Question: Why did the New Testament have to come into existence, or what’s the purpose of the New Testament? Did Jesus close heaven for 400 years between Malachi and Matthew?
Answer: First, let me say that Jesus did not close heaven for 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. During this time we believe that there was no prophet until John the Baptist came, preparing a way for Jesus to come.
The purpose of the New Testament is found in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Jesus was sent to the world to redeem or buy back the world of people from Satan. The New Testament is the History (His story) of that purchase of us through His blood shed on the cross.
Jesus also gave a parable to explain His mission and the reason why He came the first time to this earth. “Then He began to tell the people this parable: ‘A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
“Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated himshamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.
“But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others” (Luke 20:9-16).
You see God loves the world and this is what the New Testament teaches: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God tried sending messengers, the Old Testament Prophets, but people weren’t listening to them. Especially the nation of Israel, didn’t listen. So God sent His one and only Son, born of the Virgin Mary, to this earth to tell us God loves us. The Jewish nation as a whole with their leaders, and the Gentiles crucified the Son of God, the Prince of Peace.
Did this take God the Father by surprise? No, it was in His plan all along to save us from our sins. So God killed two birds with one stone, so to speak. He demonstrated His great love for us through His Son’s death on the cross, and at the same time He took the punishment of the whole world’s sin on himself. Jesus being perfect man, and perfect God was the only one who could die in our place, so He died on the cross, because He loves us!
“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but the man who does them shall live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:11-14).
So the story of the New Testament is that God sent His Son, first, to the Jewish nation, which rejected Him, but then God the Father sent Him to reach us as Gentiles. Now the Jews will become jealous, and want Christ, whom they rejected. Jesus Christ of the Bible will return for the nation of Israel when they receive Him of their own free will. This we believe will happen in the near future.
It is a wonderful story and it is played out in all the New Testament books. Man is a sinner in need of salvation. Christ Jesus came to save us from our sins, and He will take a bride home with Him to heaven, this is called the Church. Then He will return for His nation Israel when they repent of their rejection of Him, and receive Him with open arms.
“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:11).
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him” (Malachi 3:16-17).
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 11:10).
The New Testament is a beautiful love story of God’s grace and mercy for those who repent of their sins, and receive Him (Jesus Christ) as their Messiah, Savior, and LORD!
What will you do with Jesus? Will you be like the wicked vinedressers that Christ spoke about, that didn’t want to listen to God’s spokesmen, or will you be one who will listen? It is never too late to make that decision, and one is never too old. No matter what you have done in the past you can receive Him right now. Will you receive Christ as your Savior and LORD right now? If you want to do this, pray: “God be merciful to me a sinner, I believe Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that He came to life again the third day. Right now I invite Christ Jesus into my heart and life to be my Savior. Thank you God, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, you are now in the family of God. Of course you will need to learn all God wants you to know from the Bible. Find a good Bible believing church to fellowship with. God bless you!
Gary T. Panell
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