Welcome back to Why Israel Matters. If you have found your way here, but have no idea what to make of it, just know that we have just begun a summary of a live Bible study conducted at CalvaryPHX in Phoenix AZ. (If you are in the area, join us live each Sunday morning at 11:00 in Room 209, Central campus.) Yesterday I launched the first post, and you can catch it here.
There is no doubt we live in historic times as we view today’s events through the lens of Scripture. It is a time of prophetic fulfillment, and should lead each of us as Christians to understand that Jesus could return for us at any time! Thus, we must be ready, as a bride readies herself for the groom.
History was made when President Trump (in December) recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Not that Jerusalem wasn’t already the capital…just that no one was willing to say so officially. That was followed by the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. Along with that, Israel now has the backing of the world’s #1 superpower, and has unprecedented support in the UN from US Ambassador Nikki Haley. Collectively, those things have never been true in all of history, yet the Bible says Jerusalem MUST be established in order for God’s plan of the end to take place.
Such things must be understood in the context of why Israel matters. Sadly, many churches today are teaching a different theology: Replacement Theology, which in essence says, “Because the Jewish people rejected Jesus, God has rejected the Jews. All promises to the Jews are now promises to the church. Thus, the church is the ‘new Israel.'”
Other churches are just not teaching about Israel at all. Some say it is too “political.” They want nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the Iranian’s stated goal of “wiping Israel off the map.”
But the real issue is Jerusalem. If you talk about Israel, you eventually have to tackle the issue of Jerusalem. The Bible says Jerusalem will be a heavy stone in the end. All who try to move her will be injured! (Zechariah 12:2-3) Therefore, it is just easier to avoid the issue of Jerusalem altogether.
But is Jerusalem really “political?” Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible. Jesus left from there and will return there. Does that sound political or spiritual? Furthermore, the Jewish people will ultimately look upon their Messiah there, and Romans 11:26 says ALL Israel will be saved! Nothing political about that! It’s a spiritual battle, not a political one!
God chose Israel for a specific REASON and a specific SEASON! God revealed Himself to Gentiles through Israel! In fact, Israel is the vehicle of world redemption! That’s the REASON. It is through Israel we have:
- Faith in One God – the Jews gave up worshiping other gods when they went into exile!
- Word of God – the Bible was written by Jews, in Jewish settings.
- Son of God – news flash: Jesus was a Jew!
We live in a unique window of time. This is the SEASON. God made Himself known through the Jewish people, and He is about to make Himself known TO the Jewish people!
And we ask….why is Israel important!?! You’ve got your first taste of where we’re going in this study, but we’re not through for this week! Stay tuned for more!
PS: Have you prayed for Israel today? Do so…then check back tomorrow as we join the worldwide prayer initiative to pray together for Israel!