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     Have you ever wondered why Israel is in the news so frequently?  I mean this is a country that could completely fit into Lake Michigan.  It seems isolated because it is surrounded by its enemies, and yet the whole world has strong opinions about Israel, its right to the Land, and its future.  As a small nation, it has prospered and converted the area from a wasteland to a producer of so many resources.  It is the envy of many nations for its wealth, and technology.  How did this happen in 72 years?

   We know from the Bible that Israel is God’s chosen people.  The Old Testament gives a detailed history of the Jewish people and their relationship with God.  It contains the covenant (testament) God made with Abraham that the Land of Israel would always be for the Jewish people.  Also, the covenant He made with King David that his reign over Israel would be “everlasting.”  God gave them commandments and laws to follow on Mt. Sinai.  Time after time, they would rebel against God and He would discipline them.  Because of prophecies in the Old Testament (books of Daniel and Ezekiel), many scholars say that Israel is “God’s Timepiece.” 

      Daniel was told that from the time a command was given to “rebuild the walls of Jerusalem” until the “Anointed One” (Messiah) would be killed, would be 483 years (or 69 x 7).  It happened exactly that way.  But, Daniel was told there would be another set of seven (seven years) that would be the 70th week.  During that last week, another ruler (the Prince anti-Christ) would make a 7-year treaty with Israel.  He would allow them to build the third temple, and they would accept him as their “Messiah,” but at the mid-point (3½ years), He would set himself up in the Temple as “god” and force everyone to worship him.  Then, they will realize he is a false-messiah and they will repent and acknowledge Christ as their true Messiah.  This 70th week is also referred to as “The Great Tribulation” or “Jacob’s trouble.”

    Jeremiah 30:7: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it”.

This seven-year period was also mentioned by Jesus in:

   Matthew 24:21: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. 

   The major purpose of these seven years is to bring Israel to repentance, accepting their true Messiah.

    God told Ezekiel that He would gather His people and bring them back into their own land.   Ezekiel 37:21: “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, wherever they are, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land”: 

    Isaiah was told in Isaiah 66:8: “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children”.

    From 70 A.D. until May 14, 1948, Israel was NOT a nation—her people were scattered all over the world.  Then on that day, they were recognized as a nation by the “League of Nations” and by the U. S.  In one day, they became a nation and the Jewish people have been returning to Israel for the last 72 years.  Returning to their homeland is referred to by them as “Aliyah” and over 8 million have returned.  I just read the other day that their government is concerned there won’t be enough room for everyone returning.  It is being intensified by the pandemic, and the rising anti-Semitism throughout the world.

    Now, let me say something else about where Israel is standing today.  Their government is different than ours in that they have multiple “political parties”.  When they have an election, they are not voting for a president but a “party”. 

    Whichever party receives the most votes is allowed to “form a government” by combining various “party’s” until they have a majority or “quorum” of all party’s combined (in agreement on the same “agenda/platform”).  This system has worked fine until the last election, and for the first time in Israel’s history, there wasn’t a clear winner.  Two parties were “tied” ~ so they had a second and third election, but with the same result.  They are now talking about a “4th election”.  The “leaders” of the two parties (Netanyahu and Gantz) are taking turns being “prime-minister”.  This is totally unprecedented, and the Israeli people are pleading for a “Leader” and praying that their “messiah” will appear!  Having never accepted Jesus as their Messiah, they are ready to accept a “false messiah” or the “anti-christ”.

    We mentioned earlier that this “anti-christ” will “set himself up in the temple as god” – so there has to be a “temple”.  It so happens that within Israel there is an “organization” called the “Temple Institute”.  They have been working for several years to prepare for the 3rd Temple to be built.  They have all the materials collected to build it, and claim it could be built in 90 days.  They have used DNA to identify true Levi’s (Aaron’s tribe), to be trained as “Temple priests” and offer sacrifices.  They have made all the golden accessories for the Temple, and are working on breeding perfect “red heifers” for the sacrifices.  They have reestablished the “Sanhedrin (a 70-member body of priests) to be their “spiritual judiciary”.

