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WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?

The Bible describes hundreds of prophecies and their fulfillment. God promised a Messiah/Savior to be descended from David from the tribe of Judah; to be born in Bethlehem, betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver, crucified, resurrected, and returned to Heaven. These and more prophecies were fulfilled 2000 years ago in the life of Jesus Christ.

Still to be fulfilled are prophecies of Christ’s return and reign, referred to as the End Times/Last Days (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). The timing will be a surprise (Matthew 25:13; Luke 17:26-27; Acts 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6), and Jesus Himself said He does not know the time (Matthew 24:36). Events include the Rapture, when Jesus takes His Church up to the Father's house; the 7-year Tribulation period of suffering for those left on Earth; and the Glorious Appearing, when Jesus returns to Earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to end the Tribulation period and to set up His 1000‑year kingdom of peace.

Another set of prophecies involves the state of Israel. God promised and deeded land to Abraham and set the borders: “from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18); “whole land of Canaan” (Genesis 17:8); “from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines [Mediterranean], and from the desert to the Euphrates River” (Exodus 23:31). God scattered the Israelites (Deuteronomy 28:64-67) and consistently promised He would restore His chosen people, the Jewish descendants of Isaac.  Zephaniah 3:20 says, “‘I will gather you; I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,’ says the LORD.” (Also Deuteronomy 30:3-5; Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37; and Amos 9:14-15.)

God keeps His promises. On May 13-14, 1948, Israel became a state, fulfilling these and other prophecies, including Isaiah 66:7‑10 and Zechariah 3:9: “Who has ever heard or seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. . . . Rejoice with Jerusalem.”

Many Bible scholars believe that the last prophecy necessary to be fulfilled before the return of Christ was Israel’s statehood. Within 24 hours, Israel moved into the limelight (Isaiah 60) and, as also prophesied, became the target of her neighbors: land of Magog, [RUSSIA], Meshech and Tubal [TURKEY], Persia [IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN], Cush [ETHIOPIA, SOMALIA, SUDAN], Put [LIBYA], Gomer [TURKEY], and Beth Togarmah [TURKEY] (Ezekiel 38:1-6); King of the South [EGYPT], king of the North [SYRIA] (Daniel 11:40); Edom and the Ishmaelites [SAUDI ARABIA], Tyre [LEBANON] (Psalm 83:6-7); Edomites in Seir [JORDAN] (Genesis 36:9); and Ammon [JORDAN] (Daniel 11:41).

It is part of a healthy Christian life to be conscious that we are living in the last days and that Jesus can return at any time. He said, “I have told you ahead of time” (Matthew 24:25). He wants to make quite sure that when the sudden fulfillment takes place, you will not be able to say, "I didn't know."

Jesus made promises He plans to keep. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (John 3:16, 36). Jesus claimed in John 14: 6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus promised in Revelation 22:20, “Yes, I am coming soon.” The reaction of every Christian to this promise is in the same verse, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

Israelites/Jews, God’s chosen people, are unique and different from all the people on the face of the earth, set apart from the rest (Exodus 23:32-33). In the same way, Christians should not conform to the world but show people that Christians are different, redeemed, and free.

The literal fulfillment of prophecies is intended to strengthen our confidence in God's prophecies about future events. We are to have faith (Hebrews 11:1), believe, and be saved: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

 

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

      Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.