In these times, I think this article is so significant for what may lie ahead for the church, especially for what may lie ahead for Israel and for the 16 million Jewish people living today.
Israel’s Rejection Not Total
1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.
If there was no other passage in the Old or New Testament to signify the state of the people of Israel and God’s attitude towards their unbelief, after their rejection of their Messiah and Savior, it seems it might suffice to meditate on the scripture quoted above where it is clearly shown how God acts towards this nation. The authoritative and clearly distinct words of the Apostle Paul: “God has not cast away HIS people” may serve as a starting point when we think or speak about the past and present situation of God’s Chosen People.
It is obvious to me that we are suffering from an anti-Biblical conception today – as if God had cast away His people. This idea is not new. It had widely spread within the first few years of Christianity among the early believers of other nations. It seems that the apostle is not satisfied with just negating “God has not cast away” which is certainly an inspiration by the Holy Spirit. He affirms his inspiration by quoting several passages from the Old Testament to clearly emphasize how ridiculous such an idea might be. (The entire chapter of Romans 11.)
After so much irrefutable evidence that God did not and will not ever forsake His people, you would think that it would be apparent to every believer for all time that this nation remains God’s Chosen People forever. It seems obvious that the promise given to them is irrevocable. It seems as time went on God’s Word was misinterpreted more and more, much to the demise of this wonderful people group. Today we hear many sermons from pulpits the world over which state that Israel is not only cast away but also cut off from God.
The question that begs a response is, where do such reasons and unbiblical perceptions of Israel come from? Where did believers get the facts which allow them to speak about Jewish people in such a way? I think the discussions are far deeper then this short article. So many people I discuss this issue with have NOT been influenced by His Word but by the teaching of individuals who feel strongly that God has indeed cast away Israel through arbitrary interpretation rather then a literal sense. Many Christians think that all the curses that Moses and the prophets spoke against Israel are actually fulfilled, while all the blessings and wonderful promises are to be taken figuratively. It seems they believe that the latter are to be bestowed on the believers of all nations. This results in the curses being left to Israel, while the promises and blessings are claimed by the Christians.
If Christians would seriously consider these perceptions they would be made aware of their sin against God by their attitude towards His Chosen People. If people would try to educate themselves and free themselves of these sad misunderstandings it may change our church forever. These attitudes have caused tremendous damage, damage that is so clearly seen in our ability to spread the Gospel among Jews. The consequences of misunderstanding of Jewish people have been written about by far more intellectual individuals than I. My desire to communicate how this has affected both Christians and Jews.
This isn’t recent or new theology. This began in the 1st century when Christian gentiles formed the majority. These believers stopped considering the people of Israel as reachable. They assumed it was useless to preach the Good News to the Jews and assumed that the Jews were incapable of accepting the faith. The words of the Apostle Paul contradict this thinking:
24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? Their own olive tree?
New King James Version (NKJV)
This caused some serious problems with Christianity, and the price was tremendous. They lost those rich branches of the natural olive tree, which would have brought forth much greater fruit. Although this nation is especially gifted for this purpose and their special passion for God, the number of knowledgeable and inspired Jewish preachers has diminished more and more
This people I have formed for myself; they shall declare My praise.
New King James Version (NKJV)
It was clearly commanded to go “to the Jew first and also to the Geek” (Romans 1:16). For this lack of obedience they suffered terrible consequences from the Lord. Christendom sank deeper and deeper, it came to the middle ages and all it’s horrors, to the crusaders and their anti-biblical deeds. It is even more unfortunate that the next generation failed to learn from these events. And the majority of Christianity today behaves in the same way towards the Jews as the 1st century and later Christians. The result is that believers have lost innumerable blessings from the Lord. They are not able to radiate as much light as the Lord would gladly spread through them. These in a brief article are the consequences for the believers. The consequences for the Jews are still much more terrible. NEXT WEEK (“Continued The Lost Jewish Opportunities of Salvation”).