Jesus’ non-discriminatory approach.
Last weeks blog brought a lot of reaction. Thank you for responding whether you agree with my sentiments or not.
End-time prophecy predictions are a tricky business. Anyone remember Salem Kirban prediction books in the 70’s? What about a host of other prophecy teachers who foretold Jesus’ return in 1982, 1987, 1988, 1992, 2000 etc. All through these emotionally charged predictions I have been saying that Jesus’ return is not tied to a date on the calendar, but to a fulfillment of a condition the Gospel must first be preached. Hundreds are dead in Israel and Lebanon. Death does not discriminate. It comes to Jews, Arabs and Christians. When a baby with burnt flesh is left dead on the street corner it is just as painful whether it is a Jewish baby in Haifa, or an Arab child in south Beirut. All religions believe God is important, and He is. All religions believe prayer, Scriptures and doctrines are important, and they are. Jesus shows us the importance of people; little people, innocent people, victims are all important to God. Jesus picked up the little children and cradled them in His arms. The Pharisees called Him a friend of sinners. This was an accusatory phrase. According to the Pharisees the idea of prophet plus friend of sinners? made no sense.
Precisely my point. Our main interest is not land deals or political movements; our focus is people. End-time prophecy will be wrapped up when the Gospel has been preached and the fullness of the Gentiles has come in [Rom 11:25, Mt 24:14]. The land issues of the Middle East will be worked out by the Heavenly Father who has it in His authority (Acts 1:4-8). God doesn’t need Christian protestors and activists to help Him with the land distribution. Our job is to focus on the issue that Jesus specifically commissioned us to deal with, the people issue. This is the day of grace and people are more important than square inches of land, whether in Gaza, Lebanon or Israel. Not one of us is more concerned about the Middle East situation than Jesus. Not one of us loves Jews or Arabs more than Jesus does. And Jesus refused to get involved in the issue of the land. He had plenty of opportunities, among them being when the people tried to make Him king and when the disciples questioned Him before His ascension. Instead of micro-analyzing every political decision and arguing potential end-time prophecy significances in the current situation, why don’t we like Jesus get on with the task that we have been called to deal with giving the Gospel to every Jew and Arab in the world.
In March of 2005 our ministry started a new branch, Way of Peace. We currently work in ten cities across Israel, equally dividing our support between Jews and Arabs.
Our involvement in Israel is discriminating. We discriminate not between ethnicities, but on the basis of who works for the spreading of the Gospel and who doesn’t. We support only those who advance the Good News of what God has done for the world through Jesus Christ. There are many other causes, and we don’t criticize them. Our task however is to get the Gospel to as many people as we possibly can. That is true in our ministry around the world and it is true in Israel. If you want to know more about the “Way of Peace” outreach you can contact Racheal at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing thoughts: Jesus dealt with three groups of people: Jews, Samaritans and Romans. Today’s Middle East situation has Jews, Palestinians, and the rest of the world. Two thousand years ago each group tried in their own way to get Jesus to side with them politically. Jesus didn’t take the bait; He kept focusing on His task. He didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). Let me know what you think.
Keep blogging. Peter Youngren