What needs to be understood about the book of Acts is God’s everlasting account validating the partial blindness that had come upon that nation. With the stoning of Stephen, God validated having set Israel aside nationally. Were the Gentiles not supposed to be coming to Israel to learn about God?
Were the Gentiles not supposed to be coming through Israel’s rise as prophecy had proclaimed, but Israel had not risen! Israel had fallen. Israel had been blinded in part. Had the leadership of Israel repented, it would have started the next events on the prophetic calendar, namely the time of Jacob’s trouble; followed by the second coming of Christ.
This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said he gave Peter the “keys” to the Kingdom. Peter had the ability to “unlock” and “open the door” to the Kingdom, he proclaimed the message they had to believe. Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for MANY. Who are the “many” spoken of here? Israel!
Israel’s sins were going to “be blotted out”; the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of Jesus, at his second coming. He was going to be their High Priest and King, sitting on the throne of David, ruling and reigning over the nation Israel. God raised him up in order for him to sit on that throne.
However, an open door does no good if no one walks through it, and that is exactly what happened. The leadership of the Nation did not walk through it. The Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat as the authority over the Nation. The kingdom program did not happen, but it certainly will in a day yet future, when God resumes the kingdom program, and sets Israel at the forefront again.
With Israel's earthly program being set aside, during this age of grace, no nationality enjoys special favor in the eyes of God; all must come alike to God today. God did not lift up the Gentiles, who had been without God, and put them on an equal or higher plain, than belonged to Israel.
He concluded Israel in unbelief, as he had previously concluded the Gentiles in unbelief, both of them down on the same level, so that he might have mercy on all, and that is where it is today, according to Paul. It is man who needs to be reconciled to God, not the other way around. God is already reconciled to us, where our sins are concerned. It is not a sin issue, it is a son issue.