ISRAEL AND PROPHECY

A gracEmail subscriber asks if the return of Jews since 1948 to the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a sign of Jesus' soon return. * * * The Old Testament prophets repeatedly anticipate a time when God will gather Jews who have been scattered around the world back to their ancestral homeland (Isa.11:10-12; 52:1-10; Ezek. 36:22-24; 37:1-12; … [Read more...]

JUBILEE

A gracEmail subscriber who is reading through the Bible has come to Leviticus 25 and God's instructions for observing the Year of Jubilee. "Did Israel practice Jubilee?" he asks. "If so, for how long? I don't recall any mention of it in Judges, Samuel, Kings or Chronicles."   * * *As you know from your reading, Jubilee was part of a group of ecological instructions that God gave to … [Read more...]

ISRAEL’S PROMISES AND OUR CROPS

  A gracEmail subscriber writes: "God told the Jewish nation if they obeyed him, he would bless their fields and orchards. I believe as an individual Christian that I am a 'true Jew.' Does this mean that God will protect my garden and fruit trees from rabbits and deer if I do not put up a fence?" * * * We believers in Jesus from among the nations are spiritual descendants of Abraham, but we are … [Read more...]

2 CHRONICLES 7:14

A gracEmail subscriber asks whether God's conditional promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to forgive his people and to heal their land applies today to Christians living in the United States of America. *          *          *In this passage King Solomon has just dedicated the Temple and God appears to the king at night to assure him that he will hear prayers offered from this place (2 Chron. … [Read more...]

GENTILES

A gracEmail subscriber writes: "My husband and I were discussing that all persons are descendants of Adam and Eve. Since Isaac and Ishmael are the fathers of the Jews and the Arabs, we were curious as to what descendent of Adam and Eve was the father of the Gentiles?" * * * That would be Noah, who with his wife, their sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and the sons' three unnamed wives were the only … [Read more...]

THE TRUE ISRAEL

 A gracEmail subscriber asks whether "true Israel" today consists of both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews from all nations) who are part of Christ's kingdom and his spiritual body. *          *           * On this subject the Bible presents a variegated picture and we must include the complexity if we accurately describe that biblical picture. There is a larger sense in which Abraham is "father" of … [Read more...]

JEWS STILL ‘CHOSEN PEOPLE’

A gracEmail reader in Eastern Europe asks, "Are the Jews still God's 'chosen people?' Why they did not receive the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ?" *          *          * The Apostle Paul struggles with the heart-wrenching situation of Israel's present rejection of Jesus in Romans chapters 9-11. Along the way, he notes three important points. First, not every descendant of … [Read more...]

WHY MUSLIMS HATE THE WEST (2)

"So what if Muslims hate my country?" I ask myself. Should we do anything differently for that reason? As one Christian citizen of the U.S., desiring to think with "the mind of Christ" but not presumptuous enough to suppose that I always do, I raise some questions for further thought. For example, do we too easily go along with the immorality that characterizes contemporary American culture? Must … [Read more...]

WHY MUSLIMS HATE THE WEST (1)

It is astounding to realize that millions of Middle-Eastern Muslims hate the West (and the USA in particular). I am not talking about the terrorists -- barbarian savages who launch suicidal attacks on innocent men, women and children. I am speaking of day laborers and artisans, mothers and school-children, regular people sometimes referred to as "the Arab street." Political correctness says they … [Read more...]

MIDDLE EAST PERSPECTIVE

A gracEmail subscriber asks: "What is your biblical perspective on the Middle East situation -- the tension between Israel and the Palestinians, the militant Muslims?" *          *         * In general, I have the same biblical perspective regarding the Middle East that I have about any other part of the world. I do not believe that the modern political state of Israel has any special standing … [Read more...]