    One other development I’d like to mention, is the prophecy in Ezekiel concerning a “War” that has not yet taken place.  Using ancient names of the “nations” (i.e. Magog, Persia, Togarmiah, etc.), which would today be Russia, Iran, and Turkey (among others); it tells of how these countries will “swoop down from the north”, to attack Israel ~ but God himself will destroy them to show to all nations that He Is God!  If you’re not aware, today these countries all have troops in Syria, just north of Israel.  They all have failing economies and internal problems.  They envy Israel’s prosperity and resources.

    Do you see a “trend” here?  Oh, and by the way, there is this “Israel-Palestine Peace Deal” (created by Donald Trump and Jared Kushner), that is expected to be signed and implemented shortly after the U. S. election on Nov. 3rd.  The President has not only recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, but the “peace deal” will give them sovereignty over the “west bank”.  It does include provisions that God (in His Word) takes exception to (such as dividing Jerusalem), and allowing all “faiths” to “worship” on the Temple Mount.  During the “Great Tribulation”, there will be “One World Leader, One World Government (Order), and a One World Religion”!

    By reading the Bible and today’s headlines, you can see that the “stage is set”, all the actors are in place and the “curtain” is about to go up!  Speaking of “going up”, God will take His Church (all believers) up and out of this world before He pours out His Righteous Anger on this sinful, violent, immoral, hateful, decadent world!  Pray, and witness to those who haven’t accepted Jesus, so they won’t be “left behind” for that terrible period, and possibly be eternally lost.

   Luke 21:28 “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!

Posted by Dan Hubbell with
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Unlike the usual election year, this year’s headlines have not been plagued by every political nuance available and instead has been full of mostly COVID-19 themed titles—until recently. However; that does not change that it is still an election year, and one way or another there will be a vote for the who will serve as President of the United States for the next four years. It seems as though this year seems to be more polarizing than most, maybe that’s because it’s hard to remember the climate of elections 4, 8, 12 years ago—or perhaps it’s because as a culture we have inflated this decision to hinge all matters of life and death on who will be at the helm of the country. If you read through social media posts, comments, read headlines, etc…you’ll know that based on viral speak, who you intend to vote for determines your intelligence, ethics, and morality and sends it all to its most extreme. If you vote one way, you hate this, another way, you have no respect for that, and so on. All of that being fueled by the concern that the next president sets the fate of our nation. Christian, I am here to remind you, that our hope—nor anyone’s hope-- does not lie in our country’s leader.

Quick disclaimer: yes, voting is important. Yes, Christians should educate themselves on political issues. Yes, Christians should be involved in politics. Yes, we should vote for the party that most aligns with our values and biblical worldview. But we do all of this as merely ambassadors who are trying to serve our temporary residence well.

With that being said, here are things we may need to remind ourselves in this season:

  1. People should know more about your view of Jesus Christ, than your political views.
    1. This point was pulled from a recent series we did with our students on Wednesday night. It is a great reminder that we have to be on guard about what we say, how we say it, and what we post. Out of the overflow of our heart the mouth speaks (or fingers type). We communicate what we care about. Our conversations and social media profiles can be a clear heart check about what is important to us. What do people need more, a cutting remark about how you think their view on something is stupid, or a message about where your eternal hope comes from?
  2. Do not let your political mission forsake your Christian mission.
    1. How you vote and what you vote for is important. Campaigning and trying to help people see the other side of an issue is important. Alienating someone from ever speaking to you because of these issues, is counterproductive to the Great Commission. If Paul can be all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel, we as Christians can bite our tongue for the sake of maintaining a conversation that could lead to the Gospel.
  3. Be more concerned about how God will judge your neighbor, than your nation.
    1. Whether or not our side wins in an election has little to do with how God will judge our nation. Our nation is judged by the hearts and actions of the people that make up that nation. And all of our hearts have been plagued with sin. If we want to see change in our country, it does not come from elected leaders, it comes from caring Christians.

We are not voting for hope this year. The only people who should vote in fear of the unknown are those who don’t know Christ. For believers, our hope is secure, our ultimate future is known, and our life is eternal. Therefore, use this season to share your peace and hope with others.

Posted by Alec Erhart with

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