Oct 21, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Romans 11:28,29)
A. “As concerning the GOSPEL they [the unbelieving Jews] are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the ELECTION they [those same unbelieving Jews] are beloved for the father’s sakes.” Romans 11:28
B. Israel, its history AND its politics are very complex! So don’t think for a moment that you can sit and watch one or two youtubes and then armchair judge and understand them, and decide their place in God’s plan through the ages! You don’t take the central-piece of the entire Bible and just shove it around in any way you feel to make it fit any theology you want!
C. There is a view – a very prevalent view by most people, both Christian AND Muslim, that says quite clearly, “the Jews are evil” – as if that is a revelation! They say that…
1. The Christian “Church” has replaced the nation of Israel in God’s plan
2. Israel is NOT Israel anymore
3. That the “lost” tribes of Israel migrated up and became WHITE CAUCASIANS and became England and America!
4. That anyone, or any nation that claims to be Jewish should be ignored, and “wiped off the map” – literally, because THEY killed Jesus!
a. That is why they have been brutally mis-treated throughout history like no other nation
b. That is why the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to the Jews being tortured, experimented on, slaughtered, and blamed throughout World War II
c. That is why most nations rejected fleeing Jews and forced them to live in ghettos, and ultimately in the desert wasteland of Palestine
5. That since the Jews do NOT believe the Bible and do not follow their own Messiah, they have no place in this world and are only cursed and not capable of being “God’s people” anymore
6. That all unsaved Jews are of Satan – and their Star of David is really a star of Satan
D. People regularly point to the sad fact that so many Christians throughout history have believed that the Jews as the root problem of the whole world – that they created all the financial problems, and control all the banks, and control all the corrupt governments, and have been behind all the world wide disasters!
1. A catholic church father named John Chrysostom held, as most Catholic Church Fathers did, that the sins of all Jews were “communal and endless”. To him his Jewish neighbours were the collective representation of all alleged crimes of all preexisting Jews. He went so far to say that because Jews had rejected the Christian God in human flesh, Jesus Christ, they therefore deserved to be killed whenever possible. That was the theology of the Catholic Church from the 5th century!
2. Martin Luther in the 16th century said that Christians should go and burn down every synagogue, and that the Jews should be completely deprived of their religion simply because of how their people had treated Jesus! WOW! Ol’ Martin forgot Jesus’ prayer in Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them (the Jews that had just crucified Him); for they know not what they do.”
3. St Augustine – “The Jews will forever bear the guilt for the death of Jesus”
4. And lately, it is becoming fashionable again today
5. The Bible clearly says the Jews DID kill Jesus – as if that was “hidden”
a. Mt 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
b. Luke 19:47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him
c. John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
d. 1Th 2:14,15 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.
E. Here is the Truth:
1. Israel… the Jews are NOT believers in Jesus Christ. If they were, they would be followers of Jesus, Christians!
2. But that does NOT mean they have been ejected from God’s special place and purpose that He has JUST FOR THEM – their election
3. Most people, even Christians have no idea what it means to say, Israel is God’s Chosen People
a. People think that means they are all already fine with God – saved, on their way to heaven! Which they are NOT
b. No. It just means that they, as a nation, are Chosen by God for a special purpose ABOVE all other peoples – like you might choose a tool to accomplish a job
c. And that THAT choice will not change. God’s calling does not switch to someone else
F. Did you know…
1. That according to Romans 1:16,17, the Gospel is supposed to go to reach the JEWS FIRST, and then the rest of the world? They have priority in getting the Gospel!
2. The Law, and the prophets, and the Messiah, and all the apostles are all from the nation of Israel?
3. That when God looks at this world, He see THREE groups – only three (1Cor 10:32) “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”
G. So, God is NOT all through with Israel
H. There are about 2 dozen big undeniable truths about Israel
I. I will only present FIVE of them this morning
J. Next Week we will learn what are OUR responsibilities Towards the Jewish People
III. Why Israel Matters
A. It is a tiny little country. With about 6.5 million Jewish people living in it, and another 8 million living abroad. Yet it matters to absolutely everybody in the world!
B. It matters to prophecy (Ezekiel 37:21-28)
1. Either what was predicted explicitly will come true or not
2. And if not, then the Bible is irrelevant
3. But if the nation of Israel is actually a living proof of prophesy being fulfilled, then the entire world should take notice
4. Note: Even when Israel was in dispersion, scattered from their land, and rejected by all the world, they were the focal point of prophecy – God promised that to regather them like they have been since 1917
C. Israel matters to God (Zecheriah 2:8) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
1. They are HIS people – not just some nomads in the desert
2. They are His responsibility
3. They are His testimony to the world of what HE is like – His handiwork
4. They are at the centre of all God’s plans
D. Israel matters to the world (Zechariah 12:2,3)
1. The nation of Israel gave to the world the Bible, the perfect moral and civil Law, the Messiah, and especially all the promises of God!
