2000-11-25 - God's Command to His Church
Messiah: His Final Call to Israel, Part 14
In the past 13 devotionals, we have covered a few luminous mountain peaks in Israel's history, along with prophecy about just how "real peace" will come to the war-torn Nation of Israel. This week I would like to open up a new segment of our "Final Call Series." These next few weeks we will look at God's Command to His Church to present the Gospel to Israel. For a few weeks, we will be presenting a number of passages of Scripture that hopefully will explain clearly what the role of the Church is in regard to giving the Gospel to Israel. At the very end of our devotional this week, I will list the Scriptures that in weeks to come will become our devotional subject material. Whenever anyone attempts to proclaim the Gospel in any way to the Jews, they often resent the thought, saying that they do not wish to be "missionized." Being missionized to the Jews, therefore, is synonymous with preaching the Gospel to them.
The principal reason which the Jews present in support of their contention is that they are not heathen. Moreover, they say that when the Gentiles were bowing down to sticks and stones in worship, their ancestors had the revelation of God and were custodians of the true worship and service of the Almighty. They therefore tell the missionaries that they had better convert their own people and teach them to practice the morals and ethics of Jesus, and let the Jews alone.
No right-thinking, unbiased person who knows the facts in the case would ever think or state that the Jews are an ignorant, heathen people. The Jewish race as an ethnic group stands, figuratively speaking, head and shoulders above all other peoples. This position is proved by the fact that the Jews have made a contribution to the civilization of the world far in excess of their numbers. All well informed people know that the Jews stand foremost in the ranks of the sciences, professions, educational world, philanthropy, and general culture.
Why then go to the expense and trouble of presenting the Gospel to a people, highly-educated and cultured, when they do not want it --AND -- even thrust it from them? Is it kind to disturb a people by telling them what they do not want to hear -- especially since they have been taught that Jesus was not their Messiah and that the New Testament is a collection of forged documents written, as is often asserted, to bolster up the false claims of Christianity.
Three courses of reasoning answer this question. In the first place, all Scriptures -- both the Old and the New Testaments--testify that man is in a lost spiritual condition. For a classic passage dealing with this subject, see Romans chapter 1 through chapter 3 verse 20. Romans Chapter 1 shows that all the Gentiles are lost; Romans Chapter 2 shows the lost condition of the Jews. Romans 3:1-20 summarizes the evidence which proves that both Jews and Gentiles are lost and alienated from God. The conscience of every man confirms the scriptural testimony that all are lost. In the second place, the Gospel message is the revelation of God's scheme of redemption which meets man's spiritual condition and prepares him spiritually for time and for eternity. In the third place, God commands His people who know Him through the Lord Jesus Christ to give the message of redemption to all men--especially to His ancient people Israel. Next week we will dig deeper into God's Command to His Church. "Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (I John 5:2-3). Until then Shalom Shalu Yerushalom (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem).
Isaiah 40:1-2 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she hath received of Jehovahs hand double for all her sins.
In His Service,