There is a dangerous trend in mainstream Christianity that we, as born-again believers, need to beware: Equating the current nation state of Israel with the favoured Israel of Bible prophecy. Remember that God blesses those who do his will and keep his Commands, and the nation state of Israel has recently declared, by census, that it is majority (65%) atheist. Despite this unapologetic acknowledgement by Israelis themselves that most of them don’t even believe God exists, many Christians continue to see Israel as “the holy land” occupied by “God’s chosen people” who not only deserve our obeisance as “elder brothers and sisters in the faith”, but also our financial and moral support.
“Gotta get that temple built, or Jesus won’t come back!”
The truth is that the spiritual lineage of God’s chosen people flows through Jesus. That means genuine Spirit-filled followers of Jesus are the spiritual descendants of the Old Testament children of Israel. Physical genetics has nothing to do with it. You can’t get into God’s Kingdom on Earth based on your genetics; you can only get in through spiritual rebirth. When Christians by-pass scripture and uphold people of a certain genetics or belief system as being favoured by God based solely on their genetics or belief system, they crucify Jesus all over again and nullify the Gospel.
Don’t do that.
The worst offenders are, not surprisingly, the pastors in the megabucks megachurches. Gathering donations for Israel is an ongoing pet project that always keeps the money flowing, as who wouldn’t want to be part of “a work in progress” that the nation-state of Israel allegedly is? Who wouldn’t want to contribute to the mass conversion of Israelis that is allegedly supposed to occur just before Jesus allegedly comes back and sets up his 1000-year worldly kingdom, headquartered in Jerusalem?
Never mind that Jesus himself has told us he’s coming back in glory (that is, in his glorified body) for the sole purpose of gathering the last of his faithful to take them home to Heaven. Never mind that scripture says “those who pierced him” will mourn as they realize who Jesus is and that it’s too late (at that point) for them to repent just like it was too late for Judas Iscariot. Never mind that Jesus stressed how his Kingdom is not of this world and was in fact established already during his ministry years nearly 2000 years ago. Never mind scripture or the words of Jesus: the megabuck megachurch pastors have the real insider scoop. They know better even than God.
That being said, it’s also important to remember that, while there’s still time, Israelis have the same opportunity to become born-again followers of Jesus as everyone else. Whatever favouritism God showed to them as a people ended with their wholesale rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, not to mention their general across-the-board rejection of God and his Commandments. However, God’s offer is the same to them as to everyone: If they, as individuals, repent and believe the Gospel, they will be brought back into right relationship with God.
But they’d better hurry. The way things are going, God’s mercy will be coming to an end soon, and that includes for those who were once (but are no longer) “the chosen”. Once God’s mercy ends, his judgement begins, and there will be no further conversions at that time or ever again.