2. What happens in that tiny little nation in the centre of the Middle East affects the entire world!
E. It matters to the devil – He above everyone else hates the JEWISH people, more than he hates you and me!
F. It matters to the Christian
1. Because what happens to the Jews is always a shadow of what will happen to us
2. How God committed Himself to the Jews throughout history shows us how committed He will be to US as believers now – He is committed to us BECAUSE he has proven that he is committed to THEM!
3. The Christian learns EVERYTHING about the Christian life from the Old Testament Jew – failings and all! (1Cor 10:1-11)
G. If you refuse to learn from and respect and honour the Jews for WHAT they are and especially for WHO they are, you are doomed to repeat their errors!
IV. Background (Exodus 32:1-14) Why God CANNOT Cast Away His People
A. Aaron’s Golden Cow (32:1-6)
2. Demanded a god that everyone could follow
3. Very expensive idol
4. Blasphemy – saying a block of gold saved them from the grip of Egypt
5. Everyone was happy in their rebellion and sin
B. God Tests Moses (32:7-10)
1. Threatens to abandon the entire nation of Israel
2. Says they are NOT His people anymore
3. Said that only MOSES freed the people from slavery, not God Himself
4. Said all the people were corrupted – ruined
a. So quickly too – wasn’t just 9 weeks since they walked out of Egypt free
b. And went right back to making idols and loving them and believing in them!
5. Said all the people were hard hearted and unchangeable
6. That the entire nation needed to be destroyed
7. And that he should start over with Moses and his two children
C. Moses Reminds God (32:11-13)
1. Asks God, Why are you angry? You KNEW what we Jews were like already!
2. These people are THY people
3. It was YOU that freed all those people down there, and brought them here
4. You did it so powerfully – everyone in the world knows about what you have done
5. You need to take these people all the way like you promised!
6. If you don’t succeed, no one will ever trust you again
7. People will think that
a. You only toy with people that follow you
b. That you only bring people only so far and then destroy them
c. That you CAN’T keep your promises!
8. Change your mind – don’t do this!
9. You MUST NOT FAIL to bring these people to where you promised them
a. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
b. You SWORE to them
c. You promised to multiply them, not destroy them
d. You promised them the promised Land
e. You HAVE to keep your promises FOREVER!
D. God Backs Down (Exodus 32:14)
1. Not because Moses was a good arguer
2. But because God wanted Moses and all of US to realize what God’s commitment to Israel as a rebellious, unconverted nation looks like
V. Message – Five Undeniable Truths About Israel
A. #1 Israel is God’s People, above ALL Others
1. That means that God Is Committed To Israel Above All Other Nations
2. Always have been, and always will be
a. Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
b. Deut 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
3. YES! THAT IS FAVOURITISM – the Bible word is ELECTION. But it is NOT salvation
4. Israel is BELOVED Of God
a. Deut 7:7,8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers (ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB), hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
b. Jer 31:3,4 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (BACK TO ME). Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
5. Israel’s sins and even them rejecting their Messiah cannot change God’s love for them, and God’s purpose for them
a. Jer 51:5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
b. 2Sa 7:24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.
B. #2 God’s Covenant Relationship with Israel is Eternal (Genesis 17:1-7)
1. A covenant is a legal agreement between two parties that binds at the parties to the agreement
2. God made a commitment to Abraham and his descendants, the Jews that will last forever!
a. Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
b. Gen 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
c. Gen 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
d. Gen 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
e. Gen 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
f. Gen 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
g. Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
3. You find God’s eternal commitment in the Passover (Exodus 12:14,17,24)
a. Exo 12:14 And this day (PASSOVER) shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
b. Exo 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
c. Exo 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
4. And you find it in the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath (Exodus 31:17)
a. Exo 31:17 It (THE SABBATH) is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever (NOT FOR THE WHOLE WORLD): for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
C. #3 Israel Itself is Eternal (Jeremiah 31:35-37)
1. Take a Look at the Universe around you and all the Laws that govern it
a. The God who made the Sun and the Moon and the stars, and divided the seas with the continents
b. The God who ordered everything into motion and keeps things in motion
c. Jehovah is His name – the God of Creation
2. Try and STOP the Universe, or Understand the Universe
a. If THESE things stop working…
b. If we could measure out the size and depth of the universe…
c. If someone could open up and discover the depths of this world beneath our feet…
3. IF You could do the impossible
a. Then the seed of Israel will cease from being a nation before God
b. Then God will throw away the seed of Israel
c. That’s pretty clear if you ask me!
