We have a way of thinking that I think is not biblically accurate. It is about biblical prophecy and it involves God and Israel and end time signs.
What this way of thinking says is that God still owes Israel a type of debt, and he must stand good on his covenant with Israel. He must protect her, and give her all the land that he promised to give her that she has never received. I covered this issue in an earlier article. God has given Israel all the land he promised her. He owes her nothing (Josh 21:43-45).
Is This the End Times? ” What Are the End Time Signs?
This is the question on a lot of people’s minds: “Is this the end times?” Most eyes turn toward Israel for signs of the answer. I’m not sure if it’s the end times or not, but I know they come closer every year.
The problem is that most people look at the newspaper headlines to decide if they think if this is the end times or not ” believing whatever their favorite end-time guru says are ‘the end time signs.’ God says don’t look to the newspaper, but to him and his word.
The History of Israel: Israel and God
Israel has been involved in signs in this world for many, many hundreds of years. And these signs had a lot to do with the land (the real estate on the Mediterranean) that Israel occupies. Much of the Old Testament was about this.
God always deals with Israel through covenant. This was a two-way covenant (or what we lawyers call a ‘bilateral covenant’). As long as Israel kept up her end of the covenant, God kept up his end. He told Israel they had to obey him and keep his law. Over countless times the Israelis refused, but God forgave them. He even instituted an animal sacrifice system to cover them when they didn’t obey.
But the fact is that Israel kept disobeying ” over and over and over again. Finally God allowed them to be conquered and sent into exile to Assyria and Babylon ” and later dominated by Greece and the Romans.
In the end, Israel crucified God’s only Son Jesus, and he washed his hands of them. We see several stories about this in the New Testament ” the parable of the Vineyard owner in Matthew 21, and the barren fig tree in Luke 21, and the wicked Pharisees of Matthew 23 to name a few.
The Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant
Hebrews shows us how the cross of Jesus abolished the Old Covenant, and how the New Covenant established in its place. God was so thorough in destroy the ways of the Old Covenant that he even allowed the Romans to destroy Jerusalem, and the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. Nothing was left. The Jews had fulfilled their purpose. They had brought the Messiah, whom we call Jesus Christ, into the world. Their mission was complete. The fact that Israel rejected the Messiah is not an issue.
Does This Mean Israel Is Rejected from the Covenant of God? No! Absolutely not! God never rejects anyone. He is always forgiving, loving and accepting. The fact that the Jews rejected him countless times over hundreds of years doesn’t matter to God. He would receive them to himself in a heartbeat, just like the parable of the prodigal son says.
But they must come to him on the basis of the NEW Covenant, and not their OLD Covenant. The Old has been abolished. Only the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus stands. God’s arms are still open to the Jews. But they must come to him like anyone else in the world: through the finished work of Jesus. God and the Jews are still an ‘item,’ but only as is God and any other people in the world.
Because most Jews disinherit God, he disinherits them. Paul said that his heart-cry to God was that his Jewish people might be saved (Rom 10:1). He said they had a zeal for God, but it wasn’t according to knowledge of God, and what he was doing in Jesus Christ (Rom 10:2). Still clinging to the Old Covenant ways, they became subject of the curse Paul talks about (Gal 3:10).
God and Israel: “Watch Israel for the End Times Signs”
This is the cry of the Christian church, and many secular people in the world. I don’t share this view. So many think that God made Israel to be an independent nation again in 1948, and he is again working through her. I think this work was all political ” the work of the U.S and the U.N.
I don’t believe God owes Israel one thing today. And I don’t believe God is using the history of Israel as an end time sign. God wanted to prosper the Jews and have them reveal him to the world more than anything (Deut 28:63-67). But they abandoned God countless times. God sought after them countless times, but they finally murdered his Son to get him off their back.
The Jews were stewards of a relationship with God that they chose not to be stewards of. We have the same choice today. Our New Covenant is the same as the Old in one way: it is still a bilateral covenant with God. But we no longer have to obey the law to be righteous with God (Deut 6:25). We just must believe his New Covenant gospel (Mk 1:15, Rom 5:17, John 6:29, Heb 4:2, etc.) This applies to Jews too.
Is This the End Times?
Maybe, but it doesn’t have anything to do with a piece of real estate on the Mediterranean called Israel. It has to do with us being in covenant with God on his terms. The Jews chose not to accept his terms. We have the same choice. The 12 spies voted to believe their eyes and senses more than they did God. The result was that they prevented ALL the people from entering the promised land.
Unbelief was a tragic choice for the Jews. It is also a tragic choice for us. God wants us looking to him, and not looking to Israel for the answers to our questions.