Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Part 3
Christians should have a heart for Israel because God’s Word promises Israel’s certain future Salvation by Rev. Jerry Marcellino with Yochanan Ben Yehuda
The Word of God explicitly states that during the age of the new covenant the nation of Israel is going to experience the power of the gospel through the regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit. However, this coming spiritual restoration of Israel is not a restoration of Judaism – it is not a restoration of the temple, or the priesthood, or the sacrificial system, which have all been done away with in Christ (Col 2:16-17; Heb 8:13; 10:10-14). Hear the prophetic words of Jeremiah (31:31-34):
Behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, 'declares the LORD,' for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.
Jeremiah tells us that this amazing period of the new covenant (inaugurated by our Lord at the Last Supper — 1 Cor 11:25) includes a time when the vast majority of the Jews alive in the world and especially those in the land of Israel will be saved (Rom 11:25-27). We must understand that this special time is quite different from today and times past, when the Jews of the Diaspora were and continue to be saved individually and gradually. (The Diaspora is the scattering of the Jewish people to the nations after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.) This individual and gradual salvation of the Jews has always happened, especially since Pentecost, and will continue to happen until the end of history as we know it.
However, at this future peculiar and blessed time, national Israel will experience salvation— the actual nation of Israel, not just simply Jews individually scattered everywhere (the Diaspora). Just as Israel's rejection of Christ does not imply that every individual Jew has rejected Christ, so Israel's salvation does not imply that every Jew will be saved. Rather, such a large majority of Jews will believe in Yeshua (Jesus) that it will be as if the whole nation has been saved. This is possibly why God has caused, especially in this generation, Jews from around the world to begin to return to their ancient homeland, the modern state of Israel (Zech 10:9). After nineteen hundred years, the return of the Jews to Israel began as a slow trickle at the end of the Nineteenth Century, increasing dramatically when they became a nation in 1948, and moving up to the present-day where Israel is literally exploding with vast numbers of Jews returning to the land of their heritage.
Beloved, God is now positioning the Jewish people in the land for a future great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His Covenant People of old (Rom 11:1)! This is exactly what Paul was driving at in Romans 9-11. In these chapters the apostle Paul explains why the Jews who are scattered, and why Israel as a nation, are both currently hardened (Rom 11:25). We learn that not all physical Jews are considered by God to be Israel (Rom 9:6-8). We are to long for the salvation of true Israel (Rom 10:1) because God has neither totally nor finally rejected His chosen people (Rom 11:1). Presently, as the fullness of the Gentiles is coming in (Rom 11:25b), we understand that God has been primarily saving Gentiles to make Israel jealous for their salvation (Rom 11:11b). Isn't it amazing how God works!
Think of it! He uses Israel's unbelief to bring the reconciliation of the world, then in turn, uses the Gentiles' belief to fuel Israel with jealousy for the salvation once offered to them by the Messiah! This should cause us to say with Paul in Rom 11:33:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Yes, dear friend, this glorious future salvation of Israel will certainly come as Romans 11:24 tells us:
For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
Paul restates, in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, the guarantee of this powerful saving work:
But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the Old Covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Let us pray that this veil may soon be taken away, and that all Israel will be saved! (Rom. 11:26).
Oh yes, there is coming a great restoration of Israel! When it happens (Rom 11:12,15,24-29), Jerusalem will be made the praise of all of the Earth (Isa 62:6-7), and the world will be drawn to the light (Zech 8:23) coming out of Israel (Isa 49:6). Nations will be gripped by the Gospel message being proclaimed by multitudes of Jewish believers from Jerusalem and all Israel (Rom 11:12,15) who have become part of the body of Messiah (Christ's Church)(Eph 2:11-18)! This is the time that Zechariah (12:10-14) spoke about:
I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.
This looking upon "Me" whom they had pierced is a result of an out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, which produces an individual brokenness over one's sins ("itself...themselves"). This is the repentance that leads to life (Acts 11:18)!
Jonathan Edwards (theologian and preacher whom God used to bring about the Great Awakening in 18th century New England) was right on track when he said, "Nothing is more certainly foretold than this national conversion [i.e. salvation] of the Jews in Romans 11."
My friend, do you have a heart for Israel?