Heaven’s trumpet will soon sound…..and most Jewish people don’t yet know Messiah. If you think they won’t turn to Him until great tribulation hits, think again! Here’s what Israel is waiting for: Maturity of the Christian Church
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the [fullness] of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26, NIV).
You may know that most standard Bible translations substitute the words “full number” for “fullness.” But some scholars, including most Messianics, believe “fullness” is more accurate. The differences in meaning are profound. Here’s why:
“Fullness” or “full number” is translated from a Greek word pronounced pleroma. Pleroma appears 17 times in the New Covenant. Most contemporary Bibles translate it “fullness” all 17 times, except in Romans 11:25. There alone does pleroma become “full number.” This in itself is unusual. But what’s especially troubling about the sole exception is that just a few verses earlier in 11:11, in Paul’s same letter, on the same topic, pleroma is translated “fullness”. Some Messianic scholars conclude there is no linguistic reason why pleroma should take on a numeric quality here, as the word describes that which is brought to fullness, completion or maturity.
It is the quality of Gentile Christianity encountered by Jewish people that leads to their salvation, not the quantity of Gentile Christians they encounter. I myself came to the Lord partly out of envy for the relationship a Gentile Christian fiend had with Yeshua. What is she doing with my God, I puzzled, and having such a good time with Him?
The practical distinction between “full number” and “fullness” of the Gentiles is critical. If Israel is Gospel resistant until the full number of Gentiles comes to faith, there is little point sharing Yeshua with her today, tomorrow, or the day after that. Not until the last Gentile numbered for the Kingdom, in the remotest region on earth, finally gets saved will it be time to turn to the Jews. But if Israel’s hardness is removed when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, then today is the day of salvation. Our approach to Jewish outreach should be quite different.
From a practical perspective, pleroma/fullness is that quality of mature Christ-likeness that provokes Jewish people to godly envy for their Messiah. It is another way to describe the regenerate and Spirit-filled, love-driven life to which you and I are called as His followers. God’s will and call to every believer in every generation has been the attaining of this fullness.
When we hear the shofar’s blast this Rosh Hashana (Yom Teruah) on September 13-14, let’s respond to God’s call for fullness. And in this way, all Israel will be saved!