Genesis Chapter I to Chapter 11 : The creation of the world ••• sin enters the human race ••• God promises Eve that through her would come the One to destroy Satan •••• the world becomes populated ••• the wickedness of man increases ••• God destroys the earth with a flood and saves 8 people (Noah and his family) ••• the descendants of Noah are no better ••• (Read Romans 1:18-32).

Genesis Chapter 12 (about 2000 years after the creation): God "gives up" the world and chooses one man, Abraham, and promises that through his seed would come a nation that would be a blessing to the whole world (the Jewish nation) ••• Abraham believes God •••• God kept His promise and in his old age Abraham and Sarah have a son, Isaac. From Isaac came Jacob and from Jacob came the 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel.

All through the rest of Genesis to the end of the Old Testament the Bible is centered on the Hebrew nation. Also Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the first 8 chapters of Acts is centered upon the Hebrew nation. Israel was to bring the truth of the true God to the rest of the world and from them the Saviour of the world, the Messiah, was to come and rule over the world in righteousness in a kingdom set up here on earth in Jerusalem.

To make a long story short, Israel failed to obey and believe God. The Old Testament tells about their sad history. Then when Christ appeared, the nation did not recognize Him as the Messiah, and said "we will not have this man to rule over us:" They put Him to death. But He rose again and appeared to many. You would think that now the nation of Israel would believe ••• but they did not. In the Book of Acts we see in Chapters 1-8 that Israel as a nation refused to believe in the risen Christ and had His followers murdered.

Now, rather than God bringing in judgment (which was prophesied in the Old Testament) upon Israel for their rebellion and unbelief, God did a wonderful thing ~ He saved Saul of Tarsus, the leader of the rebellion against Christ and turned him into the Apostle Paul (read it in Acts 9). God revealed to Paul that Israel as a nation would be spiritually "blinded" for a while (see Romans 11:25-26). That "blindness” has been going on for almost 2000 years! You see, God revealed to Paul a secret, (a "mystery” as the Bible calls it). God made Paul the apostle to the whole world (Gentile and Jew). We read in Paul's writings that the death of Christ brought "reconciliation" to the whole world (read II Corinthians5:19). In other words, God has made it possible for anyone to be reconciled (or saved) not by Israel and their message of the Kingdom, but by the death of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world, and by His resurrection. This truth was revealed to Paul, not to the 12 apostles. Paul is the apostle of this time which the Bible calls the "Dispensation of the Grace of God". That is why Paul's writings are for us today.

After this dispensation of grace is over, then God will begin to deal with Israel as a nation again. God has not forgotten His promises to them! But before Israel will accept Christ as their Messiah they will have to go through a terrible time of Tribulation, which will last seven years, after which they will realize that Christ is indeed their Messiah and will believe on Him. (This Tribulation time is spoken of in the Old Testament prophets, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and especially in the book of Revelation. Also Peter and James and John talk about it).

So you see, the Bible is all for us, but it is not all to or about us. We are not part of the Jewish Kingdom which will be set up with Christ as the King, when the Gentile nations will be blessed also, but we are part of the "Mystery" which was revealed to Paul. We are members of the "Body of Christ" and our future is in Heaven. Today all people can be saved by grace, through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary, not by good works, because it is the gift of God (read Ephesians 2:8,9). Believe and trust in Christ alone, and be saved for all eternity.

I trust this helps in your understanding of the Bible.

Author Unknown

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