Do not confuse the nation Israel and the Church. The nation Israel is earthly; the Church is heavenly! Will any Jews be in the church in heaven when we get there? Yes. Jesus was a Jew. Paul was a Jew. David was a Jew.
Through the ages, from the beginning, God because of His grace has chosen to save those who trusted, or had faith, in Him. We read in Hebrews 11:8-10, that Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barach, Samson, David, and others were all sanctified by God because of their faith. 2 Chronicles 30:17 says, “For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.” We see that it was their faith that sanctified them, their faith as evidenced by their obedience in making the animal sacrifice.
What about those Old Testament saints that couldn’t make the sacrifice even though they wanted to? 2 Chronicles 30:18-20 says, “For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.” So we see that it was not their works but it was the condition of each person’s heart, that is…their faith.
The saints are all saved by God’s grace through faith. God never changes ( Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”). Old Testament saints were saved by God’s grace through faith and New Testament saints are saved by God’s grace through faith. Old Testament saints were looking forward to the work of the promised Messiah and New Testament saints are looking back at the finished work of the Messiah.
They were sanctified in the Old Testament time but could not receive salvation until after Jesus had actually died for them, at that time they were begotten of the Holy Spirit and their souls and spirits were redeemed from Abraham’s bosom (paradise) and taken by Jesus to heaven. Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
Incidentally, the above Old Testament expression, “…Spirit…is upon me…” means that he has been empowered to perform a task. It does not mean that he was born of the Holy Spirit.
Ps 68:18, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” Note that this is an Old Testament prophesy.
Eph 4:8-10, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”
At the rapture, the sleeping (deceased) bodies of the O.T. and the N.T saints will meet the Lord in the air and immediately then be reunited with their soul and spirit. Then they will receive a glorified body. See 2 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54.
Acts 10:34-35, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” This says, “Every nation!” That includes the nation of Israel!
The nation of Israel is on Earth; it is earthly. The promises to the house of Israel were earthly. The promise of the land is earthly, the promise of 1,000 years of peace is earthly…the promise of rain, crops, and so on, are all earthly. The promises to the Church are spiritual, not earthly. None of the promises to the house of Israel apply to Gentile nations. God stopped dealing with Israel as a nation because of their unbelief, but during the millennium God will return to dealing with the nation Israel. Israel will have 1,000 years of peace here on Earth, just as He promised them.
We should not think of the church as Gentile. The church is spiritual and includes Hebrews and Gentiles.
The promises to the church are spiritual and were to individuals, not to any nation as a whole. Each individual person has to be sanctified. What sanctified a Jew? He was sanctified by God because of his faith. Just being born into the Hebrew nation did not guarantee anyone’s way into heaven. The spiritual promises to the church are heavenly, for a Hebrew to receive these spiritual blessings he must be born again just the same as Gentile believers. We are all in the body of Christ, Jew and Gentile, if we’re born again. Romans 10:12, says, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”
The church consists of Jews and Gentiles. Promises to the church are open to everyone who is saved, Jew and Gentile alike. Born again Hebrews in heaven will partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb (see Isaiah 61:10), just the same as will born again gentiles. We are all saved by grace. Understand this! In heaven no one will be known as a Hebrew, Israelite, Jew, Williams, Smith, Johnson, or Goldstein for these names are traced back to our Earthly Fathers. But in heaven we will all be brothers and sisters because God Himself is our Father and our family tree will go up from us to God and there it will begin and end. We will all get a new name, see Isaiah 62:2, Revelation 2:17, 3:12. As children of God it would be an insult to our Father to be referred to by any earthly parent’s name.
The book of Matthew was written primarily for the Jews, in it we see Jesus presented as the King of the Jews. Matt 5:12 says, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Notice that their reward is in heaven, and Jesus has not yet opened the gospel to the Gentiles.
Matt 6:20-21, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This is still before the gospel was opened to the gentiles.
Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Each of these verses were spoken by Jesus were before the gospel was open to the Gentiles.
Col 1:5, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”
1 Pet 1:4, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” The apostle to the dispersed Jews, Peter, is speaking here.
Rev 19:1, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:”
Rev 21:12-14, “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” If no Hebrews were in Heaven why would the names of the Hebrew children be on the gates?
Rev 4:4, “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” It has been speculated that these twenty-four elders are the twelve apostles and the twelve sons of Israel. If this is true, then these Hebrews would have to be in heaven.
Take heed! We are the wild olive branch grafted into the olive tree. Romans 11: 18-21 says, “Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”
Yes, in heaven there will be Jews and Gentiles, but we believers will all be members of the body of Christ, the church.