The macro dispensation we just entered is the second time the phrase “fullness of time” is mentioned in the Bible. This fullness of time will result in the fullness of Him, and the fullness of the Gentiles is a door to it all. “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans. 11:25 NKJV).
I have heard consistently from others that the “fullness of the Gentiles” means that a certain number of people from the nations have become part of God’s household. While I agree with this explanation, I believe that it is the easiest and minimal interpretation of the phrase. Missionologists are saying that we are within reach of fulfilling the Great Commission having preached the gospel and made disciples of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
The Greek word translated as “fullness” in the phrase “the fullness of the Gentiles” is plaroma, which conveys a sense of completion. My Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says that completion is the act or process of completing. It is also the quality or state of being complete. The word “complete” carries the meaning of: to make whole or perfect; to mark the end of; fully carried out; and having all parts, elements or steps. Therefore, the fullness of the Gentiles is a time when the Gentile outreach has reached God’s predetermined state of completion having all necessary elements to proceed to the next step.
As I have contemplated the meaning of the “fullness of time” for years now, I have seen where it is not just limited to a quantified number or to a fixed moment when something occurs. The fullness of time is also a measurable period during which a condition exists or continues. It is a season of time (a non-spacial continuum) measured in terms of events. For example, when Cornelius and his household were saved, I believe that the overarching season called the fullness of the Gentiles began; and it will continue until the Lord says it has ended. “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart without which man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end” (Ecclesiastes.3:11 NASB).
Let’s recap. The fullness of the Gentiles appears to be a fixed event in time, a quantifiable stopping point determined by the Lord; but it can also be defined as the season in which an end to a determined fullness will come. I believe that in addition to marking the end of a season in terms of a quantifiable number of people, the fullness of the Gentiles is a season within a season. I personally believe that when the fullness of the Gentiles season ends, it does not mean that no more Gentiles will be saved for that would contradict scripture. Just as there were Jews saved through faith by grace during the Church Age (i.e. the time of the Gentiles), so will Gentiles receive salvation in the emerging age: “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (1 Peter 3:9).
~ Robin Main
This post comes from Chapter 8 “Fullness of Time” from my book: “SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up” (available via amazon http://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159).
For more information => https://santatizing.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/fullness-of-time/
Originally published on July 31, 2016 via FB => https://www.facebook.com/SapphireThroneMinistries/photos/a.436008649804968.101323.436004819805351/1169425116463314/?type=3&theater