Replacement theology is a frightening trend in the church. The belief that the Lord has written off the Jewish nation and that the church will be the sole recipient of God's promises is bad theology; and bad theology results in bad consequences. Let's look at the Bible and find out whether the Jews are God's chosen people and why it matters.
Calvary Albuquerque is regularly host to special guest speakers. This series includes messages from many great Bible teachers including; Pancho Juarez, Mike Finizio, Don McClure, Bill Welch and others. These messages can be purchased as CDs from our online store, or by calling 1-800-922-1888.
Thank you very much. Skip, thank you so much. It's a joy to be back here. I think it's the fourth -- it's been four years since you -- and when you first had me here and it's just an honor to be back. And you know, I have got the blessing I guess in my life of having tall friends and I've been very blessed by tall friends. I didn't get that gene but I'm very grateful.
We want to begin tonight the series. Skip is very gracious to let me begin tonight. And what we'll do to the next five total services will build a message for each one.
Now as he said, you can't all come back for each one but we'll have it on online and everything so that you can see it but the focus is these critical issues that are facing the people of the epicenter today. We just had of course Prime Minister Netanyahu in United States all week meeting with American Jewish leaders, meeting with the vice-president, meeting with the secretary of states and the U.N. secretary general.
And his message was pretty clear and sobering. He said publicly and privately that the diplomacy that the world is trying to engage the radical leaders in Iran, not working so much. The economic sanctions that have been passed are having an effect but not nearly that the decisive effect that would be needed to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and so he asks the US administration to put a credible military threat on the table.
The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said no. So as Netanyahu goes home, the challenge becomes for him, what does his government do? Can they persuade the administration of Washington to step up the actions that they're taking to stop Iran or can he, Netanyahu and his government persuade other world leaders to step up the action to take decisive steps to stop Iran before it's too late or will Iran get the bomb or will Israel need to strike first?
These are critical issues. And today, Israel and the Jewish people are facing a lot of grave threats but two of them are larger than others.
First one as I mentioned, radical Islam, both Sunni and Shia, the threat of Iran getting nuclear weapons, the escapology the end times theology of the Iranian leadership that believe we're in the end of days. That's the Islamic messiah, the Shia Islamic messiah known as the twelfth Imam that he's coming any moment they believe. And much more, the Iranian leaders believe that the way to hasten or accelerate the coming of the twelfth Imam is to annihilate two countries -- Israel which they call the "Little Satan" and the United States which they call the "Great Satan." So that's a huge issue.
Obviously, it's what I've been writing about and speaking about for the last number of years, this threat of radical Islam. But that's not the only threat that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in particular face. No less of a threat to them than radical Islam is a threat that I feel compelled to talk about tonight. And that is a threat of replacement theology.
To radical Islam today, threatened Jews than Israel with annihilation, replacement theology threatens Israel and the Jewish people with de-legitimization. Replacement theology sadly is a central park of which known as reform theology or covenant theology and it's a doctrine that that God has rejected the Jewish people, that because so many Jewish people have historically rejected Jesus as the Messiah that God is done with them. He's finished with them that he -- there is no special plan and purpose for Jews generally and Israel in particular.
And that while Jews and Israel are no longer the apple of God's eye that the church now is exclusively, that everytime you read a passage in the scripture, a promise or a prophecy about Israel, replacement theologian say, "Now, when you see the word "Israel" just replace it in your mind with the church."
Now by God's grace, you who are sitting here tonight are not sitting in a congregation that believe or teaches replacement theology. But many Christians around the world do attend such churches. In fact, the majority of those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ attend churches that both believe and teach replacement theology. And the controversy over this type of theology is as real as the current headlines.
October 23rd 2010, a headline in the Jerusalem Post read "Vatican Synod calls for an end to Israel's occupation." At the conference, Christians in the Middle East, US archbishop says "There are no longer chosen people."
The New York Times headline that same day read "Bishops at Meeting Urge Israel to End Its Occupation of the Palestinian Territories." Now the Times reported, "In a final communiqué, at the end of a two-week long meeting at the Vatican, on the flight of Christians in the Middle east, the Bishops also urge Israel not to use the bible to justify its occupation of the land."
