By Brad Renollet
I recently talked to a few churches and youth groups about signs of the times and how close we are to the return of Jesus Christ for his church. As the day draws closer for His return, I am more and more compelled to get work done for the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior as we all should be. But in speaking to fellow Christians and churches, my heart is increasingly burdened that many don’t realize one particular sign that none of us should miss: the nation of Israel. And all we have to do is know a little bit of history and watch the nightly news.
As I saw the reaction of people when I talked about Israel’s role in the latter days, prophecy and the last seven years of history in the Great Tribulation, I became more aware that there are so many who don’t understand the collision course we are on in the battle of good and evil. They know the Bible says God will win, but little else. But Jesus is not just “at the door’ as he stated, but actually opening and getting ready to pass through it and too many Christians are sleeping at the switch with the Tribulation in our headlights. To be specific, too many don’t understand what role God has picked for Israel to play. In the midst of God’s fore-ordained events, His people, the Israelites are once again about to endure a time of persecution; one that makes Hitler’s extermination of over 6 million Jews in Europe look like nothing more than a kitty playing with a ball of yarn. And God’s wrath will come upon the whole world like never before.
As Terry mentioned in his weekly update, our president has cast an urgent shadow on everything he has done in seven months of leading our nation. With a spiritually blind and crooked lot of politicians in the Congress and Senate, bills are passed almost daily to take away our freedoms, make us a socialist country and prepare our once great nation to become one of the largest third-world nations with an economy going straight down the tubes. But there is also never-before applied extreme pressure on Israel to even give up her portion of Jerusalem, stop making settlements in her own land and even give the whole of the city over to international leadership. God’s Word says Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people forever. It’s not enough that opposing evil forces and anti-Israelite murderers have attacked the nation and killed countless innocent citizens continually since May 1948. It is not enough that enemies like Syria, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority want Israel to move back to the pre-1967 war days when the Golan Heights belonged to enemies attacking them, when Israeli settlements were bombed from the north, south and east by enemies who wanted to push every single Israeli into the sea. John Hagee said in his book “In Defense of Israel” that the enemies of God wanted to see every Jew dead and floating face down in the Dead Sea. I couldn’t say it better. As Christians, we sit back, relax and for the most part doing nothing about it. We don’t even pray or feel compassion to the people to whom we owe the foundation of Christianity. There would not be a Christian in this world without a Jew named Jesus.
Why do Christians not do anything? Maybe we do nothing because we are too caught up in the false doctrines of health, wealth, healing, or getting our ears tickled by pastors to pay attention to the world around us. Many of us are taught a false “replacement theology” by preachers in the pulpit; a watered down version of cult-like Christianity that “the church is the new Israel”, that the trinity or virgin birth is not really true, Jesus isn’t really the Son of God etc. The list goes on. Our weak faith is making us a dead church, destroying our witness and pushing our faith back to the Dark Ages when Christianity was almost snuffed out. Ill-trained and misinformed pastors spew forth hatred for the Jewish people and say they are the cause of the world’s problems…and congregations believe it! Additionally, books written by alleged church “leaders” trained in liberal seminaries fill the shelves of Christian bookstores, but a large percentage of them also say the same things and errantly use scripture to prove their point. Books say Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, he was a homosexual, or some other absurd accusation. Authors write that the book Revelation is not literal, but just a nice story, which is absolutely untrue. Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 that false Christs and prophets would appear. They would perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible. This very thing is happening today and too many of us are becoming like the church of Laodicea: though seeing, we are blind. We are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold and being deceived!
Israel was promised salvation and protection through an eternal covenant that God promised through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And as scripture says, God cannot lie. Yes, a holy God promised through prophets like Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah that Israel would be punished for following foreign Gods, but Christians need to check those scriptures out again, because I don’t know of one single prophet that, along with a statement of punishment, didn’t follow it up with God’s promise to reconcile with His people and draw them back to their homeland and Himself in the end. He promised to take away their pain and sorrows, and even defeat those who carried out God’s will in carrying the Israelites into captivity or scattering them to the four winds. Check it out for yourselves. And it came true…does anyone walk around saying, “Hi, I am a Babylonian” or “Where are you from? I’m an Amalekite”. But Israel has become a nation for three times now and ONLY God could make that happen. Some scriptures to check out are: Isaiah 43:5-6, 35:10, 61:4, 42:24, 26; Ezekiel 28:25-26, 34:28-30, 11:17-19, 37:21-28; Jeremiah31:10-12, 30:3,10; 31:7-8; Zechariah 1:15-17 (NIV). Why do we not believe the Word of God when He plainly shows his love time after time and continues to make promises of their salvation and return to the land?
To all who say they are Christians: Jesus said in Revelation 1-2, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it and repent.” Does this apply to you?
We need to fall on knees of repentance and ask the God of Israel to search our hearts, change our wicked ways and forgive us for nearly two thousand years of Christian persecution of the Jewish people. We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, their salvation and divine protection, that all enemies would be overthrown and finally, that the Lord would once again place righteous people in control of our nations. Then as citizens the United States, we need to contact our respective congressmen and senators, demanding that our leaders STOP pressuring God’s nation Israel. Then we need to pray more, asking the Lord to give us strength to stand up for what is right according to scripture.
Finally, all of us need to get busy telling others that Jesus is coming soon and that God loves them right where they are. Allow God to use you, so be prepared to share the good news of Jesus, to share the reason for the hope within you…it only takes a minute. It doesn’t matter if people laugh or persecute us for our faith. What did the One they killed on the cross at Calvary say? “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5:11-12) He also gave us the great commission to go unto all nations telling others about Jesus and made a promise to be with us always. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when challenged, so just do it.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding constantly for us…and He looks forward to one day soon coming back to get his bride, the church. Don’t be caught without oil in your lamp, but stand watch and be ready. The Word of God says that while we don’t know the day or the hour, we WILL know when the season is upon us. And that season is NOW.