redirected this 3 times to "are you praying for the conversion of the Jews".

Romans 11 tells us that they are blind for a season until the fulness of the gentiles....
Are we praying for the Jews?

shawn said...

Penumbra - You are right. That is not the way to seek unity. Forgive me for my offense in manner.

I also say that I am as flippant in assuming I am right in Sovereign Grace and Predestination, as I am to assume I am right concerning the Restoration of Israel.

To clarify my position, God will Restore that moral person who identifies itself with the Pharisaical Judaism in the days of Christ, and Paul (record of lineage or not - it's insignificant).

Could you tell me based upon what argument from Scripture you would agree or disagree with this? And could you also tell me of your views of Rom 11. Thanks.

ps. Nate, if you don't want a "debate" or discussion on the topic, then why bring it out? *smiles

Nate said...

Shawn

I guess that the focus of the argument here was to be Romans 11 and the restoration of the Jews and not a broad Tim LaHaye vs. RC Sproul Jr. debate on the greater format called eschatology.

(Of course we always expect debate here!)

Penumbra said...

It's sort a difficult to separate Romans 11 from eschatalogy. If you are praying for the restoration of the Jews, you have a particular interpretation of what Romans 11 requires of you and of the future as you see it. Nate, as a partial preterist, how do you conclude that Romans 11 is a passage that has not yet occurred? Also, do partial preterists agree with historicists? Based on your agreement with the confessions on eschatalogy, that would make you a historicist. I thought their views did not include any sort of partial preterism? Maybe Shawn can correct me on this.

Nate said...

Even Historicists are partial preterists for some prophecies. Matthew 24 is partially fulfilled.

But as confessional Christians we need to REALLY question if our eschatology is outside of the limits of our confessions.

I have leaned more and more towards historicism, especially since I took eschatology last year from Prof Englesma. (He is VERY anti preterist as well as historicist.) At this point I hold to the little that the confession reveals...many historicists and preterists go beyond the confessions or outside of them...I do not have time to develop my eschatology beyond this point yet.

It will have to wait awhile.

Penumbra said...

Unfortunately, if you have determined that your eschatalogy is outside the Westminster Standards, the Standards do not provide, in themselves, the resources necessary to analyze and question your own view against the Standards statements. It seems the standards make assumptions that the reader is supposed to take for granted as being true. So, in "really" questioning your eschatalogical position, you must peruse many extra-Standard documents that may not have been easily available until recently. This seems to have been very poorly addressed among most reformed churches. Thus, people become panmillenialists until they have time to study it; which often is never.

Nate said...

I am "post" not "pan". I see the Westminster as "post". Some will argue for it being "a", but I think that is a far cry.


You are right Jeff that you do have to study outside of the confessions to come to a conclusion- but the confession as well as the proof texts is a great starting point.