God's Chosen People Lesson 3 by John Marshall
Although I firmly believe that the present-day return of Jews to Israel is a partial fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, it must be noted that most of these Jews are still in a “state of unbelief'” they have not yet recognized nor accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Thankfully, there are many organizations now operating in Israel, that are composed of followers of Yeshua (Jesus), and Jewish evangelization is today being carried on in the Holy Land. Some of the returning Jews are believers and are demonstrating through their lifestyle and interaction with their neighbors that Christians can and do love Israel and the Jewish People. Perhaps by this means the apostle Paul's statement in Romans 11:11 will come to pass: "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fail? God forbid hut rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
My hope and my prayer for Israel and the Jewish People is found in II Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
The main points I will be addressing in this series of studies will be first, today, an introduction. Subsequent studies will include a (1) brief history of the Jewish People; (2) Biblical proof of the Jews as God's Chosen People and “Eretz Yisrael” as their Homeland; (3) instances of Jewish persecution and dispersion; (4) Replacement Theology and anti-Semitism; (5) the threat today to Israel, Christians, and the United States; (6) Biblical prophecies regarding the return and regathering of the Jewish People; and (7) the importance of the Jews in end-time prophecy. I will also point out some reasons why I strongly believe that we are now living in the opening stages of end-time prophecy. Time will not permit me to go into all the detail that these points encompass, so most of the studies will be of a brief nature.
(Pastor’s note – perhaps you are wondering why brother John Marshall would have such strong feelings toward the Jewish people? If you have read this far, please continue, because he is about to explain this very reason!)
I met a Jew one day! And my life has not been the same since. This Jew I met was not Jesus - I met Him way back in 1957, at the Port Mission, in Baltimore, MD!
I met Ivan Hoffman somewhere between 2006 and 2009 at, of all the strange places to meet a Jew, at Shining Light Baptist Church, right here in Greensboro, NC!
Ivan was a Jewish Christian. Some people might refer to him as a 'Messianic Jew", but Ivan preferred to call himself a "Completed Jew." I do not recall the exact circumstances about how we came to meet, but meet we did, and Ivan became my closest and dearest earthly friend, and knowing him changed my life completely. You see, Ivan was a sort of missionary to his people, the Jews, and he awakened in me something I never knew existed - a love for Israel and the Jewish people! Through Ivan, my attention was first directed to the task of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Jewish people. Unfortunately, Ivan departed this world in July of 2017, leaving a huge void in my life. (I say "unfortunately" referring to me, as he is in a much better place now, with his Lord!) Since Ivan's death, and due to my increasing age and physical disabilities, I am no longer able to get out and about to meet and establish the necessary relationships with the Jewish community, so I will leave Jewish Evangelism to younger, better educated, and more physically capable hands. My focus now lies in presenting Biblical reasons why people, especially Christians, ought to stand with Israel and the Jewish People. (Pastor’s note – I second brother John’s opinion of brother Ivan Hoffman. Ivan and his dear wife Susan came to Grace Baptist Church sometime around 2016 and Joined shortly thereafter. I had the privilege of, not only being Ivan’s pastor, but his friend as well.)
I am solidly behind Israel and Zionism! I am pro-Israel and pro-Zionism! However, I do not, for one second believe that Israel, or the Jewish people, or Zionism, is perfect or without flaw. Every nation, every people, every organization has its own peculiarities, its own "gray" areas, makes its own mistakes. None of these can be completely without error, nor can you or me. I AM NOT anti-Arab, nor am I anti-Muslim. I AM anti-terrorist! I AM anti-whomever or -whatever is trying to eradicate the Jewish people and the State of Israel. I am firmly opposed to anti-Semitism in whatever form it may appear, and from whatever source it may arise. That includes today's modern so-called "Christianity"; popular television preachers that stray from Biblical principles; Replacement Theology; the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement; seminaries that have left the traditional Biblical foundations; and Christian pulpits that have become platforms for diatribes against the Jewish People; and I am opposed to the radical Islamic "fundamentalists" that openly proclaim war against God's Chosen People. This does not necessarily mean any specific nation or religion (unless targeting Israel): it means any organization(s) or individual(s) within the nations surrounding Israel (and around the world) that are hell-bent on destroying God's Chosen People. The very fact that they are God's Chosen People, and that the Land of Israel is the land God promised to give them, means that any assault or plot against them is doomed to ultimate failure!
In the meantime, there have been, there are, and there will be, tragically, many innocent victims; much collateral damage; extensive destruction of property and devastation of the land in the Middle East.
