Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory |
of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13)
The Fulness of the Gentiles
The fullness of the Gentiles is the calling out of Christ's Body during this present Church age. Although the Church is composed of both Jew and Gentile alike, the Gentile believers are in view here. That number to "come in," or be saved is known by God. The "Fulness of the Gentiles" is presently in effect because of Jewish national rejection of Jesus Christ, but individual Jews who believe during this Church age compose the body of Christ. National Israel has been "broken off" and to them "a partial hardening" has happened (Romans 11:20, 25). But eventually, according to Scripture, "all Israel will be saved" (Rom. 11:26). Paul writes:
I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the Fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." (Romans 11:25-26).
Once the determined number of Gentiles has come into the Church, it will be taken up to meet the Lord in the air, in what is called the Rapture of the Church. First those who have died in Christ will be bodily resurrected and then we who are alive will be changed, and both will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, always to be with Him (1Thess. 4:15-18; 1Cor. 15:51-54).
Any hope of Israel's national turning to Christ, until "the fulness of the Gentiles has come in," is in vain. The horrific days of the Tribulation will have to come before nationally Israel turns to God (Zechariah 12-14). The prophet Zechariah writes:
I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).
The fulness of the Gentiles is often confused with the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) "Times of the Gentiles" (Lk. 21:24).
The times of the Gentiles is another matter altogether, namely the period of Gentile domination of Israel, which began in 586 B.C. and continues until the Lord returns and establishes His literal, earthly, messianic kingdom.
Written by Alan Torres