Apparently, the Times is right referring to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But in the news conference, "The archbishop in-charge of the committee that drafted that communiqué seems to go further." The New York Times reported, saying the bible did not justify a Jewish presence in Israel.
"The concept of the promised land can not be used as base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians", this archbishop said. Sacred scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.
Now, tomorrow morning in message number two, I'll address this question, were the Jews given the promise land and does it matter? So we'll talk about that more specifically tomorrow. But tonight I want to start with a question, are the Jews the chosen people? And so what? What does -- does that even matter? It's an important question. And given the recent statements by Catholic leaders, it's a timely one.
Sadly, most Catholic leaders, not all, but historically most have believe and taught replacement theology but such catholic leaders are not alone in their belief that God is done with the Jews and that the Jews are not the chosen people.
A major protestant leader one that you have heard of I suspect is also on a record with similar beliefs. "The Jews surely rejected by God are no longer his people and neither is he any longer their God".
Now this was not just any old protestant leader. This was Martin Luther. Luther in his famous yet repugnant book, On The Jews and Their Lies, once wrote, "First, their synagogues should be set on fire. And whatever is left should be buried in the dirt so that no one can see a stone or a cinder from it. Jewish prayer book should be destroyed then the Jewish people should be dealt with. Their homes should be smashed and destroyed. Jews should be banned from the roads and markets and should be drafted into forced labor."
Luther also once said "They (the Jews) live by evil and plunder. They are wicked beasts that ought to be driven out like mad dogs."
Now, for many understandably Martin Luther is a hero of Christendom from needing the protestant reformation. But in this critical area, he disastrously and horrifically failed to understand the very bible that he loves so dearly and wanted everyone to have access to and the very God and Messiah that he longed to follow.
Now why does this matter? Because bad theology has bad consequences. Luther's belief were widely held and taught throughout European churches and churches around the world. And not just in the Lutheran church but in many Christian denominations.
Hitler and the Nazi party then picked up on these teachings and use them to justify their final solution against the Jewish of Europe. Today, bad theology is also having bad consequences many pastors and priest around the world. Some entire denominations are saying that God doesn't love the Jewish people, that they're saying that God has rejected the Jewish people. They're saying that Jews don't have a right to live safely, securely, freely in the land of Israel.
They're boycotting Israel, they're divesting from Israel, they're giving aid and comfort to governments who are turning against Israel. They're refusing to show Israel and the Jewish people the love of Jesus Christ. They're refusing to share the love of Jesus Christ with the Jewish people. And as such, they're disobeying their Jewish messiah, angering the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And sadly, bringing the potential of judgment upon themselves; either willingly or unwillingly.
Now look, there's good news. And the good news is there's always been a remnant of the true followers of Jesus Christ who understood the word of God, study the word of God, internalize the word of God, taught the word of God, followed the word of God in Europe, here, around the world, throughout the ages. And they have realized, by studying the word of God, by knowing it from Genesis to Revelation that God has a great heart for the Jews. That God does love the Jews, that he did choose the Jewish people. And he chose them for some -- them -- us, as a Rosenberg, for something very special. Amen.
When my dad came to faith as an orthodox Jew in Jesus in 1973, he thought he was the first Jewish person since the apostle Paul who believes that Jesus was the Messiah. He didn't know any Jewish people who believed in Jesus, he had never heard of Jewish people who believe in Jesus. And quite frankly in 1973, there weren't that many. But that is changing because God loves us and he's got a plan for us.
And it's -- I believe that it's an incumbent upon true Christ followers today that with all -- that to say publicly, gently, lovingly but clearly that with all do respect, those who teach that God has done with the Jews, that he's rejected the Jews, that they have no right to particularly to the land of Israel, they're wrong biblically.
The entire bible from Genesis to Revelation makes crystal clear again and again God's amazing love for the Jewish people, his decision to choose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants for his very own and his eternal promise to give the holy land to the Jewish people.
