Question: Does God have one Plan of Salvation for the Jews and another one for the Gentiles?
Some teachers of endtime prophecy seem to be teaching that God has one Plan of Salvation for the Jews and another one for the Gentiles.
The Jewish levitical priesthood and all of the associated rites and sacrifices was abolished at the cross. What is known as the Mosaic Law was nailed to the cross: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14). The intent was that after the Messiah came and fulfilled the covenant that God had established with Abraham (Galatians 3:17), there were no longer two peoples, Jews and Gentiles. Instead, Jesus is the one shepherd who leads the one flock. In the Book of Acts Chapter 10 we read how the Jews were amazed that the Holy Spirit fell also upon the Gentiles. In many of his writings in the Books of Hebrews, Galatians and Ephesians and others, the apostle Paul stressed that the Gentiles by faith had become the children of Abraham. The new circumcision is that of the heart (Romans 2). In Acts 15 the Council of Jerusalem met to discuss the Gentile question. They ruled that the Gentiles didn’t have to keep the entire Mosaic Law, they only needed to keep four things. Of course they needed to obey the Ten Commandments, and these four special requirements:
- Abstain from eating things offered to idols
- Abstain from fornication (the Greek word used here is “porneia”, the root of the word pornography, and it stands for both physical and spiritual fornication – in this context it’s referring to spiritual fornication, idolatry and the worship of other gods)
- Abstain from things strangled
- Abstain from blood – in other words eat kosher meat, meat from which the blood has been drained out
The Jews in turn needed to let go of salvation by works and had to believe in justification by faith in the blood of Jesus. It was very hard for them because they were coming from a system that appeared to be by works, but that’s because they didn’t grasp the truths that we have been studying: that every element of the Mosaic law also called the ceremonial law pointed forward to the coming of the Messiah.
Let’s read how Paul describes to the Ephesians the coming together of Jews and Gentiles: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Ephesians 2:12-16). One body means one church – remember that Jesus is the head and the body is the church.
The Lord Jesus has only one bride, the faithful church, composed of both Jews and Gentiles who believe in Him and keep His commandments. The Plan of Salvation doesn’t have a secret rapture for the Gentiles and a 7-year tribulation for the Jews. No, the entire faithful church will go through the tribulation, that He might refine her and be able to separate the wheat from the tares. How long that tribulation will last we don’t know, but we know for sure that there is no secret rapture. No one is getting whisked off to heaven without walking through the fire.