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Forgiveness in the Ages to Come

By: Scott Morton

It is important for us to note that God is not done dealing with the nation Israel. Even though there are some who state we have been made a spiritual Israel or God will never deal with the nation again, God's Word says something different. The Apostle Paul gives information about what is going to happen in the future related to Israel:

Romans 11:25-31

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. [28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. [29] For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. [30] For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: [31] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Israel will once again be in focus, according to Romans 11. They stopped being the focus of God's dealing with man based on their failures. They had rejected the ministry of the prophets in the Old Testament (the ministry of God the Father), the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth (the ministry of God the Son), and they finally rejected the ministry of Stephen in Acts 7 (the ministry of God the Holy Ghost). As a result of this, there were no more chances for Israel (Matthew 12:31). This was blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the only thing that was left for them was the wrath of God being poured out.

God did demonstrate His grace through dealing with mankind through the dispensation of grace, which we are currently living in. This is the message given to the Apostle Paul, contained in Romans through Philemon. The doctrine given to us today is found in these books, including how it is that a person will be saved.

The question starts to become how will man be saved after this dispensation? Is there a way God will be dealing with mankind and will they be able to receive forgiveness? The answer to these questions is God does have a way in His plan to have forgiveness for individuals who are living at any time. God plans to reconcile the heaven and the earth back unto Himself (Colossians 1:20). Since this is the case, the Bible then does lay out a plan for forgiveness for people who will be living during this time.

The first place to start is to determine the gospel message being proclaimed. An individual cannot find forgiveness if they do not have salvation first. This cannot be the gospel message given to the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), which is for us today, as this is a message given to us specifically for this dispensation. We do see an indication of a gospel message being proclaimed when we look at Matthew 24:

Matthew 24:13-15

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. [15] When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Jesus Christ is giving some information to the Apostles about the end-times. They had asked about the signs that would point to His coming and the end of the world. This is the focus of the chapter as He is speaking. In the above passage, the gospel of the kingdom is referenced. This is the gospel identifying Him as the Son of God. This is the message they were to believe. It is the same message that had been proclaimed in the Gospels, the early Acts period, and even the first message of the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:20) before he received the revelation about the unique message given for this dispensation.

This is a relatively simple message that is going to end up becoming very difficult for them to continue to preach. Jesus Christ had stated there would be an enduring to the end. The timeframe of the 70th week of Daniel will be a very difficult time for those who are living, especially those who are believers. The 5th seal judgment speaks of those who are being martyred for their belief. This is something most individuals living in the United States have never dreamed would be possible. This goes along with the fact that since this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, there is no way this could ever happen here. Unfortunately, there will be a time where those who are holding onto the truth will be fearful for their life. This will start to make it difficult on them and will cause some to waver from the truth they are given.

There will also be the mark of the beast they will have to contend with. There will be a time where individuals will be required to take this mark in order to be able to buy and sell products (Revelation 13:16-18). This will cause numerous problems for all who are alive. If an individual takes this mark, they are branded as following the false religious system set up and joining with the Anti-Christ. Those who refuse to take the mark will no longer be able to buy or sell things. This means people will not even be able to buy the necessities of life, such as food. It will be a difficult time for families, as the temptation will be for someone to take the mark in order to be able to buy food for the family to survive. This goes against everything God has instructed. There will be provision made for those who will be able to endure to the end.

However, there will be those that give into the temptation. The end result for these individuals is they will end up in the lake of fire. This is because they are no longer found in the book of life. An individual who takes the mark has sealed themselves against God. There is no forgiveness being made for the individuals who make this mistake. It is a simple thing for them to know what they should do, as Jesus Christ had already warned them they needed to endure to the end. This message is included in the letters to the seven churches at the beginning of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 2:26

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

In the book of Revelation it is stated they need to overcome. This is the same thing as enduring to the end, as they are overcoming the problems facing the nation of Israel during the 70th week of Daniel. There will be some difficult things they will be facing, as has already been discussed. Because of these issues, they will need to make sure they are able to overcome, so they will be able to have the forgiveness promised to them.

Are they forgiven?

Israel does not receive forgiveness in the same manner the members of the Body of Christ do. Their forgiveness though is associated with the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary:

Hebrews 9:22

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The blood that was shed by Jesus Christ is an important issue. It is the shed blood that gives the remission of sins. Under the law, there were the sacrifices performed in order to cover the sins of an individual. There were prescribed things that needed to be done in order to make sure the sins would actually be covered for a period of time. They were not able to have this remission come for them if they attempted to find it without blood being shed.

This also holds true for the work of Jesus Christ. It is His shed blood that covers the works of an individual. They are able to have remission of sins because of what He has done for them.

In Hebrews chapter 9, we see there is a lengthy passage dealing with the issue of the remission of sins:

Hebrews 9:11-22

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;[12] Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. [13] For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: [14] How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [15] And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. [16] For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. [17] For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. [18] Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. [19] For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, [20] Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. [21] Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. [22] And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary accomplished something wonderful for the members of the nation of Israel. It put them into a position where they would be able to receive the New Covenant.

In order for there to be the New Covenant, an old one would have to be taken out of the way. This is the Law of Moses, which the passage clearly is showing. The Law is taken away and they are going to be dealt with in a new manner. Under the New Covenant, the words of the law are written into the hearts and mind (Jeremiah 31:31-34). This is done so there would be no issue of breaking the commandments of God anymore. If there is no more transgression of the law, there can be no more sin, as sin is defined as transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).

The New Covenant is given to those who are part of God's Kingdom here on the earth. Those who are part of this physical Kingdom will receive this so there will be no more sin issue, as Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for the sin through the work done on Calvary.

What about 1 John 1:9?

Before this article closes, this passage needs to be addressed. This is a passage many people think applies to them today related to forgiveness. Here is the passage in question:

1John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This passage is often used to teach that an individual needs to confess their individual sins in order to receive forgiveness. This action can be done through various means (prayer, speaking the actions out loud in private, telling another individual the things you have done wrong, etc.) based on the belief system an individual has placed themselves under.

If this is the case, this individual has placed themselves under a works based system in order to have forgiveness. This cannot work for members of the Body of Christ, as works have been separated from the dispensation of grace (Romans 11:6). An individual today does not have to do anything, but place their belief in the gospel, as faith is not a work (Romans 4:5).

This passage does have an application for Israel. It is not applying to individual members of the nation, but to the nation as a whole. They need to confess their sins as a nation. They are guilty of several things as a nation:

The rejection of the prophets, who the nation had persecuted. These prophets were representing the ministry of God the Father (Acts 7:52).

The rejection of Jesus Christ, the second part of the Godhead. They had betrayed Him and had delivered Him to death. They are guilty of His death (Acts 2:23, 7:52).

The rejection of the ministry of Stephen. He was filled with the Holy Ghost and was giving a final offer of the kingdom to the nation. They not only rejected this offer, but actually carried out killing him themselves (Acts 7:55-60).

Their rejections of God led to the offer of the kingdom being taken away. The next prophetic event is the 70th week of Daniel. However, there does need to be a believing remnant to carry out the work of God during this time. This is where the remnant, which will become the nation of Israel, will need to confess these sins and take the place God has set for them as the holy nation and a kingdom of priests.



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