Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTAND FIRM: Church, We Must Get Israel Right

STAND FIRM: Church, We Must Get Israel Right

When I first committed to being a writer, I took a chance and reached out to the editor of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) international news service, Baptist Press. God gave that cold call favor, we hit it off and I started writing regular articles for them. A couple of years into it, I spoke at an Understanding the Times Conference in Nashville, where the Baptist Press is headquartered. Since the event was in Nashville, I asked if they could send a reporter to cover it. Instead, they asked me to submit a follow-up article. I did. On turning it in, I was told, “I’m kicking this to the top brass, to see their thoughts before we run it?” You can imagine what I expected. I was right. They sent it back to me and said it couldn’t be run because it was too controversial.

After hearing my very vanilla report on the conference was rejected, I reached out and asked what made the article so controversial. I got a reply. When I wrote about the conference, I included bios for each speaker. In one of those bios, I listed that the speaker had authored a book called When a Jew Rules the World.

The title of that book, When a Jew Rules the World, caused high-ranking SBC leadership to say the article was too controversial. I couldn’t believe it, but their response revealed a much greater issue within the church, one we must get right. If you’ve read some of my articles or are a student of Bible prophecy, you likely know the answer to the question I replied in response. I asked, “Do they know the Jew to whom the book is referring?”

Yes, the Jew that will rule the world is Jesus. The time He will rule the world is His Millennial Kingdom. This is the core of the premillennial view, which the Doctrinal Statements of the SBC and BMA both support.

By the way Jesus was, err… is a Jew. The twelve apostles were Jews. The apostle Paul was a Jew. The Old Testament heroes of the faith were Jews.

Those leaders’ response to a Jew ruling the world showed a great gulf that has been growing within Christianity since the fourth century. The church has repeatedly gotten Israel wrong. Calling my article controversial was an insignificant casualty of Gentile Christianity’s understanding of God’s continual plan of Israel, but history is full of catastrophic fallouts due to this misunderstanding. One such catastrophic casualty is revealed at Israel’s national Holocaust Museum, Yad Vesham. The museum begins its heart-wrenching zig-zagging path with an exhibit of the root cause of the horrors of Hitler’s Final Solution. The first room of the museum’s path shows the ideology behind Auschwitz and the others had seeds planted centuries before.

As you are likely aware, the Holocaust is one of the most horrific chapters in human history. During World War II, Hitler’s Nazis killed six-million Jews, with the extinction of the Jewish race as their goal. It’s one of the greatest evils in the existence of this world. This attempted genocide produced unimaginable devastation, but that evil didn’t appear out of the blue. It didn’t form in a vacuum. The foundational stones had been cut and laid centuries before.

What could be the cause? What could be the root? It must be something demonic. It must be absolutely hellish. How was such a foundation laid in the first place? The answer to that question is extremely important so that this doesn’t happen again. The world should lean into it and so should the church.

In that first exhibit at Yad Vesham, scholars who diligently researched the foundation of this horror provide an answer. So, what did they conclude as the root of Hitler’s hatred? What did they say the foundation was on which those gas chambers were built? In that first exhibit the conclusion of the root cause of the Holocaust is said to be the teachings of the church.

Let me write this again, they concluded that the teaching of the church laid the foundation for the Holocaust. This is not to say Hitler was a Christian or the Nazis were living out Christianity but rather the mindset of not only Nazi leadership, but also the churches that sang louder as railcars carrying Jews to concentration camps passed by had set in motion by teachings within the church.

This should horrify us, but it is true. I know I’m writing to a base that mostly supports the nation of Israel and has a heart for people, including the Jewish people, but, even within that mindset, we often get Israel wrong. For 23 years of my 26 in ministry I got Israel wrong.

Church, we must get Israel right. We can’t repeat history and the opportunity to do so will come because Scripture teaches a greater Holocaust lies ahead. According to prophecy, Israel will face a time of unequaled distress called the time of Jacob’s Trouble. I wish it weren’t so, but it is clear in Scripture. Therefore, we can’t turn a blind eye the next time, and we also can’t keep incorrect teachings that fuel it.

So, we must get Israel right because of the coming Jacob’s trouble and the coming extraordinary rise of antisemitism (which seems to be already beginning). We must get Israel right because we can’t fully understand the narrative of the Bible and the gospel through extracting a portion of the gospel away from the whole. As I’ve written before, God’s character lies in the balance in promises for Israel that still lay in the balance.

Church, we must get Israel right.

I will be sharing some thoughts on the biblical relationship between Israel and the church, as well as God’s continual plan for Israel in the next few articles. I have been teaching on the topic for the last three years through a seminar called “Church, We Must Get Israel Right.”

— Jake is the newest state missionary and would love to share about the work in Northwest Arkansas and encourage your church to stand firm. (