Now, yes as we -- let's be clear. We need to bless the Palestinians. We need to bless Israel's neighbor and even her enemies and one of the messages tomorrow as part of the series. We'll focus specifically on that. Does God love Israel's neighbors? And if so, why does that matter? The answer is, I'll just signal ahead, yes and we'll talk in more detail scripturally. And practically, what does that mean? But we just should never accept the false teaching that God has rejected the Jewish people. It's simply are not accurate.
In Genesis chapter 12 -- if you've got your bible, once you turn to Genesis chapter 12, we'll start there. I'm going to be moving around. This is not a verse by verse, line by line night. So stick with me, okay?
And if you're here with a friend or a spouse you know maybe you do one verse and they pick up the next, we're going to cover a lot of ground so buckle up.
Genesis chapter 12:1-3, right? These are the famous verses, the Lord makes it crystal clear. He has chosen Abraham to make a great nation. And the Lord says to him, "I will bless you and make your name great and so you shall be a blessing." He's a Hebrew. From him comes the Jewish people. And God says, "I'm going to bless you and I'm going to make you a blessing." And then he says, "I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you, I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed."
In Genesis 18:17-19, again Genesis 18:17-9 the Lord says, "Shall I hide form Abraham what I'm about to do? Since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation. And in him, all the nations of the earth will be blessed for I have chosen him." The first place where God says, "I've chosen the Jewish people, starting with Abraham."
Now, I'm guessing that most people here tonight are Gentiles. And bless your hearts I mean, I was just in Texas apparently you can say anything as long as you bless you hearts. And I do actually in this case I don't -- it's not a slight. I actually mean, bless you Gentiles. Did you know that about 90% to 95% of Jews who come to faith, come through faith to the love of Gentiles? So Amen. And that how my family all came to faith.
Now, Gentiles sometimes probably not you, but some Gentiles think, "Oh you Jews, you think you're so special. Chosen people right, you know? You got this special deal with God". And historically, there's been a little resentment over this idea that chosen people -- now I have to tell you just flat out, we did not choose this idea being chosen. We're not always big -- I'm being chosen because historically, that has not gone well for us. The pharaoh chose us, Hitler chose us, Stalin chose us, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chose us. We're like "Choose somebody else." We're totally good with that. Okay, right?
If you're an orthodox, you could say look, I'm Kosher I don't want to hold the spotlight. You just -- God you just choose somebody else, I don't want to take all the blessing here, really.
My favorite cartoon series was The Far Side series back in the 1980's. I don't know if you remember those but you were -- my favorite one was there was two deer standing in a forest. And one deer has a bull's eye out on his chest. And the deer without the bull's eye says to the dear with the bull's eye, "Hey bummer of a birthmark Hal." And that's what if feels like to be Jewish. You're like "Hey, why are people -- why do they hate me? Why do they want to kill me? Why do they talk about annihilating all of us as Jews?" So chosen people -- well, we didn't come up with that idea. It wasn't some PR marketing campaign. God chose the -- the Jewish people to be chosen and you're not. You know, that was not we -- we never would've thought of that.
But God consistently through the scripture says it in Deuteronomy Chapter seven, Deuteronomy Chapter 7:6-8. Moses says to the nation of Israel, to the chosen people, the Jewish people, "You are holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession out of all the people who are on the face of the earth. The Lord didn't set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of all the people. For in fact you are the fewest of all people. But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which he swore to your fore fathers."
God is saying, you're not the biggest grandest, tallest people on the planet, apparently. I don't know how that plays on the radio but I think they know who you are Skip. God said -- and I can't even tell you why he chose Jews. Why not the (00:19:23), why not the Japanese? Why not the Brazilians? I don't know.
We're going to do Q&A tomorrow night, you can ask me, my answer is, I don't know. It's a sovereign decision and it's come at a high cost. Well, why did he do it? He chose us to reveal himself to us. He wanted to pick one group of people and say, "I'm not going to limit myself to revealing just to you but I'm going to start with the people, the people that are lost. But I'm going to show love and mercy to them. And as they get to know me, they're going to make me known to the whole world."
Though them the scriptures are going to come, to them the spirit will come upon the earth and move powerfully around the world. Through them the messiah will come. That's a good deal. We didn't always accept it.
