Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Church’s Prophetic Future

I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that the Church is now facing the greatest challenge in its entire history. That challenge is nothing less than to understand how vitally integral Israel is to the prophetic future, and how to actively align ourselves with God’s calendar and what He is purposing to do in the very near future. The immediate prophetic future particularly and inevitably, vitally involves Israel and the Church.

Bible prophecies that previously always seemed to belong to  the dim and distant future, are now happening on the world stage before our eyes.  Radical Islam is fervently and defiantly preparing to ignite the war that will bring back the Mahdi and plunge the whole world into a Muslim ruled generation.

Israel is currently living under a very real, often repeated threat of total annihilation, by a nation and alliance that is frantically gaining sufficient missiles and warheads to achieve its threatened purpose. Israel is under the worst threat of its entire existence. In the natural if God does not directly intervene, Israel faces the possibility of total eradication. 

Psalms 83:4"Come," they say, "let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence." NLT

In the past several months, numerous leading Islamic voices have made public mention of their confident belief that a new caliphate will soon arise, with Jerusalem as its capital city. This confident statement is at the heart of all the current uprisings and protests in the Middle East. If I might be bold to declare what is inherent in this statement, I might interpret it thus:  “Israel is about to be eliminated and wiped off the map and disappear from even our memories.”  This is what Islam is aspiring towards and what they believe will happen in the foreseeable near future.  This is an extremely provocative and dramatic statement and it will require an extremely deliberate and confident response.  Let me ask you a very confrontational question. What would be your response if the international headlines tomorrow morning announced, “Israel has been completely destroyed and wiped off the map.”  If all this seems to be overly dramatic, let me assure you that the opposite is true. I cannot even begin to describe how serious and awesome is the present situation and its possible repercussions that will affect the whole world. I truly believe that it is not possible to over dramatize what is about to happen. It will be apocalyptic.

Since the Churches around the world generally appear to show little active interest in Israel’s present predicament, where does our own church and you personally stand on this important matter?

Should we ignore the situation and hope it will go away?
Should we believe that it does not directly affect us and therefore do nothing?
Should we not inform our churches that this threat is against all “infidels” i.e. all Jews, Christians and Christianity, planning to ultimately annihilate them all?
It is an extremely serious and imminent matter that demands our immediate interest and attention. It could happen in the very near future  (Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12).
What should be our solemn wholehearted response to this volatile threat?
Can we imagine that a situation of this magnitude, that will not only affect Israel, but also have dramatic  implications  for the whole world, would have no mention in the Bible? What does the Bible predict about the future of Israel and the Church  in the immediate and ultimate future? How should we alert our churches to the serious challenge that currently faces Israel, the Church, and the whole free world?

 Will We Be Silent And Unresponsive?
Esther 4:14
14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  NKJV

Israel is in a similar position now to what prevailed in the days of Haman who threatened to eliminate the entire Jewish population of the then known world. It is also like the situation that prevailed in the late 1930’s  when  Hitler conceived his diabolical  plan to eradicate the Jews. At that traumatic time the Church was virtually and treacherously silent. The challenge to stand with Israel now faces us as it did Ruth. What is our response to that challenge?  To take no action will ultimately be inexcusable.

Whose Side Are We On?

Exodus 32:25-26
26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the LORD's side — come to me!" And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. NKJV

The Bible clearly declares that God’s love for Israel is everlasting - without end (Isaiah 54:8,  Jeremiah 31:3).  God is definitely on Israel’s side.  The nations that presently threaten Israel with annihilation have within them the spirit of the anti Christ. The predicted confrontation between God and the anti Christ, is already engaged. 

Matthew 12:30 Anyone who isn't helping me opposes me and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me.  NLT

Matthew 25:45
45 And He will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'   NLT

His statement of Jesus obviously referred to His Jewish brethren. Those who make a positive stand with Israel are on the Lord’s side. Those who are not definitely with Him are evidently against Him. The lines are clearly drawn. There is no neutral ground. The predicted time is arriving right now.  We should therefore affirm our support for the prophetic purposes of God as they relate to the future of Israel and Jerusalem and indeed the Church.  We should actively believe that God will protect Jerusalem and deliver His ancient covenant people, purposing to bless them in the Kingdom that God will ultimately establish on this planet, over which the Messiah will be sovereign King. We must earnestly and fervently seek God as to what He expects and requires of us at this ultra critical time. To fail to do this is to forfeit God’s intended purpose for us.
If it was possible for Iran to achieve her evil ambition to totally eradicate Israel, what would the world look like without Israel? What would be the value of divine promises to Israel  in the Bible? In a spiritual sense Israel is the most important nation in the world and Jerusalem is the most important city.  Israel is the people and nation that God personally brought into being. It is the nation among whom the Messiah will eventually live.  In God’s eyes Israel is placed at the centre of the world (Ezekiel 5:5). Jerusalem is the only city on earth that God has called “His city.”  The importance of Jerusalem to God is clearly seen in that it is mentioned more than 1,027 times in the NLT Bible.

This great battle which is currently taking place in the heavenlies, will soon be fully enacted on the earth. The attack that is launched on Israel will have serious adverse repercussions universally. No nation or individual will be exempt from the aftermath.  The future fate of even the most powerful nations on earth will be ultimately determined by the position they take concerning Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). The Messiah will no longer be “Gentle Jesus meek and mild.” He will suddenly appear as the triumphant Lion of Judah. Now is the crucial moment to take a stand on the side of God, Israel and righteousness. The prophetic future is invading this present hour. The outcome of this imminent hour will have eternal effects. The decision that this current situation demands is the most important matter that all Christians currently face. Nothing on our current Christian agenda is more important than our attitude and actions regarding the tremendous threats that Israel currently faces.   The challenge to stand with and pray passionately for Israel, has never been greater than at this present moment. The battle lines are currently drawn between Yaweh and the satanic anti-Christ. There is no middle neutral ground. If we are not openly, fervently and practically standing with Israel and the Holy One of Israel, then we are standing in opposition to God Himself (Matthew 12:30).   Today is our day of challenge and opportunity

Gerald Rowlands