4. So, God Promise is secure…
a. That Israel is and always will be God’s People above all other people
b. That God cannot cast away His people Israel
1) He cannot throw them away even if He wanted to
2) EVEN though they may be wicked!
3) God does judge and chastise His people, but cannot cast them away and replace them.
c. God cannot LIE – doesn’t say one thing and mean another!
5. See it again in Isaiah 49:14-16
a. But Zion (ISRAEL) said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. (GOD’S RESPONSE) Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
6. Rom 11:2 says, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…”
D. #4 There are TWO Israels
1. Those who were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob physically, and who even obeyed the commandments externally like the Pharisees
2. And those that BELIEVED and lived by the commandments and covenants in their heart!
3. It has ALWAYS been that way
a. Deu 10:15,16 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
b. Rom 2:28,29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
4. There is:
a. A Physical, National Israel made up of Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
1) And BELIEVING Israel – Converted in their hearts by faith in the lamb of God
b. One external, and physically a Jew
1) And one internal, and spiritually a Jew
c. They BOTH are Jews, and both are in a covenant relationship with God
1) But only ONE is the kind of Jew that actually knows God and loves God
5. Physical Israel
a. Are a genetically different people group from the rest of the world – Jewish
b. They have sometimes lived in their own land, and most of the time been dispersed throughout the world in punishment for their wickedness
1) Remember, they began as a nation of slaves in Egypt with no land at all
2) They were brought into their land by Moses and Joshua
3) And the thrown out of their land by God through Nebuchadnezzar
4) At the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, 160 years later, a remnant of the Jewish people were gathered by God again in Jerusalem
5) Only to be scattered again in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed again
6) And just in May of 1948, the people of Israel became a nation again!
c. This is the history of physical, literal Jewish people
6. Spiritual, Believing Israel
a. There is a believing remnant within the nation of Israel - an Israel within Israel.
b. These are born again Jewish believers, who have repented and believed in their own Messiah, Jesus
c. They are the remnant Paul refers to in Romans 9-11 (which we will study more about tonight)
d. And WE believing Gentiles are made equal to the believing Jews by the very same blood of Jesus Christ that paid for ALL the sins of the whole world (See Ephesians 2:11-19)
1) Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
2) Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the (WHAT) commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the (WHAT) covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
3) Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (NEAR UNTO GOD) by the blood of Christ.
4) Eph 2:14 For he (JESUS) is our peace, who hath made BOTH one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
5) BETWEEN THE JEW AND THE GENTILE
6) Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (JEW AND GENTILE) one new man, so making peace;
7) Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both (JEW AND GENTILE) unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
8) Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you (GENTILES) which were afar off, and to them (THE JEWS) that were nigh.
9) Eph 2:18 For through him we both (JEW AND GENTILE) have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
10)Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye (GENTIELS) are no more strangers and foreigners (LIKE THE JEWS USED TO TREAT US), but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God
7. That is what a Bible believing Christian is – a believer in what a Jew is supposed to believe now that their Messiah has come! (Gal 3:26-29)
a. Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
b. Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
c. Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
d. Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
8. If you are born again this morning, you have been GRAFTED into Israel, born into Abraham’s family NOT by natural birth, but by faith in Abraham’s God, and in Abraham’s Saviour, Jesus the Messiah!
E. #5 Israel as a Nation Needs to be Saved (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; 10:13)
1. They as a nation are wicked (it’s like Sodom and Gomorrah over there), and basically have rejected their own Old Testament, and don’t even really try and worship the God of Abraham anymore – just live by Jewish traditions
2. And they will go to hell unless they repent of their sinfulness, and turn to the Messiah and accept His sacrifice in their place
a. It’s FUNNY that most Gentiles haven’t repented of THEIR sinfulness, and turned to the same Messiah and accepted His sacrifice in THEIR place!
3. Every physical Jew you could ever meet HAS to repent and believe the Gospel just like the rest of the World. Their RELIGION cannot and will not save them – only JESUS saves!
a. Just like every Irish man, woman and child, and every Nigerian, and every German, and every American, and every Spaniard, and every Italian, and so on HAS to repent and believe the Gospel. NO ONE’S RELIGION can save anyone – only JESUS saves!
4. The Gospel is for everyone – because ALL are lost
VI. Next Week we will learn What are OUR responsibilities Towards the Jewish People
A. Forget about the Jewish people for a moment
1. Jesus came to save them, but He came to save more than just them
2. But He came and was rejected by the Jewish people (John 1:10-12)
B. But to as many Jewish and gentile people as will just receive Him, believe on Him, trust in Him, and follow Him… to them gives he the power to become the SONS of God! The people of God!
C. You may think you are a pretty good person
D. Just like most every Jews believes too
E. But all are sinners, and all deserve a devil’s hell
F. So all need to be born again!