In Jeremiah 31, beginning in verse one, we read, that at that time declares the Lord, "I will be the God of all the people of Israel and they shall be my people." Thus says the Lord, "The people who survived the sword, the sword has been a repetitive theme throughout Jewish history but the people who survived the sword, the Jewish people who had survived all the traumas that life is going to throw at them, they found grace in the wilderness -- to Israel when it went to find its rest.
And the Lord appeared to the children of Israel from afar saying "I have loved you with an everlasting love. And therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness. Again, I will build you and you will be rebuilt oh virgin of Israel." Israel makes mistakes. Israel is a sinful country, it's a -- we are a sinful people. We blow it and then God deals with us and then he restores us.
It's true about everybody. We are sinners. We are lost, we all, like sheep have gone astray but God comes after us and he draws us out of this everlasting love and he cleans us up and he gets us moving again. This is the greatness of our great God, but is not restricted to gentiles.
You know its interesting in the early church, the Jews, Peter in particular in Acts 10 and 11, they're like that God doesn't love the Gentiles. He's not coming to the Gentiles. This is just for us pretty much. We can't even go spend time with the gentiles, then many are like, "Oh, wow."
I mean Holy Spirit does this amazing series of miracles and the whole story with Cornelius and suddenly it appears like, "I guess God does love the Gentiles." It's not like it hadn't been spoken all throughout scripture. God loved the whole world and Jesus himself said it right? But okay --
Now we're in a moment where the gentile church thinks, "The Jews, are God done with the Jews?" Well, neither of those things are true. God loves the Jews, he loves the Gentiles and he loves us and this is written specifically to us though it's applicable to everyone in my view but he loves the Jews with an everlasting love.
Now I ask you, does an everlasting mean everlasting? On and on it goes throughout the Old Testament. The God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob keeps talking about his love for the Jewish people over and over again.
He talks about his special plan for Israel. And the Jewish people, he talks about the fact that he chose them to know him and to make him known throughout the whole world. And he used them -- us, to be a blessing to the entire earth, every nation on earth.
Now when we get to the New Testament, what do we find? Does God rescind all this? No. Our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, he's Jewish. Where does he go? To Israel. Where does he teach? In Israel. Where does he die on the cross? In Israel. Where is he rise again from and to? Israel.
The first disciples are Jewish. Peter the rock upon which Jesus builds his church, Jewish. All the writers of the New Testament say one, Luke, they're Jewish. In John 4:22, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ says salvation is from the Jews. In Matthew 10:6, our Lord Jesus Christ sent his disciples "To the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
I'm going to fast. I know you're not writing all these stuff down I -- that's what the CD is for.
In Romans Chapter 9 -- you might want to turn to Roman that will be good and I'll take a sip of water.
In Romans chapter nine, -- actually nine, 10 and 11, I encourage you to spend time just meditating, reading, meditating, memorizing it even the wonderful, powerful passages in the book of Romans particularly in chapters 9, 10 and 11.
Now in Romans 9:4 and 5, the apostle Paul reminds us of the enormous death that the church worldwide owes to the Jewish people and to the Israelites "To whom belong the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the temple service, and the promises who's are" -- the Jewish people they have the fathers from whom the messiah came according to the flesh, who is overall God blessed forever.
Now he -- now, Paul walk's through to that Gentile church. Listen, listen, the Jews are not as warm and receptive to this Gospel message as we would hope at this moment in time but remember we owe them so much, the entire scriptures came through them, the Messiah came through them and this is a powerful point that he makes to the church at Rome.
Then of course in Romans 10:1 the apostle Paul says, "Brothers my heart's desire and my prayer for them, for the Jewish people is for the salvation." You'd only hear it in the apostle Paul. Thank God we've got the church at Rome now because it's (00:25:53) on the Jews, God's done it's (00:25:56) it's over "Caput". There's no effect of the promises that were made once to the Jewish people today. So let's just cut them loose and move on with our lives. That is not the message it's just the opposite.
And when you look at the last book of the Bible, well actually let me stop there. Go back to Romans Chapter 11. Romans 11:1 and 2, there I skip over maybe the most important verses on this topic. Romans 11:1 and 2, Paul says, "I say then God has not rejected his people has he?" Now, what's the context? His people, he's talking about the chosen people, he's talking about the Jewish people.
