Aug 28, 2017

Not to Fear

It’s come to my attention from some readers that I have of late sounded bitter or overly pessimistic in my assessment of pro Israel support in this country and the leveling-off of prophecy teaching in the churches.

I take responsibility for not communicating well enough about these things.

I am very sure that pro Israel support in American churches is heading for catastrophe. And I think most of us would acknowledge that the heyday of prophecy teaching has passed.

However, I am joyous. Hear this: we are living in the very moment in history that our brothers and sisters who came before us longed to see. What a privilege. Even the predicted apostasy in the Church, recorded in the New Testament, is a sure sign that we are living in the last of the last days.

Many of my readers routinely tell me they just want Jesus to come back. People are tired of the chaos in the world.

That doesn’t make them or me pessimists. And certainly not bitter.

For example, word came today that Benjamin Netanyahu is going to have an “emergency” meeting with Russia’s Putin. Subject: Iranian influence on Israel’s northern borders, including access to Syrian seaports.

This of course is not acceptable to Israelis, and it is cause for concern and I can understand those alarmed about it.

But we are going to glory.

Israel’s glory is ahead of her.

You see, in the midst of chaos, there are clear signs that God is in control. Reports this week also include a terrific assessment of the IDF commanders in charge of keeping the peace in Judea and Samaria. Switzerland has also stopped funding a Palestinian NGO linked to terrorism.

And there are other good things going on. My friend Faydra Shapiro has written a terrific op-ed in the Jerusalem Post highlighting the importance of Christian Zionism:

“Christian Zionism is undoubtedly a controversial topic. But one thing is for certain: Christian Zionism has brought millions of Evangelical Christians into an unprecedented positive relationship with Jews and Judaism. Through their core issue of support for Israel, American Evangelical Christians are now far more interested in and sensitive to the Jewish roots of Christianity, the practices and beliefs of Judaism, and the centrality of Israel to our people. Overwhelmingly, Christian Zionism has grown among the American Evangelical public in the time since the original article was written, and contemporary Christian Zionism’s major organizations and ministries date from 1980 and later.

“That Evangelical Christian Zionist interest in and love for Jews and Judaism is not uncomplicated. It’s by no means a simple issue. But it cannot be denied that the model of engagement with Jews and Judaism that is communicated to Evangelical Christians through these movements is far more positive than we find in earlier articulations of Evangelicalism/ fundamentalism.”

So don’t misunderstand me. At the same time evil is rising, so is Good. And Good will win, as we know.

I have just taken stock and recognize that in particular, New Testament teachings about the realities of the last days are acutely relevant.

That’s all.

Despite the challenges we all face, God’s Word is sure. In a couple weeks, I will speak at the Calvary Chapel Appleton conference, along with friends like Chris Quintana. What could be better? It will be a time of joy, seeing old and new friends and talking about God’s Word.

We might be headed toward real persecution as believers in this country and—honestly—the complicity in that from certain evangelical leaders makes me really angry. But they can’t really hurt us.

As Spurgeon said, Let the times roll on; they cannot affect our God.