Q. I want to thank you for your articles and commentaries. They have been very encouraging and uplifting, as are those of many other expositors. I enjoy yours very much as they most often deal with prophecy and the end times. It is something I have had much interest in since I became a Christian in 1972. Please keep up the good work.
I would like to say that occasionally I find a doctrine that seems to not be in keeping with Scripture. And one of those being the concept that God is waiting to bring in that last slated believer to complete the right number before He takes the church off this earth.
God says He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Ptr 3:9). I do not find any scripture that bears witness to that doctrine of the last believer. Instead I find that God is waiting for the ‘fulness of transgressions’ to come in as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, and with the Amorites as He said He would to Abram.
The word Gentile in scripture most always applies to unbelievers, infidels, enemies of God. It was that way exclusively in the Old Testament as regards God’s commandments for Israel to destroy them when taking the land. And in the New Testament the majority of the time it applies thus as well. Strong’s Concordance defines Gentile as a non-Jew: (Greek Lexicon 1672) an inhabitant of Hellas; a Greek-speaking person. In the Greek (1481), and in the Hebrew (1471) it is defined as heathen, nation, people. There is no mention of it meaning strictly a believer in the Church.
A. You’re welcome to your opinion, but I don’t buy it. In Acts 15:13-14 James said in effect that Israel was being set aside while the Lord took a people for Himself from among the Gentiles. That’s the Church. Paul was at that meeting and that’s what He was referring to in Romans 11:25 when he said, “until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” We know this because Paul then said that as soon as that happens God will turn his attention back to Israel, which is the same thing James said in Acts 15:15-18. Paul and James were in agreement.