Jesus said to the Jewish leaders of His time that their rejection of Him would seal their own rejection as the sons of the covenant. “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43).
But the good news is that God’s promises to literal Israel in the OT were transferred to spiritual Israel in the NT, which is the church, made up of all true believers in Christ (Jews and Gentiles). And the physical temple has now become the spiritual temple of the church, made up of all true believers (1 Corinthians 3:16), who are the “lively stones” of that “spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
The New Testament Church receives the same promises that were given to Abraham’s descendants: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). True Israel will be characterized by circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh. “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11). Thus, all who accept Christ will inherit the promises made to Abraham.
Paul affirms that truth in Romans 9:8. “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” And he elaborates, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart” (Romans 2:28, 29).
After the crucifixion of Christ, the door for the salvation of the Jews was left open through the preaching of the apostles until A.D. 34, the end of Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy. Later on, the gospel was taken to the world and true Israel consisted of all those who accept the Savior, whether Jews or Gentiles.
In His service,
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