[Calvary Chapel]1999-04-17 - Salvation Offered to All

The Age of Grace

Because of His foreknowledge God could - and did-that His people, Israel, would become disobedient and would be for a time left to a sideline. During that period of time people from all the nations would be gathered as His elect or chosen ones. This period was referred to as the Age of Grace or the Church Age. We are now living in that period. It will terminate with the rapture of all believers in Christ before the seven-year Great Tribulation.

From Jewish history we have seen the overthrow of the nation of Israel and the worldwide dispersion of her people, which began in 70 AD, at which time the temple in Jerusalem was burned. From that day to the present, most Jews have remained scattered among the nations. The prophet Hosea spoke of this matter in these words, "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king and without prince, and without sacrifice and without pillar, and without ephod or teraphim; afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king, and shall come with fear unto Jehovah, and to His goodness in the latter days. (Hos. 3:4,5) From 70 AD to the present time Israel, though now reidentified as a nation, has been without a king and prince. She-as Hosea said-is without sacrifice, ephod or teraphim. According to this prediction, " afterward" (after this time is terminated) the Jewish people shall return and seek "Jehovah their God" which they are not now doing. " David their king," to whom Hosea refers, is none other than Jesus the Messiah, David's descendant. Jesus shall return to Israel when she will have turned to Him and His goodness, after the rapture.

Before the Messiah ascended from the earth to sit at the right hand of God, He met with His disciples and gave them final instructions, saying, "All authority had been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matt 28:18b-20)

He then provided them with a specific "blueprint" to follow. They were to:

  • Wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth and to provide them with the power to
  • Witness in Jerusalem, where they were to begin their ministry, from there they were to go,
  • Into Judea and Samaria to the north; then they were to proceed in this ministry
  • To the uttermost parts of the earth (see also Acts 1:6-11)

The disciples did exactly as the Lord instructed them. By 63 AD when Paul wrote the Colossian epistle, the Gospel had been preached to the entire world under heaven, as testified in these words:" ... the hope of the gospel which ye heard, was preached in all creation under heaven, wherefore I. Paul was made a minister," (Col 1:23.) Even earlier in 58 AD when the apostle wrote his letter to the Romans, he stated, concerning the preaching of the word of Christ that,"...their sound went out into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world. ( Romans 10:18)

The object or reason for the preaching of the Gospel given in

Acts 15:13-18 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Symeon hath rehearsed how first God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After these things I will return, And I will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen; And I will build again the ruins thereof, And I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, And all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, 18 Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from of old.

This passage of scripture indicates that following the rapture of the Church the "Tabernacle of David" will be built again; Israel will be returned to her place of authority, from the sidetrack which she has been during the Church Age.

To be continued …