Israel and Islam – Two Lost Nations :: by Andy Coticchio

You cannot be almost saved. You are either trusting in faith that Jesus Christ is your Savior and the only way to eternal salvation or you are not. Today, both the nation of Israel and the nation of Islam are lost. For the most part the members of both of those nations do not have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and most certainly their leaders do not profess to have one. Nor do they encourage those under their leadership to trust in Him.

Either you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ or you are not. To be fair, I feel that America is pretty much a lost nation, too. We do not have leaders that profess a saving faith in Christ nor encourage others to come to Him, and it looks like each day that there fewer and fewer people following hard after the Lord. Almost saved doesn’t work, as a business colleague of mine once said, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

We need to remember that sin is sin and a holy God cannot tolerate or be in the presence of sin. All of us have and continue to sin, even those of us who have turned to Christ in trust and faith as Savior.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

But those who have Christ as Savior are in Christ and of Christ, and the Father sees not us but Christ in us as a result.

Now there are vast differences between Israel and Islam but one thing they have in common today is their desperate need for Jesus. However, the nation of Israel has the covenantal promises of God that He will fulfill one day, Islam does not. The nation of Israel are His chosen people, those of Islam are not. A major purpose of the Tribulation period detailed in the book of Revelation is about God bringing judgment and ultimately redemption upon the nation of Israel.

It is a program for Israel not Islam. Romans 11:25-27 talks of the partial hardening of Israel (which they are under today, living in defiance of God and rejection of the Messiah) and the fact that all Israel will be saved. It doesn’t mean that every Jewish person who has ever lived will be saved. It doesn’t even mean all Jews who find themselves in the Tribulation will be saved, for as Zechariah 13:8-9 mentions, a significant portion of Israel will not. There will be Old Testament Jewish saints, there will be New Testament Christians who were of Jewish heritage who came to a saving faith and became members of His Church.

There will be Tribulation saints of Jewish roots that come to accept Messiah during the Tribulation through the efforts of the 144,000 sealed for the Lord and delivered through the wrath of that judgment. But that will not be every Jew who has ever existed. There are Jews dying every day who do not know Jesus and are lost, just as there are the lost dying from every tribe and nation in the world daily. None of us are horseshoes or hand grenades but are living, breathing and eventually dying people, all of whom need Jesus. Close is just not good enough.

God promised to bless or curse those who blessed or cursed Abraham and his descendants when giving the unconditional covenant of land, seed and blessing in Genesis 12. I know of no better to bless someone who doesn’t know Christ than to pray for their salvation, pray for it to happen this very day. The promise is unconditional to the nation of Israel (and hence a remnant of Israel is always preserved by the Lord), but to the individual within the nation, it is conditional based upon obedience. Everyone must accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth – 1 Timothy 2:3-4

We should seek to stand by Israel, but remember who they are (God’s chosen people), what they are (living in defiance to their Messiah today) and who ultimately will deal with them (God). Remember that, and spend more time praying for their salvation than worrying about the state of the world.

The current state is bad and getting worse, and according to the Bible it will get a lot worse before it gets better. But remember, God has never said, and never will say, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!” Seek to support Israel, encourage our leaders to be faithful allies, but by all means pray for their salvation.

Those living in defiance of God are in sin, it doesn’t matter if they are of Israel or Islam or anywhere else.

To be alive today and not have Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is living in sin and living lost, possibly for eternity. Lost, whether it be at a national level or the hardened heart of an individual. Lost, as a heart either hardened by one’s own sin activity or hardened because God has had enough and hardened the heart Himself. And in that is the urgency of reaching someone with the gospel, the possible loss for eternity of one who could leave this earth today with a heart hardened and unaccepting of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

For the individual dying today lost to Christ, it matters not one whit if the Rapture was to happen tomorrow, next month or in a thousand years. Yes, Jesus is coming soon, but in the here and now lost is lost, with no second chances offered to any after death.

I think it is an imperative for the Church to pray for all the lost, whether they be in Israel, in Islam or anywhere else in the world. We called to love as Christ loved, and to rejoice in each and every person who comes to a saving faith in Christ, no matter when in their lives, no matter what they may have done in their lives up to the point they accept Jesus as Savior.

That is where we should be as the Church and what we should be doing until His soon return for us.

Andy Coticchio
Rafter Cross Ministries