Not Just For Israel

When I first began formulating my views on eschatology, I began hearing and reading the objections that the return of Christ as described in the Olivet Discourse is completely different from the return of Christ at the rapture.  Further (these people assert), the Olivet Discourse is for the nation of Israel and does not apply to the church.  One inconsistency in this is that these same people quote from the Olivet Discourse to show that "no man knows the day or hour" of His coming for the church.  Recently someone gave me this objection and I formulated some thoughts that had been floating around in my head after my recent study of Luke.  The Olivet Discourse and the Temple Discourse both contain aspects that must be for the church.  I’ll post the quote from other person then my response.
 
I would like to know if you have done a who, what, why, where,
when and how in Mark 13, Luke 21 and Matt 24? This is talking about
the nation Israel not the Bride of Christ.
I just did a quick search and could not find the word "Israel" in any
of the passages that you mention. I understand where you are coming
from though, as the area of Judea and the city of Jerusalem are
mentioned. So there are some instructions that would benefit only
those who are living in the area of Judea at the time.

However, there is much that you assert that cannot be proved. There
is much in the Olivet Discourse and the Temple Discourse (Luke 21:8-
36) that applies to the church. Please consider the following:

#1- The times of the Gentiles. The current time of the treading down
of Jerusalem by Gentile nations is spoken of by our LORD in Luke
21:24. Since the LORD was speaking to those who would be the
foundation stones in the church, He was preparing the church to go
through the times of the Gentiles and see the return of the LORD as
described in Luke 21:25-28. There is no way to break up the
continuity of Luke 21:24-28. The times of the Gentiles is something
that the church must go through (obviously because we are going
through it now) and since the coming of the LORD in power and glory
is mentioned in the same context the church is given instruction that
when certain signs begin to come to pass they must "look up for their
redemption draweth nigh".

#2- The current preaching of the gospel to all nations. Both Matthew
and Mark mention this important phrase that the gospel must be
preached throughout the nations then the end of the age will come.
The context in Matthew 24:9-14 and Mark 13:9-13 is that the gospel
will be preached throughout all nations in the midst of intense
persecution. Do you believe this preaching is to be done by the
nation of Israel? The LORD gave the great commission to the church.
The LORD Jesus mentioned the formation of the church in the gospel of
Matthew and even gave instruction concerning church relationships,
Matthew 16:18, 18:15-20. And since the disciples are questioning
concerning the end of the age, and the LORD gives the condition that
the gospel must be preached until the end of the age, then in Matthew
28:18-20 tells the disciples that He would be with them through the
preaching of the gospel until the end of the age, there can be no
difference. They must be the same end of the age. Otherwise you
would be inventing another end of the age.

To sum up, Jesus was giving the plan, not just for Israel, but for
the preaching of the gospel to all nations as is currently being
fulfilled by the church. So there is much that is for the church in
the Olivet Discourse.

#3- Worldwide Judgement. You mention the one being taken and the
other left(Matthew 24:40-41), so I will make the following point.
The devastation described in Matthew 24:36-39 is worldwide so Jesus
would not have been addressing only issues for the nation of Israel.
The flood of Noah was worldwide, so the destruction that comes when
the Son of Man returns will also be worldwide. So the deliverance
promised would be when the Son of Man comes, as Jesus is drawing the
parallel for when the flood comes.

Many people say that because Noah was spared from the flood that we
will be spared from the great tribulation. That is not the parallel
that Christ is drawing. He just explained that the LORD will COME to
gather His elect (after the tribulation). Then He explains that a
flood will COME, but Noah will enter the ark. Do you see the
parallel? Immediately after this is the phrase "the one shall be
taken the other left". The connection is to the COMING of flood
where Noah was protected but the rest of the world was destroyed.
The previous parallel was to the COMING of the Son of Man.

So Christ is teaching that He will come, and at that coming will
spare the elect from further destruction that will occur at His
coming. This is worldwide and not just talking about the nation of
Israel. Immediately after this is the admonition to always watch for
our LORD, Matthew 24:42-44. How can you break the continuity of this
passage to say that the church must watch for the coming of the LORD,
yet not apply the previous verses in Matthew 24:36-41 to the church
as well? Do you believe that Matthew 24:42-44 applies to the church
and that we must always watch for the LORD? If so, Jesus can only be
talking about the coming that He just described would happen AFTER
the great tribulation.

#4- The use of the word "elect". This would be so much simpler for
you to prove if Christ had used the word "Israel", but He did not. I
believe He said what He meant. Jesus had already declared that
Jerusalem would be left desolate in Matthew 23:38. Previous to this
He had declared that the kingdom would be taken from them and given
to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, Matthew 21:43.

So we see that Jesus knew about the elect from all nations that would
form the church. Later in the book of Romans Paul would declare that
not all Israel had obtained that which they sought, but only the
elect of Israel, Romans 11:7. So not all national Israel are elect.
So the use of the word "elect" proves that Jesus was not speaking
about the nation of Israel since we know that not all national Israel
are elect, according to the Biblical definition in Romans 11:7.

The elect here can be none other than you and I and the rest of the
church.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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