There exists yet in eternity future, a series of events that will occur before the ushering in of God’s Kingdom and a glorious time known as Eternity Future where the Believer will spend an eternity with God. One of the most anticipated and exciting of these events is that of the Rapture of the Church, in which believers in Christ will be taken off this Earth prior to the time of Tribulation that will follow thereafter. It has long been studied by many faithful students of God’s Word, the matters that surround these events. The timing of these events- especially that of the impending Rapture- are held by the true Bible believing students to be a mystery, and therefore a call attention, for “the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40, KJV).¹ That being said, there is a phrase common to the Bible student of prophecy which bears some understanding if one is to correctly piece together future end time events. That phrase is known as the “Fullness of the Gentiles”.
From the onset of this study, there must be a clear understanding of two similar – but different- phrases concerning the Gentiles: The “times” of the Gentiles and the “fullness” of the Gentiles. Simply defined, the “times” of the Gentiles deals with that period of time from Daniel’s captivity through the future to Christ’s return. It is a time in which Gentiles rule the Earth due to the hard hardheartedness of Israel to their God and His Prophets. Their rejection of God’s Messiah put them on a track of “blindness” as a nation during this time, so that Gentiles could be recipients of God’s Salvation as well as provoke them to jealousy over their God with the hopes of them returning to the truth (Romans 11:11, KJV). That is not to say that Jews are unable to be saved during this period. God’s gift and calling remains that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13, KJV). During this time, the Jews remain scattered across the world, and turmoil and strife abound in the Land which God had promised to them. Their unbelief continues to keep them from possessing all the Land that God gave in His Covenant with Abraham, and the majority of Jews still await a Messiah and yet another Temple. It is, however, God’s plan that Israel, as a nation, will not realize her Messiah until the “fullness” of the Gentiles has been accomplished. The “fullness” of the Gentiles is that point in time when the last Gentile on earth, known already by God, will accept Christ as His personal Lord and Savior. Gentiles, in the book of Acts, are recorded as coming to Christ, and have continued to do so throughout history. As already stated, this program to reach the Gentiles was largely due in part to the stiff necked hearts of the Jews. Israel was to be the “light to the nations”, but her unbelief in God’s Messiah had delayed that mission. This “last soul” in reality, remains a deterrent to the Rapture call to this day, as God remains “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV). It would seem, then, that one of the catalysts for the return of the Lord would indeed be a more deeply committed Christian to the business of winning Souls.
In conclusion, this “fullness of the Gentiles” remains an hour glass to end time events. If Souls continue to be won, then God will continue to mercifully grant time for more sheep to be added to the fold. If, on the other hand, there continues a decline of spiritual hunger on the part of the world and hearts remain cold and bitter, it can be seen as a sign that, indeed, the believer’s redemption is at hand, even at the door.
1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.