Having said all that, I will take a moment to point out that The Islamic Threat Is Real! 9/11/2001: Terrorists fly planes into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a location in Pennsylvania! "In the Qur'an, Allah commands his followers to perpetuate the religion by killing or subjugating all non-Muslims everywhere: 'Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem [of war] (surah 9:5). Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers [in fight], smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subjugated them, bind a bond firmly [on them] (surah 47:4). Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure (surah 61:4).' No Muslim who defines himself as a believer would ever doubt that the Qur'an is the exact written representation of the words of Allah" (quoted from "For the Love of Zion ", by Elwood McQuaid, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, c2007)
Yes, the Islamic threat is real, and growing more so every day. You read in your newspaper and watch on your television news programs, almost daily, that there has been another incident of slaughter in a synagogue, multiple rockets fired into Israel, terrorist suicide bombs set off in Israel, France, England, and elsewhere, taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children. We in America sit back in complacency and read and watch these things happening around us and think "That's terrible! Those poor people!" And we change channels, or move on to the sports page, and go about our daily routine as though everything is "normal," and that these acts of terrorism and hatred are half a world away, and do not affect us.
It is true that most of these atrocities are targeting the Jewish People, but it is equally true that, in many places, Christians are also being persecuted, murdered, tortured, driven from their homes, and discriminated against, as well. The hatred, animosity, terror, torture, and murder directed against the Jewish People is simply BECAUSE THEY ARE JEWS! The persecution against Christians is BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MUSLIMS! The Islamic belief is that anyone that is not Islamic is an "infidel,' and does not deserve to live, and must be annihilated. The Islamic objective is a world-wide caliphate, under Sharia law, with no Jews, no Christians,
no one that is not Islamic. Islam is supreme in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the whole of North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. So, Israel, the home of slightly more than 6.7 million Jews, is surrounded by enemies, and the Islamic states, numbering over 248 million in the Middle East and North Africa, have also set their sights on Europe and America! (the total Islamic world population is more than 1.6 billion!)
I will not verbally assault any generalized group, individual, nation or religion. I will not point my finger and state, "This is wrong!" or "That is wrong!" or "Only this is right!" unless I have unshakable proof to back up my position. I will not criticize Arabs, in general, or Muslims, in general, or Atheists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or Seventh-Day Adventists, or any other religion or nationality just because we disagree on some issues. It is not my place to criticize anyone else's beliefs or stands; judgment is in God's hands alone, and everyone must eventually answer to Him. I will, however, take a strong stand against the Islamic extremist groups that are attempting to subvert the entire world. I will, gently and prayerfully, try to proclaim and explain, to the best of my ability, my Christian beliefs. If your views are different than mine, so be it: you have the God-given right to disagree with me, and to believe in and espouse whatever creed or dogma you choose to accept - so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same! Make no mistake, when the Jewish People and the Land of Israel and the Jewish religion have been decimated and exterminated, Europe and America are next in line!
BUT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!
Updates and Reminders for August
Statement of Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk Related to Coronavirus/COVID-19
This statement of waiver and liability was written by the NCLL (National Center for Life and Liberty) and is used by their permission.
Statement of Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk
Related to Coronavirus/COVID-19
COVID-19 is highly contagious and is known to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. By attending Grace Baptist Church, you agree to abide by the procedures established by the church to protect attendees and staff, and you voluntarily assume the risk that you and/or your family may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 either at the church, in the church worship service, or in the nursery or Sunday School. You agree to assume all the risks of attendance and participation for you and your family, and you waive any liability against the church and any other parties.
Is Jesus Really Coming Soon? by Todd Nance
As the pastor of Grace Baptist Church, this is a question I am often asked, to which I typically answer, "Yes! Jesus most certainly is coming soon!" As you can probably imagine, my enthusiastic response is met with a variety of responses. Anything from fear, to anger, to laughter, to tears, to "joy unspeakable and full of glory."
The reason for such a mixed reaction to the Lord's return is due to a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "Soon". For most people, especially younger groups, the word "soon" means by 5 PM this evening. This misunderstanding may very often lead to unnecessary fear and anxiety.
Others may become angry at the news of the Lord's "soon" return. Why would they be angry? Their anger comes from a misconception that they have not had ample time to prepare for His return. To those who would become angry at this news I would ask, "How many times have you heard the gospel and refused to believe?" The truth is, in most cases, there has been plenty of time to prepare, only little concern to do so.
Laughter is another, very common response, to the news of Christ's fast approaching return for His church. Those who would laugh at the news of the return of Jesus for His church claim "Preachers have been claiming He's coming soon for 2000 years and He's not come back yet!" Whenever I'm presented this argument, I remind them that Peter predicted their response (See 2 Peter 3:3-9).
Tears. Some may burst into tears when they hear the news that Jesus is coming soon. They may be tears of sadness in response to their own need or a burden over a lost loved one. In either case the person may rejoice in knowing that even though Jesus is coming soon, there is time to do something about it util He does!
The last response is my favorite response, "joy unspeakable and full of glory"! This response comes only from those who know the Lord as their Savior! I have never been around a more joyous group of people, than God's people when they are discussing the rapture of the church and the return of our Lord in glory!
What about you? What's your response to the news that Jesus is coming soon? I hope it's joy and excitement. If not, why not? If you have doubts or need questions answered I'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, keep listening for the shout!