The Bible makes it clear that Mary's husband Joseph was a direct descendant of David. But that alone wouldn't make Jesus a descendant of David, since Joseph was not Jesus' biological father. So Mary has to also be a descendant of David. Where is this addressed in Scripture?
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It is believed that the genealogy in Matthew 1 is that of Joseph and that the one in Luke 3 is that of Mary, but the text does not specifically tell us that.
I've been taught that God only elected those who would be saved and not those who would be damned. I believe this is true. But what about verses such as Jude 4, Romans 9:18, 21, & 22? Those who teach double predestination use these verses to show that God chose those who would be damned.
Those verses are about hardening of the heart. This is a judgment on disobedience. Compare the example of Pharaoh. He was hard against God and so God hardened him. The hardening from God starts half-way through the plagues (Exodus 9:12). This is not PRE-destination, but POST-destination. It is the result of man's rejection of God. God does destine (that is, sentence and send) some to damnation but it is a result of their rejection of him.
When the New Testament refers to Israel, who is that? The Israelites or all true believers?
The New Testament uses the term "Israel" in many different ways. At times, it can mean the physical nation that was descended from Jacob (Matthew 10:6) or the land where they lived (Matthew 2:20-21). It can mean unbelieving "Israel" which opposed the Messiah and rejected the Gospel (Romans 9:31). It can also be a term for those within the physical nation who believe the Gospel and have been included in Christ (Romans 11:11-12). Finally, it can refer to the "new Israel" - the new people of God, irrespective of ethnic origin, a group that is composed of all believers and only believers (Galatians 6:16, Romans 9:6, Romans 11:26).
A failure to realize that "Israel" in Scripture sometimes means the new people of God has given rise to the false teaching that there will be a mass conversion of Jews to Christianity before the end of the world. This teaching is associated with various forms of millennialism.
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