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Land Over Jesus and the Gospel

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So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass (Joshua 21:43–45).

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) met at the Hilton Washington on July 19 to show their support for Israel. David Brog, author of Standing with Israel, was hired by John Hagee, pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, to help with the gathering that brought out a host of political notables. Hagee believes that the land promises made thousands of years ago to Israel have not been fulfilled. In addition, millions of Christians believe that the future of Israel is the key to certain prophetic events that will mean, to use the description of Charles Ryrie, “Israel’s greatest bloodbath.”[1] Support for Israel is a legitimate concern, but it is not based on some unfulfilled set of prophecies, especially as they relate to the land of Israel.

Those in attendance are more concerned about the land of Israel than the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ. “All activities of CUFI are strictly non-conversionary,” Mr. Brog said. “Christians who work with Jews in supporting Israel realize how sensitive we are in talking about conversion and talking about Jesus. So those who work with us tend not to talk about Jesus more, but talk about Jesus less. They realize it will interfere with what they are trying to do—building a bridge to the Jewish community to insure the survival of Judeo-Christian civilization.”

The one thing that will bring peace in the Middle East, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is the one thing that is downplayed. How sad. The only concern of these end-time advocates is Israel and their land. They need to hear Jesus’ words: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56). Abraham was looking to Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises made to him not some piece of real estate in the distant future. We know this is true beyond Jesus’ words by the words of the disciples who did not minimize the gospel to build a bridge to the Jewish community. The gospel is the bridge:

And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to us their children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm, “Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee.” And as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken this way: “I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David” (Acts 13:32–34).

Which is “good news,” the temporal land of Israel or the eternal life offered in the gospel? Hagee and his end-time associates have it wrong, dangerously wrong.

[1] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Living End (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1976), 81. “A Bloodbath for Israel” is the title of chapter 8. This book was revised and given the new title The Best is Yet to Come, but apparently not for millions of Jews living in Israel (90).

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