Is God Through With The Jews?
Great controversy has just arisen—but with the Middle East it always does, doesn’t it?—about the land of Israel and who should be living there. Today, all of us have a feeling we’re looking into the muzzle of a loaded cannon. The storm clouds of Armageddon are gathering, with central focus on the land of Israel and her people.
Peacemakers scramble, pundits pontificate, and politicians plot about what will be in their own personal best interest as the world continues to wrestle with the problem of the Holy Land.
As Christians, we know there is only One voice that truly matters. What does the God of the Bible, who created the earth and owns it all, have to say about this unending conflict? After 2,000 years of the diaspora, the Jews at last returned in 1948 to their original homeland—God-given—but now reduced to a little sliver of that land. Is God through with the Jews? Has the church eclipsed Israel in God’s affections?
In Romans chapter 11, we find answers to these questions. It’s a convoluted passage of Scripture but a great blessing awaits those who examine it.
This month on radio we are in the middle of a study of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. As you’ve heard Adrian Rogers say, Romans is the “Constitution of Christianity”—a solid Word for our unsure age, and in chapters 9-11, Paul talks about his people, the Jews.
Did you know that almost 100% of Bible prophecies are related to the land and people of Israel? Israel is the focal point of headlines in every newspaper, not only in America but around the world. The world’s eyes are focused on the little nation—and well they should be, for Israel is the land and people of destiny. As the Jew goes, so goes the world. Israel is God’s yardstick, God’s outline, God’s blueprint, God’s program and God’s prophecy for all other nations.
Israel is the geographic center of the world. “I have put you in the midst of the nations” (Ezekiel 5:5). Israel is a land bridge between three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is a great military and economic crossroads.
The spiritual center. By and large, the Bible itself was written in that land by Jews. In Israel, Moses and the prophets gave us the Word of God. Jesus was born in, lived, taught, was crucified, buried, rose and ascended from the land of Israel. And when He returns, He’s coming back to the Mount of Olives beside Jerusalem.
The prophetic center. If you want to understand Bible prophecy and know what God is doing in the world, you’ll never understand it apart from understanding what God is doing in Israel.
The storm center. As we’ve said, the clouds of Armageddon are gathering.
But thank God, it will be the peace center. The Bible tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. There will never be peace in our world until there’s peace in Jerusalem, and there won’t be peace in Jerusalem without Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
The glory center. One day “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters that cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).The law shall go forth from Zion. God is going to rule and reign on this earth from His capital city, the city of David, Jerusalem.
It is said that Frederick the Great once asked his court chaplain, “Can you give me proof that the Bible is inspired and infallible?” His chaplain gave one answer: “The Jew, sire.”
The Bible is clear: God is not done with the Jewish people! Romans chapters 9-11 confirm that the Jews are still His chosen people. Of course that doesn’t mean all of them are devoutly following the God of the Old Testament or that they are saved (except those who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Savior), but their failure to receive Jesus as their long-foretold Messiah doesn’t mean God is done with them. Remember, the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:2-3, 15, and 17:7) was—and is—an unconditional covenant. Many Old Testament covenants had conditions, but this one had none. It rests not on man’s performance but on God’s character—and His eternal plan.
Throughout history, God’s dealings with Israel prove it is a God-created, God-decreed, God-loved, God-called, God-elected, and God-protected people. Significantly, not Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, or Tokyo, but Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, is the most important city on earth. That should surprise none of us who are students of Scripture.
Zechariah 12:3 says, “In the last days Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all the nations of the world.” More pressure today is being put on Israel to sacrifice her sovereignty and make her capital—decreed so by God, “the city of David”— an “international city” rather than the capital of God’s ancient people and lands.
Before Romans chapter 11, Paul has been teaching about God’s plan and how it includes the Gentile. Jewish believers in Rome, reading his letter, might well have asked, “What about us? What about the promises God made to us?” So Paul asks the rhetorical question in Romans 11:1, “I say, then, hath God cast away His people?” He immediately answers his own question: “God forbid,” then quickly gives five proofs that God has not. He is not finished with the Jew, cast away His people, been unfaithful nor broken His promises, altered His covenants, or forgotten His Word. God forbid He would ever do that.
PROOF #1 The Convicting Power of God
Paul says, “For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (11:1) “I’m Exhibit A that God is not through with the Jews.” While Paul was actively persecuting Christians, the Lord appeared to him personally on the road to Damascus. He became a missionary to the Gentiles. “For I speak unto you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles” (v. 13).
God used Paul, a Jew, to evangelize the pagans of this world. That is just what God is going to do with Israel. A day is coming when God will supernaturally appear to Israel. They will see Jesus as Paul saw Jesus—glorified on high—and a nation will be born again in a day. Zechariah chapter 12 describes that time. One day, at the beginning of Armageddon, all nations of the world will come against Jerusalem, gathered in the Valley of Megiddo, prepared for a final assault. God says, when it looks dark for His people, as the noose tightens around Jerusalem:
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the house of David shall be as God and the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (v.8-9).
But watch this:
“and I will pour upon the house of David [the Jews] and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications. And they shall look upon Me, whom they have pierced…” (v.10).
How did Jesus die? Upon a cross, for the sins of the world, His hands and feet pierced.
And just as Paul was converted, they shall turn and embrace their Messiah, the Lord Jesus,
…and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son,
Just as the Apostle Paul saw the resurrected, glorified Lord Jesus, the Jews in that day will see Him.
Just as Paul became a witness to the nations of the world, the Jews will become a witness. “…A hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of Israel, they are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads” (Rev. 7:4). One day there will be not just one Paul, but 144,000 Apostle Pauls, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then Revelation 7:9 reveals such “a great multitude of all kindreds, tribes, peoples, nations”—so great that no one can number them—of people who “washed their robes white and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (v. 14), people who had never heard the Gospel but then were witnessed to by these 144,000 Jews.
Paul asserts, “God is not finished with the Jews! I am an example of what God is going to do with the His people.” If you don’t think Israel can come to Christ, you don’t understand the power of God. The same power that convicted the Apostle Paul will bring them to Jesus.
The Bible is clear on this. But what are the other four proofs that God is not done with His people—or the land of Israel? In Part Two we will examine:
Proof #2 The Careful Preservation of God
Proof #3 The Controlling Plan of God
Proof #4 The Continuing Promise of God
Proof #5 The Culminating Purpose of God
As the controversy about the land of Israel continues to heat up, you will want to read Part Two of this message, “Is God Through with the Jews?” which will be published here by February 16.
To hear this message in its entirety, with added information not included due to space limitations, please tune in to the radio broadcast of Love Worth Finding on Thursday and Friday, February 16 and 17, or any time afterward at http://www.lwf.org/broadcasts
You may also want to order this CD to have in your own library or to share with a friend. Call us at 1-800-274-5683 and ask for message #2070, “Is God Through With the Jews?”
For added teaching from the messages of Adrian Rogers concerning God’s plan for the Jews, the nation, and the land of Israel, see the e-book on our web site, “Israel and Bible Prophecy — What Does the Future Hold?”