Frequently Asked Questions
Martin, how do you respond to someone who's read everything you've presented here and while thinking that you've brought up some good and important points is still inclined to think that all of this is irrelevant to their lives because they believe Hosea 2:18 to be a part of the Gospel to the Circumcision rather than a part of the Pauline Gospel to the Nations?
My first reaction to this question is to think "eschatalogical and sectarian compassion?????"
As the ages progress towards the abolishment of death, there should be a growing harmony between the two gospel commissions (i.e. to the circumcision and to the nations). Even though the people of Israel, for a season, grew hostile to their Messiah, the gospel to the nations was never intended to be hostile to the gospel to the circumcision. Both should have been understood as having their place, one to the microcosm and the other to the macrocosm.
Were the theory successfully proven that the Hosea 2:18 covenant were a part of the gospel to the circumcision only and having no baring on the gospel to the nations:
1). that would create problems for those who view Jews as offering sacrifices during the millennium --if in fact it were ever successfully proven that those would be blood sacrifices in harmony with the ancient tradition, rather than simple offerings up of thanks on the part of both man and beast.
2). the fact that there is such a good news to every creature in Hosea 2:18 ought to make us expect far grander mercies and graces to be unveiled to the animals through the gospel to the nations, rather than lesser mercies and graces compared with that shed abroad through Christ in the gospel to the circumcision (viz., again, if it could ever be proven that the Hosea 2:18 covenant were limited to the context of the gospel to the circumcision).
The gathering of all things and beings to God through Christ according to the purpose of the ages revealed in 1Corinthians 15, Ephesians 1, Philippians 2, and Colossians 1 indicates sufficiently to me that this Hosea 2:18 covenant bridges a harmony between both the gospel to the circumcision and the gospel to the nations. God's heart under any dispensation has always been mercy upon all, even in areas where history doesn't appear to have unfolded that way!
Every contrast I've ever heard between the gospel to the circumcision
and the gospel to the nations points to greater and a wider spectrum of
mercy so that whereas a gospel to the circumcision (sectarian)
interpretation of Hosea 2:18 in the proverbial "letter of the law" could
exclude fish from being heirs of the grace of life, the gospel to the
nations would seem to scream and necessitate the inclusion of fish in
the Hosea 2:18 betrothal covenant with mankind and God.
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