Somebody Gets It
I was having dinner
with a friend recently; he heads an apologetics ministry. Although it hasn’t
been his focus, my friend made what I think is a startling comment.
“I think the major
battle today in the spiritual realm, which reflects on our world, is Israel.”
I wanted to sit back
and quietly applaud. I smiled.
He gets it.
In Christendom, you
will often hear that this subject or that subject is “the most important thing”
going on presently. You know what I mean. Marriages. Parenting. Social issues.
evangelical world today — as we’ve discussed here at Israel Watch — there is a
movement away from dispensationalism, prophecy,
. I should qualify that statement and say that that is my
opinion. I travel and read widely and keep in touch with a whole score of folks,
and it seems to me that there is not only a great deal of misinformation out
there about the Jewish state, but just bald-faced ignorance, as well.
Pastors, in general,
do not touch Bible prophecy in the pulpit. Let me say this plainly: that is
Some are genuinely
concerned that the issue is a distraction, or divisive. I hear that a lot.
And then some are
the pastors who have “crept in unawares.” They have no intention of rightly
dividing the Word of truth; they have contempt for Scripture.
And they’re not
going to tell their congregations that in so many words. They will smile and
engage in easy conversation, and be “pastoral.”
But they do not
believe the Bible is the Word of God. Consequently, the great doctrines of
scripture — God created the world out of nothing,
is key to His end-times plan, etc. — are sanitized from
sermons and Sunday school lessons.
Then there are
entire ministries — I’ll name them — that either shy away from prophecy/Israel,
or have outright contempt for it.
As the Band’s Robbie
Robertson once said about an entirely different subject, there are reasons for
this; it didn’t just “fall out of the sky.”
from Reformed backgrounds are anti-Israel, anti-dispensationalism. Lutherans, by
and large, are still devoted to Martin Luther, who, I’ll put it delicately, had
a problem with the Jews.
churches are so steeped in German Higher Criticism and Replacement Theology that
they don’t realize Jesus is a Jew. They think He was a Palestinian.
The late D. James
Kennedy, a Presbyterian, at least did not emphasize the miraculous nature of Israel
’s modern return. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he
’s right to exist, but he would not have embraced
predictive prophecy. I’d like to point out that I highly respected Kennedy, by
ministry that de-emphasizes (my word) the study of predictive prophecy and Israel’s
role in the world is Answers in Genesis. The (near) Cincinnati-based apologetics
ministry is in reality a creationism juggernaut. The Creation Museum is a
mind-boggling facility that would rival any natural history museum in
But they don’t touch
Bible prophecy. They do not see
for the significant miracle that it is, in my opinion.
several leading prophecy teachers do teach the whole counsel of God; these
include the peerless David Reagan and Dave Hunt. What many creationists do not
understand is that many Bible prophecy guys are their friends on the subject of
creationism. My great friend Tommy Ice is another that comes to mind.)
The point I’m trying
to make is that the whole Bible is vital if individuals are to discover where
they came from, who they are,
and where they’re going.
I’m convinced to my
core that Christians in the pews in
are starving for a comprehensive Bible message, one that
teaches Genesis through Revelation. Now, the Calvary Churches do this, “simply
teaching the Bible simply.” I wrote about this in the August edition of the
Jerusalem Post’s Christian magazine.
But they don’t have
creationist/apologist who gets it is Thomas Sharp of Creation Truth Foundation.
His two-part talk at the Tulsa Prophecy Conference last April electrified the
crowd. Dr. Sharp linked origins issues with prophecy and by golly, the crowd got
it and loved it.)
What most Christians
get today is a steady diet of teachers like Hank Hanegraaff, who are “good” on
certain issues. After all, Hank has set himself up as the “Bible Answer Man.”
But pay attention to
his answers on the subject of Bible prophecy. If you love
, those answers will scare you. Or infuriate you.
The key thing we
have to keep in mind is, even conservative Bible teachers will fall victim to
preconceived biases concerning Scripture. For example, an apologetics teacher
who is spot-on concerning origins issues (I am an unabashed young-earth
creationist) will also have been turned against Jews at some time in the past.
It might have been a father, a Sunday school teacher, a college professor — in a
But that bias will
color how they read their Bibles. My point here is that with some Christian
teachers, there is a deep bias against the Jews. I do not mean they are
anti-Semitic, most are not. What I do mean is that they don’t “get” Israel.
I studied a fair
amount of English in school, and have a journalism degree. When I sit down to
read my Bible, I see very clear distinctives: God created the world in six days;
the original common language was changed at
; He elected to form a righteous ethnic group from Abraham; Moses
existed and the Exodus happened. Et cetera.
I then logically can
follow the rest of history’s timeline, seeing that many, many times in
Scripture, God told us that
would be dispersed due to unbelief, but that in the “last
days” they would return en masse and re-settle their ancestral lands.
Look, this isn’t
complicated. You can get on a plane and land in Tel Aviv and drive thirty
minutes east and see all the fulfilled Bible prophecy you can stomach.
Millions of Jews live there,
thousands of homes. They are
there. They are hated by the whole world.
is a point of major contention in embassies around the world.
complicated. Bible prophecy is true and relevant for our lives.
It’s just too bad
more teachers don’t teach that.