He says, "God has not rejected them has he?" Now, if he had left it there, perhaps the church at Rome and elsewhere would have gone, "Of course he did." But Paul hasn't allowed that, the Holy Spirit doesn't allow it. Writing in the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul writes may it never be, for I too I'm an Israelite, a descendant, of the Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin, God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
Yes, according to the Bible, the Jewish people are the chosen people but, this is important, important "but" here. But just because God has chosen the Jews, that's not enough. We as Jews have to choose them back, we didn't get some special deal where we get to go to heaven and get salvation and the Holy Spirit, all the promises without following what the Lord teaches from Genesis to Revelation. It's not like we have some special deal that abrogates the Gospel that certain events, all that the Jewish Messiah came to teach and then die and rise again.
Just because we got chosen, that's not enough. We have to choose him back and that's what the scriptures say from the beginning to the end. Let's just pick Deuteronomy for example Deuteronomy Chapter 30. In Deuteronomy 30:19- 20, this is what the Lord says, "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today." This is -- the Jewish people are hearing a little bit of pushback and from the Lord, and the Lord says, "Listen I've set before you life and death, the blasting and the curse. So choose life. Choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants."
By loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice and by holding fast to him, for this is your life and the length of your days that you may live in the land which the Lord (00:29:11) to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob to give to them.
In one passage, two verses look at too much theology is there. The Lord is saying to the Jews people look I've chosen you, you've got to make a choice between life and death, between eternal blessings and eternal curses. It's not enough that God chooses us as Jews. We have to choose him back and when we do that what we are we doing? We're loving him, we're choosing to love him and obey him and hold fast to him.
And then we and then Jews are then called back to the Land of Israel to live there and are blessed. Now, Jesus makes his clear again and again. In John 14:6 famous passage you know it. "Jesus, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one can come to the father except through me." Who was he talking to, the Jews not only again we read in Jeremiah and we'll talk about this in another message but Jeremiah the Lord says to him that it's not enough for the Messiah just to come to the house of Israel, he's going to be unlike to the nations and back to Genesis.
God said I'm going to bless you Jewish people but I'm going to make you a blessing to the nations through you it's going to be the word and through the Messiah, everyone gets access but Jesus said clearly," I am the way, the truth and the life" and the Lord say to the nation of Israel choose life, choose your shore, choose Jesus. John 1:12 but as many as received him, Jesus the Messiah, as many who received him, who yes, I chose you to them he gave the right to become children of God even to those who believe in his name.
These are -- we have to see the totality of this, on the one hand, there are elements within the church worldwide that are saying, "God's done with the Jews, he didn't choose them or if he did once, it's over that's biblically false. At the other extreme are those who are saying yeah God chose the Jews they got a special deal they don't even have to believe in Jesus just whatever. That is not, scriptural by any measure.
Turn with me for moment to Acts if you're still with me, Acts Chapter 2. Now this is a moment where Jesus has just gone back to heaven. He send his Holy Spirit, Peter, a Jew, is speaking to the Jewish people in Jerusalem, and what does he say, am I going to do the whole sermon tonight but, starting in verse 36 therefore in light of all the Gospel message that Peter just presented in multiple languages to everyone that is listening from all over the world, all over the epicenter.
Therefore, in light of that message that all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him Jesus (00:32:25) both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.
Now why would Peter say that or bother to , why would the Holy Spirit say it through him if it wasn't necessary, it's either (A), God was done with the Jews, why preach the Gospel to them? Or if they had some other special deal, what's the point? All the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.
Now, when they heard this they were pierced to the heart and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostle's bothers, "What shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent, turn around, get off your way of going on your own, your own -- the way you think it's all going to be good without Jesus. No, no turn around and receive Jesus. Choose him and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
For the promise is for you and your children. Again, critical tax there in terms of the no, no God is done with the Jews. No. Well, how do you justify this verse? The promise of what? The promise of salvation, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the promise not only on leaving with God forever but him living inside you now, it's for you and your children and all who are far off meaning the Gentiles too.
