Are the Biblical end times upon us?
By Kenya Sinclair (CATHOLIC ONLINE)
1/13/2016 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Christian leader Grant Berry reveals his insight into Romans 11 and probes into the possibility that the scripture is the "key to the end times."
Are the end times described in Romans 11 upon us (Wikimedia Commons)?
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The founder of Reconnecting Ministries published an article in which he questions whether Romans 11 is referring to what is happening today.
Israel still has several prophesies yet to be fulfilled but the chapter, which Berry discusses in-depth on the Charisma Podcast Network, may highlight God's "election of promise and mercy for both Jew and Gentile."
In Berry's Romans 11 study, he believes he revealed Christ's treatment of people is equal and that God intentionally refers to everyone as "Israel," not just the Jewish people.
Berry wrote, "Romans 11 does not refer to Jewish believers per se, but rather to the rest of Israel (the Jewish people) who are still broken off due to a rejection of the gospel and, as a result, how the Gentiles in the church should relate to them."
Despite callings for Israel to accept Christ's sacrifice for both Jews and Gentiles, Berry wrote Israel "had learned to pursue it [God's love] through works and not by faith, to attain a law of righteousness that had little room for the mercy of God, which was to be found in His only begotten Son, who was at the end of the law for all who believed."
Berry added that he believes the old law God gave to the Jews serves as a relationship to the new covenant with Jesus.
Are the end times described in Romans 11 referring to today?
"But the religious leaders could not accept this and then led most of Israel astray. God had moved on from the old system of the law, which brought sin into account, into the New Covenant in which His law would be circumcised into our hearts through His Holy Spirit, where we would all know God for ourselves (Jer. 31:31-34).
"Any of the Jewish people who accepted Yeshua/Jesus at this time, of whom there were many, helped to establish the new community of believers the world now calls the church. For all believers were now welcome into the kingdom of God, both Jew and Gentile alike. The playing field concerning its entrance had now been leveled."
Berry believes Israel's misunderstandings "can be extremely confusing to us today, some 1,600 years later, in light of the fact that physical Israel is still broken off spiritually, and because the church severed its Jewish roots and heritage through the Roman assimilation (fourth century), establishing Christianity as a separate and distinct religion."
The conclusion Berry comes to is that Paul paints a "prophetic picture" of Israel's spiritual future.
So, is Romans 11 talking about the Church or specifically about Israel? Unfortunately the jury is still out on that as scholars continue to debate.
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Christians in Africa. That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.
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