001 – In The Fullness of Time There are some things that we only want to happen until it is the right time! Having a baby too soon or past due, being too young or too old to safely carry a baby to full term. – There is a time and a season. Being ready for a particular career or job assignment and being in the right place to accept it when it is time!
There is some discussion over whether God causes things to happen or simply knows when they will happen. The point of our focus is that Jesus did not come until it was time for him to appear! Almost every book, movie or story has an introduction. This is the introduction to the Getting To Know Jesus Bible study series. In the fullness of time – It is interesting to observe how God works in the background preparing an individual, a culture, a local or the world for an event and then, when it is time, He watches it unfold according to His divine foreknowledge and plan.
1. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME POLITICALLY Inter-testament period from around 400 B.C. to the ministry of John the Baptist, the Jews had no prophet, no communication from God! But God was working (watching) in the background as the world prepared for the arrival of His Son.
Persian Rule from 539-331 BC was best known for the rebuilding of the Temple under Nehemiah, one of the last of the prophets. This temple was later expanded by Herod. It was a time when the Jews were scattered all over the known world. Many longed to be a nation again in their homeland.
TODAY is the fullness of time POLITICALLY. A one world government is shaping up that is against the Christ and His Church. Mankind has tried for centuries to exist without allegiance to God and the crime and problems of the world reflect that disregard. Many people are searching for that absolute truth and divine power in which we can all find security and safety.
2. IN THE FULLNESS OF ECONOMICALLY In the Jewish world, there is constant talk about pending Depression. They are finding out that they can’t rely on financial prosperity for their security. Heavy taxes are taking more of their freedoms away from them.
Greek Rule – 331-167 BC – Alexander the Great conquers the known world before he dies of sexually transmitted disease at age 33. Egypt rules Judea from 331-198 BC. (Cleopatra lived during this era.) Alexander is successful in conquering the world by teaching Greek language and culture to those who are conquered. He also helped to scatter the Jews even more.
TODAY is the fullness of time ECONOMICALLY We are constantly reminded that our money cannot buy safety, freedom, hope and real life! The world today is looking for something more stable and secure than their wealth for their peace of mind. Jesus is the only solution to that need.
3. IN THE FULLNESS OF MORALLY The Jews are feeling that God doesn’t love them anymore. They have strayed away so far, for so long that they don’t have any hope or peace. They engage in sin like it doesn’t matter. They are full of moral decay and corruption!
Maccabean Rule – 167-63 BC – Maccabeans, in an attempt to find some freedom, rebel from Greek/Egyptian rule and experience some degree of independence. The Qumran caves and Dead Sea Scrolls belong to this era.
TODAY is the fullness of time MORALLY The sexual immorality and moral decay that we are seeing today is setting us up for something far worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. More and more, people are choosing the pleasures of the moment, ignoring and then complaining about the consequences of their sin and wondering why they feel so guilty and hopeless.
4. IN THE FULLNESS OF RELIGIOUSLY Many Jews see the signs coming that God foretold in the Old Testament. They know that the time for the Messiah to appear is eminent. Already, many have claimed to be the Messiah only to be proven false. When is the true Messiah going to come and restore them to their former greatness?
Roman Rule – 63 BC-70 AD – Romans conquer a larger area than the Greeks held. Augustus and Tiberius Caesar reign during this era. They build roads, encourage travel and commerce. They also scatter the Jews. Romans have provided Ease of Travel. They built roads and encouraged commerce and travel. This helped establish trade between nations and contributed to the easy spread of the Gospel after the Church was established.
TODAY is the fullness of time RELIGIOUSLY After neglecting God, more people are finding that Jesus is the only one who has the real answers to life, its purpose and significance. When they put their faith in Him, they find what the world has been looking for from the days of Adam and Eve. They find God’s forgiving love and a hope of eternal life with Him.
The Persians, Greeks and Romans had Scattered the Jews all over the world. The Greeks gave the known world a Common Language. Everyone spoke and understood Greek. Romans gave the world a Common Government. Roman rule during the time Christ was on earth was the only time this earth was free of war. However, during this time, the Jews are fear ridden, insecure, looking for something to hold on to. Into this world, God sends His Son bringing hope, salvation and a better way of living for all. All that matters is Getting To Know Jesus!
Next Week: We are here to begin a journey through His life and teachings. We are going to look at the four authors. Who are the men God chose to write the four Gospels? What is their perspective on the life of Christ?