Q. I have always thought the phrase “fullness of the Gentiles” was the full number of Christians before the rapture but a news headline jumped out at me and got me thinking. It read that the earth’s population will reach 7 billion later this year could it be the actual number of gentiles and not the amount in the Church? I know 7 is God’s number of completeness.
A. The idea that Daniel’s 70th Week will begin when the world population reaches 7 billion people is intriguing, but I don’t think that’s what Paul’s had in mind. In his day, the Greek word translated full number (fullness) was a nautical term referring to the number of sailors necessary for a commercial ship to set sail. Also the word translated “come in” meant to arrive at a destination. In Romans 11:25 Paul used these metaphors to describe the Church leaving Earth and arriving at our destination. After that happens, Israel will experience a softening of heart that will result in the renewal of their covenant with God. This will mark the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week.