As many as the Lord are God will call to himself and with many other words Peter solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them saying, be saved from this perverse generation, that's a good word for today. So then those who would receive his word were baptized and that day, they were added about 3000 folds, the church sprang into being. This is good news, this is really, really good news particularly as a Rosenberg but I think for you too.
You know, more Jewish people are coming to faith in the last four decades than any other time since this first century. Not just Jews alone we're going to be talking tomorrow about how more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus as the savior. Jesus as the Messiah than in any other time in 14th century's of Islam. God is moving powererfully.
So shouldn't the true followers of Jesus Christ truly love our Jewish brothers and sisters? Those who are believers with God's everlasting unconditional love? Shouldn't we encourage them and strengthen them in the faith? And by the same token shouldn't true followers of Jesus Christ bless Jews who are not believers and to love them and encourage them, and bless them with God's everlasting unconditionally love, the love of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Shouldn't we reaffirm God's love for them, shouldn't we affirm and reaffirm God's special plan and purpose for them, not special plan and purpose around the Gospel but then he does have a plan, that he is drawing Israel, the Jews back to the nation of Israel, it's one of the extraordinary processes and again we want to pick this up in the service in the morning that the land was given to the Jewish people and yes, the Jews were kicked out for a while we'll talk about, well where those promises conditional or unconditional.
So tonight we're sort of establishing -- this is an unconditional love of God for the Jewish people. He chose them, he hasn't rejected them, some us have rejected him but he has not rejected us. And now, as we get to the final stages of history the totally of Bible prophecy tells us, Israel's going to become a country again, check. Jews are going to start coming back to the Holy Land after centuries of exile, check. And when that happens, we're going to start to see more Jewish people whose hearts return to the Lord himself and we're beginning to see that happen.
You know in Israel, there were only 23 or so known Jewish followers of Jesus in 1948 when the country was prophetically reborn with 2000 people like those rose and the whole country of Israel. Today, there are more than 15000 Jewish believers in Jesus, now in the country of some six million Jews it's not enough. But it started to move in the right direction and it's consistent with Bible prophecy, Ezekiel 37 that says in the last days, Israel will be physically restored first, that's the first prophecy and then the 2nd prophecy, God will start to breath life into the Jewish people and that's what we're seeing happen.
When I was born, in April of 1967 there were maybe 2000 Jewish followers in Jesus on the entire planet, 2000 in 1967. Today, estimates vary but to somewhere between two and 300,000, Jewish believers in Jesus. The curtain is going up, the stage is being set for the return of the Messiah and he doesn't want anyone to perish, he wants to give everyone the chance and I couldn't be more excited, personally, and I hope that you are too.
But this is a battle. It's a battle, Radical Islam that's a big threat. We'll talk about that tomorrow. Replacement theology, that's an enormous threat because on the one hand you don't you sort of don't expect radical Muslims who believe that 12th Imam is coming and (00:37:59) fire missiles and wipe Israel. I'm not saying that's all Muslims but that's set that -- running around right now and their key allies, we kind of expect them to want to annihilate Israel not that we --.
Of course we oppose it but we sort of expect that but the Church that there are people saying publicly and believing privately that God is done with the Jewish people, that he's got no plan and purpose for the nation of Israel, that's -- see, bad theology leads to bad consequences and people are cutting Israel moods, people are abandoning Israel, anti Semitism is rising because when church leaders -- (00:38:38) Radical Muslims but when people who say they are followers of Christ, say God has done with the Jews that he's rejected them, what is a (00:38:46) person supposed to think?
I guess he has. Where did Luther's Theology on the Jews taken him? Bad, bad places, he said God's done with them, he's rejected them therefore and he came up with all kinds of horrifying therefore that Hitler than picked up on. He said, "Well, if Luther thought it." Now be clear, Hitler was not a Christian he hated Christ, he hated the Church, he persecuted the Church and destroyed them wherever you could but he used these flood(ph) horrific teachings of otherwise powerful Church performer, Church leader to justify evil that we can barely imagine and this will happen again unless the church battles this lovingly, firmly but powerfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Turn with me in the last section tonight at to Joel Chapter 2, the real book of Joel that the Prophet Joel -- I just want a non-profit but in Joel Chapter 2 some interesting versus for us to tie this up tonight. In Joel 2:1, well the whole book of Joel is pre-powerful is my favorite book, you might have guessed that.
