Saturday, July 20, 2013

End Times sadness about Israel, & about the condition of the Church

More sadness about the times we live in.  Gets to me a lot these days.  Just heard Jan Markell's weekend radio show, When Being Jewish is a Crime where she demonstrates the growth of anti-Semitism in America, really depressing stuff, and of course the usual negative attitude against Israel which is all of a piece with the anti-Semitism.  I don't share the theology of those ministries that teach that the Old Testament still applies to unsaved Israel, but I nevertheless believe Israel and the Jews are a big part of God's plan for the last days, and even if I didn't, I know Israel is not guilty of the charges the world keeps slamming against her.  It's all trumped up and that fact alone shows that God still cares about* His wayward people or they wouldn't be attracting such hatred.  They need the gospel above all of course, need to recognize their own true Messiah whom they've always rejected, that's where all our prayers should be focused.

UPDATE 7/21:  *Feel I need to be more accurate about the hatred piling up against Israel.  Yes it certainly indicates God has His eye on her, but so did the miraculous events of their wars in which a vastly outnumbered little nation defeated the big Arab nations that tried to destroy her more than once.  There is no doubt in my mind that God is watching over Israel, and scripture indicates that when the Lord Jesus returns it will be to the Mount of Olives.  There is no doubt that Israel figures in God's end times plans. 

Nevertheless it seems necessary to try to account for the hatred in other terms as well, as God's judgment.   This is how I explain the precarious position of America in the world today after all, so much hatred around the world after a long time of being in the world's favor, the demoralization and undermining of the culture that we've been witnessing for some time and so on.  I think America has been particularly blessed by God, and in some sense also in a covenant with God because of the dedications of the land to God by early Protestant settlers, and their determination to live by God's law.  This is not the same as the covenant initiated by God with Israel but it is still a special relationship that many early Americans honored and appears to have been greatly blessed by God.  So God's judgment of America is likely to be more severe than His judgments of other nations that haven't known God. 

Israel of course represents the God of the Old Testament in a very high profile way, and the fact that they themselves don't recognize their own God but are in an apostate condition, a sinful condition, even rejecting Him outright, puts them in the position of drawing down a really terrible judgment, described clearly in the Hebrew scriptures, Deuteronomy 10 and Leviticus 26 in particular.  I also don't think we can ignore the fact that they are still under the curse they took upon themselves when they chose Barabbas over Christ and called for our Lord's crucifixion.  Jesus from the cross asked the Father to forgive them, but until they repent there can be no forgiveness.  Yet scripture says they WILL repent, the last generation will recognize Him as the Messiah and turn to Him.  But before that happens they are under God's judgment.   Again, simply on the basis of the curses in Deuteronomy and Leviticus they are under God's judgment anyway because they are in the apostate condition of having turned away from their God altogether to rule themselves.  To recognize this would be a very bitter thing for the Jews but in the end they must come to recognize it. 

God hasn't abandoned them.  He's watching over them.  Something wonderful is going to happen with them and probably not too long from now, if I understand this rightly, but before that happens scripture seems to indicate they are to go through a terrible time of judgment known as "Jacob's trouble." 

Yes, they need the gospel of their Messiah above all and we need to be praying for them.    

Then I read a new attack on the Harbinger, the usual crazy misreading of it, the idea that Cahn thinks America was directly predicted in Isaiah's text.  What's depressing about that is that Christians can think so wrongly about anything and be so aggressive and destructive in their wrong thinking as well.  There are also Christians who accuse him of "extrabiblical revelation" and again I experience the sadness that Christians have no ability to judge these things rightly.  Extrabiblical revelation is the Book of Mormon, it's the papal teachings of Rome that contradict the Bible, it's the people who think they have the Spirit and trust whatever the "Spirit" seems to say even if it's contrary to scripture, and The Harbinger is not guilty of any such thing; it is a straightforward application of the Biblical text.  This is not some need I have to defend The Harbinger, because I've been terribly disappointed in Jonathan Cahn's alliances with false teachers and apostates and figure the book's message is compromised by that and can't do the work of influencing the nation to repentance and revival for that reason.  Despite all that I still find the main message of his book to hold up so now it just stands as God's judgment of the nation that won't be turned back.

Christians all around seem to be falling for compromises of various sorts, seem unable to apply the most basic biblical discernment to the situations we are facing these days.  It's all very sad.  Not that I consider myself safe from such errors either, all I can do is pray to be preserved from them as much as possible.

As usual there are other things on my mind I could add to this and as usual I'm not sure I have the energy to get to them.  But if I can I will.

Meanwhile I'm due for surgery in a few weeks and hope Christians reading any of my blogs would pray for a good outcome.  Thanks.