In a previous article I suggested that the story of Israel over the last two millennia could be seen as two trains rumbling across the pages of history on separate tracks. One I called the Jewish Train, the other the Gospel Train (later known as the Christian or Church Train).
Speaking symbolically, I said both trains had arrived back at the very station from where they had set out long ago – in Jerusalem. And that I believed this signaled a paradigm shift in what God was about to do next.
I described this shift as Yeshua disembarking from the Gospel Train in Jerusalem and telling all his followers to follow him. I stated that the goal of the train had been to locate and bring home the fullness of the “Gentiles.” And that this mission had finally reached the hour of its completion. At the right moment, we are to exit the train before the doors close again. Or we’ll find ourselves trapped in “the outer darkness” (Matt. 22:13,14).
I’m so convinced of the understanding I expressed in this “parable” I want to expand on it. We saw what happened to the Jewish nation in the first century when they chose to cling to their religion rather than receive their Messiah and the blessings of their New Covenant. We don’t want to make that same mistake and suffer similar consequences. Because that same choice, I believe, is going to be given to us.
Although both Jews and Yeshua’s followers have been travelling in two different trains for centuries it was never God’s plan for us to remain separated. God only has one chosen people, one nation and one destination. The trains were always scheduled to return to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. And when they did return we were to get off and reunite with those who were His to become one new man in Yeshua. One new glorious kingdom.
The apostle Peter called this time “the period of restoration” (Acts 3:21). It is what the disciples had hoped for when they asked Yeshua, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). It is the same end-time event spoken of by all the Hebrew prophets who prophesied God would one day gather together all His lost and scattered sheep from the ends of the earth. “And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…and My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd” (Ezek. 37:22,24).
This has been God’s plan from the beginning.
Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples