In my Protestant years, I was a student of eschatology and the end times. In modern protestant thinking, Israel plays a major roll in events immediately preceding the return of Christ. The fundamental idea is that God has blinded Jews to the reality of Jesus as Christ while giving the Kingdom to the Gentiles for a finite period of time.
In Pauls’ letter to the church in Rome, he writes:
I must not fail, brethren, to make this revelation known to you; or else you might have too good a conceit of yourselves. Blindness has fallen upon a part of Israel, but only until the tale of the Gentile nations is complete … they [Israel] are rebels now, obtaining pardon for you, only to be pardoned in their turn (Romans 11:25,32).
I will make some observations.
- Paul wrote this declaration to the Roman Christians. Essentially, these were Catholics as Rome was the foothold from which Christianity grew, blossomed and blessed the world. By the first century, the basics of the Roman Catholic faith, including the Sacraments, the Magisterium, and the Holy Orders were already established with the Latin language of the Roman Empire.
- The decline of the Roman Church has been especially acute in the past fifty years, as Church leadership has softened the heritage of the Roman Latin Church to make way for more modern concepts like equality and inclusiveness.
- The Protestant Reformation could be considered the great “falling away” that the Apostle Paul wrote about in 2 Thessalonians 2: Do not let anyone find the means of leading you astray. The apostasy must come first; the champion of wickedness must appear first, destined to inherit perdition. This is the rebel who is to lift up his head above every divine name, above all that men hold in reverence, till at last he enthrones himself in God’s temple, and proclaims himself as God. (vv 3-4). Without the singular authority of God in the Roman Church, each individual man is left to be his own authority, to essentially appoint himself as God’s anointed, whether he is actually of God or not. The result has been a Christian faith and culture that has been free falling into tragic decadence and irrelevance.
If today’s demographical and racial decimation of Europe is the work of God fulfilling the “Times of the Gentiles,” then the emerging dominance of Jews in Israel and American media might mean that Christ is getting close to revealing Himself to Israel. The weakening of the Gentiles through the weakening of the Church that Christ founded in Rome may be a sign that Christ’s return is near.
If this is true, it is bittersweet. No citizen of Christendom would sanely celebrate its decline and yet its decline may mean a greater event, the return of Jesus Christ to earth.
I write these things as suggestions only. I am not a prophet of Christ nor do I claim to be.