Now, I have to say. You say, well -- of course that Joel -- you know my mom was -- well first, they thought I was going to be a girl so that would have mess up the whole Joel thing and then I was just to be named Lincoln and then at the last moment, my mom -- we don't know why she said because there's no Joel's in our family so they said no his name is suppose to be Joel.
But, I think thank God they didn't call me Lincoln, I mean we stole pipe hat and the beard, and then I would be a short Lincoln and you know he -- my friends would have called me the missing link it would have been so bad at so many levels. Anyway, it's my favorite book and in Joel 2:1 it says, "Blow a trumpet in Zion. And sound an alarm on my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming." Surely is near.
When you to this passage it's very powerful, God wants and this is an (00:41:03) the entire book of Joel deals with events that are coming at our future and as we get closer to the literal day of the Lord, the return, the physical second coming, the literal second coming of Jesus Christ to earth. That's the day of the Lord and all the events that lead up to it and the Lord himself wants the nation of Israel and her neighbors and the world but certainly all of the inhabitants in the land of Israel to know that the Lord is coming and he's coming soon. Especially as events start happening that help was know, wow! We're really getting close.
Now as you go through that, you see what does the Lord tell the people who believe in this, who study the word of God, who believes the word of God, who follows the word of God, who teach the word of God, what are we suppose to be doing as we get closer to the day of the Lord? Well one, we're supposed to let everyone in Israel know. Second -- and again just for time sake, verse 12, yet even now declares the Lord return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning, rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God for he is gracious, he is compassionate, he's slow to anger, he's abounding in love and kindness. And who knows well the hell not turned and relent and leave a blessing behind this. As we tell the world that Jesus is coming that the Lord is coming and that day is getting closer we're also suppose to be repenting ourselves because how can we truly have an effect, a positive effect to show the love of Jesus, in real and practical ways or share the love of Jesus by teaching the word and preaching the Gospel unless we are on our knees. on our faces before the Lord setting aside everything, everyone.
Anything that would distract us from Jesus. And this is a call to the church. Yes to Israel, but to us if we believe the word of God and we do, how can we not get back to the Lord, this is what is he calling us to, returning to the Lord and then in verse 15, said blow -- again it said, "Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders,--" so on and so forth. It talked about gathering people so see, the first, it was a message of warning that the Lord is coming, you better get ready. Then there's a call to repentance, then there's a goal to gather and to pray.
And it talks about how when we do this, verse 18, then the Lord will be his zealous for his land and will have pity on his people. Verse 25 then he'll make up to years that the (00:44:04) of Eden in our lives spiritually, verse 27, thus you'll know that I am in the midst of Israel, that I am the Lord your God that there is no other and my people will never be put to shame.
You know that Skip and I had the great joy of watching the first epicenter conference in Jerusalem in 2008, and in May of next year by God's grace, he and I are going to have that opportunity to hold another epicenter conference and I want to encourage you to come.
Now, if you've read anything that I've said or written or listen to everything I've said tonight, part of you is thinking -- I know I can see it in your eyes. Doesn't Joel think there could be some massive epileptic was between Israel and Iran next year? Yes, I do. And now he wants us to go with him and Skip and take a tour of Israel and go to the epicenter of the conference, yes I do.
It's like well as even I know he's been touring through California maybe a little medicinal marijuana and what's happening there son? I mean isn't this like mutually exclusive? Listen, the Lord is telling us all to do this. He's telling us to do it I hope he's telling some of you to do it, to go to blow a trumpet Zion, we're going literally have show far blowers, blowing trumpets that's what it says. I figured, let's just take (00:45:23) his word let's do it. Let's teach the world that the Lord is coming, let's gather the elders, the leaders from all over the world, followers of Christ to study the word of God they're into and to proclaim his love and -- listen, if there are micelles inbound for Israel at that moment next May that where's traveling show interest for.
