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25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

 

until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

God designed that Israel as a nation be set aside until He manifested His grace to Gentiles in the church age. This rejection of Israel was only for a time, until God dealt with the Gentiles.

God had a “fullness” for Israel (11:12) and He has a “fullness” for the Gentiles. At the present time, God is gathering Gentiles for Himself:

Ac 15: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.

At the time when God will be finished with the Gentiles, then the nation Israel’s hardness will cease. The “fullness of the Gentiles” will be realized when God completes His work among national entities. This work has been going on since God rejected the nation Israel, when they repudiated Jesus the Messiah (Mt 18). The “fullness” of the Gentiles will come when the Lord raptures His church to heaven.

There is no evidence to interpret the “fullness of the Gentiles” as the completion of the preaching of the gospel to the world. This phrase says that the Gentiles will have “come in,” not that they will have heard the message.

This passage does not fix a time when the fullness of the Gentiles will occur. One thing is clear— there will be a great ingathering of Jews as the nation Israel comes into the Millennial kingdom.

PRINCIPLE:

If Gentile believers do not understand what God is doing with the church and Israel, then they will end up with their own opinion about the future.

APPLICATION:

Israel’s rejection of the Messiah was not absolute, final, or unqualified. God assigned a specific span of time—and no more—to Israel’s hardening. He will restore them after the times of the Gentiles. Luke 21 states that Jesus said Jerusalem would be trodden down until the “times of the Gentiles.”

The “fullness of the Gentiles” began with the launch of the church and it will end with the Rapture of the church.

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