Great observation by Terry in his Nearing Midnight Column this week. I have been (and will be) posting a lot of articles about Israel recently and there is a reason.
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
Israel is the Fig Tree. It is the sign Christ told us to look for. As soon as we see events occur surrounding Israel we will know the season, the quarter or the month that we are in. We will not (can not) know the day or the hour but we will know the season according to Jesus Himself. We are to be watching. The world is oblivious as well as most of those around us. It is not because they could not know, but I think at this point, it is mostly because they do not want to know and that makes my heart heavy. We are to busy chasing after the things of this world, to worry about the next.
Prophetic beliefs are not tied to salvation. It is separate and a gift from God. So I am sure many that are asleep may be saved but what a disservice it does to Christ Church, His bride, to not be awake and eagerly anticipating His return for us. We are all, myself included, way to attached to this world. We need to live in this world but not be of this world.
Israel should be a sign for us to wake up and look up as our redemption draws nigh…
Maranatha, Lord come quickly!
Jan 21, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is, amazingly, being viewed as a moderate in the politically right-oriented Likud party these days. This fact shouldn’t go without considerable notice by those who look at Bible prophecy from the futurist viewpoint. Eschatologically speaking, this otherwise strange development as of late makes sense. Here’s what I mean.
Israel must somehow–for now–be kept in the world diplomatic loop. The Jewish state cannot afford to be totally marginalized to the point the nation has no one with whom to negotiate, or at least to talk with on the negotiating front. At the same time, elements within the present make-up of the Knesset and the government as a whole have reached the point they, in order to show resolve, have to adhere to a hard-line approach to Israel’s enemies, who pressure them to give in at every point of the international community’s demands. This resolve translates into intransigence in the thinking of most Israel-hating diplomats of the U.N.–i.e, Israel’s resolve is propagandized by diplomats and the world’s mainstream journalists as deliberately disruptive stubbornness in doing harm to the peace process.
Netanyahu currently wears his moderate, right-winger, actor’s mask effectively. This is to keep the channels open in dealing with the world’s anti-Semite predators, most of whom want Israel gone from the land of which they are occupiers in the majority opinion of today’s U.N. constituency. The Israeli prime minister, as I have written on many occasions, has, I believe, learned to play the game made famous by Yasser Arafat during the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist-in-chief’s brutal reign.
The PLO tyrant became a master of playing to the microphones and cameras of the world news outlets, always offering to sit down and negotiate with Israeli leadership. But, when it came down to actually doing so, he always found a way to push away from the negotiating table. The journalists somehow always saw and reported it as the Israeli negotiators being at fault for the burnoose-wearing Arafat’s last minute withdrawals from talks.
Benjamin Netanyahu has recently said all the right things about wanting to negotiate. He talked–and still does—about the possibility of stopping the building of the new developments in Judea and Samaria. But, he never seems to get around to the actual negotiating table. Thus, he has managed to take on the appearance of a moderate among an increasingly hard-line Knesset. He keeps the lines of communication open for all the world to see in this way, assuring all the while that there is less and less chance his government will ever agree to giving in to dividing Jerusalem in the way Israel’s would-be destroyers desire. The idea is to play for time–never getting to the final “no” to the nations of the world’s demand that Israel give up part of its capital city to those enemies blood-vowed to wipe all Jews off the map.
One Israeli pundit wrote about the hard-right shift that has taken place just recently. The ideological reason for the shift is quite interesting.
This is a different Israeli right, almost certainly helming and setting the tone for our different Israel. This is an Israeli right whose soaring political force is Naftali Bennett, an ex-IDF commando, former head of the Council of Settlements and previous top aide to Netanyahu, who brushes aside the notion of a Palestinian state anywhere in the biblical Land of Israel. It’s just not going to happen, he declares, with a confidence born of his party’s [The Jewish Home (Habayit)] Hayehudi dizzying rise, from three seats in the last parliament to what the polls indicate will be well over a dozen this time. (David Horowitz, “A Different Israel after January 22,” Times of Israel, 1/15/2013)
The ideological shift is theological, actually. The new Israel sports the face represented in the kippa-wearing Bennett, who champions religious Zionism. The right of the nation of Israel to Jerusalem is God-given, and nothing will change in his and his like-minded compatriots’ passion for the Jewish state. U.S. President Barack Obama said repeatedly recently that Israel does not know what its own best interests are, according to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in Bloomberg View. Goldberg wrote that when he was told about the Israeli decision to approve construction plans in Jerusalem’s E1 area, “Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, didn’t even bother getting angry… He told several people that this sort of behavior on Netanyahu’s part is what he has come to expect, and he suggested that he has become inured to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart.”
Goldberg wrote further, “With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.” There is increasing concern among Israel watchers that the Obama administration privately more and more veers from its public position of support for Israel’s right to decide whether to continue construction in this, the most potentially volatile city on the planet. How long Netanyahu can keep up the pretense that he yet holds open the possibility of negotiations regarding the status of the settlements of Jerusalem is the question of greatest interest.
The Israeli prime minister is known to be holding private prayer sessions and Scripture readings these days. Something has definitely changed, and the change almost certainly portends increasing isolation for the tiny Jewish nation. Israel is rapidly positioning itself to become the burdensome stone and cup of trembling Zechariah the prophet foretold Israel and Jerusalem will become at the very end of the age. This generation is indeed nearing the midnight hour on God’s prophetic timeline.
The Rapture of the church has never seemed more imminent!
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In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.