Okay, if the war is in eminent if it's just about the lawn, that's what the travel insurances for. Skip and I are not asking you to come into a live missile zone. That's what the Joshua fund team does. That's what we, do we've already been there when missiles or rackets are dropping and we're delivering food and clothing and other types of supplies to care for people in need through the believers and just straight out to the people that need it, why? Because this is the calling that we have. But imagine, while the world is turning away from Israel, abandoning Israel cutting Israel loose and potentially our own government.
When some church leaders are saying God's done with the Jews he's rejected them they're not the chosen people, they don't deserve the land, they wont' give it anyway. At that moment when the world is cutting Israel loose, when Israel is being isolated, isn't it incumbent upon true followers of Jesus Christ to go up the one way street against traffic?
And what if we went to Israel and we worship the King of Kings in the City of the great King. What if we prayed for the piece of the Jerusalem in Jerusalem? We're going to teach to the book of Joel line by line, verse by verse, three chapters in two days. Imagine that the power of God's Word being proclaimed. Lord willing, it will go by satellite television, by radio, by the internet in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian by the grace of God. We want this message to go to the church all around the world and all the people of the epicenter.
This is the moment. We don't know how much time we have until Jesus comes back. First(ph) Thessalonians, Chapter 5 says it's going to come like thief and it will happen when there's people are saying peace and safety. Now, I don't know when Jesus is coming back let's be clear about that. I do not know, you can ask that tomorrow night, I don't know.
But it's supposed to happen at the time when people are saying oh peace and safety now I'll just close with the thought. Lyn and I were on a vacation last year with the kids and we got a text message from somebody saying that the President had won the noble piece price. We thought "Oh my gosh! How long have we been gone?" We just had missed the global piece that have just broken out. That's not a part of (00:48:03) we literally thought, what did we miss. But listen, you and I see through spiritual eyes to the third lens of the scripture. We see evil rising, we see threats coming. The rest of the world are we see some threats in North Korea, Iran they are not thinking this is bad. Most people are on the world and that's pretty good.
I'm not saying Jesus is coming back tonight tomorrow, I'm not saying it's not. I don't know when but we need to be ready and to the extent that he gives us time. Don't we need to bless the Jewish people? That's what Jesus -- the Lord said from Genesis 12, "I will bless those who bless the children of Abraham. I will curse those who curse them."
Lyn and I, Skip and which side of that equation we want to be on, we want to be blessed, we want our families to be blessed, we want to be a blessing and this is the moment, the church, honestly has blown in significant ways historically. You know Paul says he's -- the Gentile churches suppose to provoke the Jews to jealousy. I think the Gentile church have done pretty well at the first portion of that concept, provoking the things to be going well.
I'm not sure it's been to jealousy, this is the moment. We don't know how much time we have until Christ comes, we don't know how much time we have to the next war, so what if we just -- what if we just did what the Lord said? What if we gathered into some -- call pastures and misery leaders all over the word and say, "Come, let's blow the trumpet in Zion, let's tell people the Lord is coming." It's not going to be easy between here and there but this is the moment and we would be faithful to the Lord our God. Let's pray.
Father, we thank you, we thank you that you love us, we thank you that you had a great plan for our lives, we thank you that you love Israel with an everlasting love and did you cause to bless Israel on the Jewish people and Lord, as we work through this series on critical issues facing the people of the epicenter. I pray that your spirit would lead us, your spirit would guide us, show us how we take action points. And Lord, if there's someone here tonight who doesn't know this Messiah, Jesus who has never received Jesus as their personal Lord and savior, what I pray that they would make that decision right now, that they would make that decision.
Let me just pray for you, if you've never that decision just pray along in your heart with me and receive Christ as your savior tonight so that you know, beyond of a doubt that you're going to heaven.
Dear Father, I need you, I've been going my own way, I'm very, very sorry. Father I believe that you sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross, to pay the penalty for my sins, and Father I believe that you raised Christ from the dead to prove to me that he is the savior and the only savior. And Lord Jesus, I receive you into my heart right now by faith. Please come into my life, please forgive me, please transform me, please fill me with your Holy Spirit, please teach me how to follow you. I don't know how, but I want to start tonight. And I pray these things in the name of my new savior and Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. God Bless you, thank you.