THIS NATION NEEDS REPENTANCE FOR ANTISEMITISM
Today, many are bigoted. For some perverted reason or another, some have gotten bias against one nationality or another, or one race or another. Some show it mildly with joking abuse, some go much further and verbally attack, and some even physically do harm. Some whites are bigoted against blacks. Some blacks are bigoted against whites. Some are bigoted against the poor, against the rich, against one nationality or another. In this I will deal with the ones who are anti-semitic.
We need to repent of our bigotries. They hang on, and are difficult to change. Still, despite Jonah's prejudices, there was revival in Nineveh. The Holy Spirit was not bigoted, and He convicted the sinful people of Nineveh. They repented.
When God said He loves the world enough to send Jesus, and that ‘whosoever believeth on Him’ will not perish, He truly meant ‘whosoever’. Mankind may try to rule out certain peoples, but God is not confused with their misinterpretations of Scripture. God knows what He truly said, and He truly meant ‘whosoever’.
Jonah had a great revival. Can you imagine a revival with 120,000 converts. The whole town repented. One would expect Jonah to dance with joy. Yet, look at Jonah's reaction to this great revival:
"displeased Jonah... very angry... it is better for me to die. "
Jonah went up to the hillside outside of Nineveh and tried to persuade God to destroy Nineveh and its inhabitants anyhow. He sat under a gourd for shade. God prepared a worm to eat at the plant, and the gourd died. Jonah complained for his shade was now gone. This prophet attempted to scold God for sparing Nineveh, and not sparing the gourd. How foolish are many today who attempt to scold a loving, merciful God. How stubborn are our bigotries... how stupid is our refusal to yield to the infallible God. How can we think that God could ever be wrong, and need our correction?
God corrected this prophet, and questioned how he could have pity and mercy for a gourd, but not for 120,000 repentant sinners. This resurrected prophet, who was given another chance to fulfill God's commission, now wants to try to tell God how to do His job! We find prejudiced people today, some even in churches, who are trying to twist Scripture to indicate God has a bigotry against a certain people. Can you really even imagine God condemning a Jewish person today for the crucifying act of an ancestor millennia ago? If one of my ancestors were Jack the ripper, neither man’s law, nor God’s law would condemn me. Yet, we find many who justify their wanting to send all Jewish people to hell, for the mistreatment of Jesus millennia ago.
The tomb of the prophet Jonah is on the hillside above the ancient city of Nineveh. The city was destroyed some years later after the people had backslid and gone back into the sinful lifestyle they had before. But Jonah sat and died waiting for this judgment to come. He wanted to see the destruction so much, that he died waiting to see it. He could have gone down into the town and had one of the greatest "churches" of the period. Instead, the next generation, not the saved ones, went back into sin, and God did judge them for their sins.
With the king, and all the 120,000 people of the capital of Assyria wanting to serve God, Jonah could have then reached out in evangelism to the rest of the nation. How many more would have been saved? The prophet Jonah stopped the revival of God by his bigotry. How many revivals today are stopped by prophets who want judgment more than restoration??? How many Israelite people are not witnessed to, due to the prejudice against one’s of their race, that lived several thousand y years ago?
DIVINE GRACE IS GRACE FOR ALL
Many today would enjoy seeing judgment on one race, one nationality, one gender, one classification of sins. Some have been hurt by the spiritual abuse within the churches, or the persecution of the sinners, the failures of love from a minister, or the demonically inspired attacks by "tares" within the body of believers. God does not want us to sit and await their judgment. No, we are told to intercede for them. We are to pray they repent before judgment comes. Restoration is meant to be the goal, not judgment.
Divine grace is meant to be universal. God wants to save all of mankind. We need to have a higher patriotism. We need to love more than just the people like ourselves. Elijah ministered to the Sidonian woman. Elisha ministered to Namaan the Syrian. Zechariah called god the "Lord of Hosts" (means the Lord of everyone). Jonah finally took the message to the people of Nineveh. God never intended the Jews to hold the truth to themselves.
The church is not to simply put out a "welcome mat" and await a few wonderful people to find their way to the door. We are to go into "all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) The church has sometimes tried to do this. Many congregations are not trying anymore. Some preachers want to minister to family and friends. Some want to minister to some who dress appropriately. Dress codes, rules of conformity, and bigotry toward those who are different will destroy many a revival the Holy Spirit tries to start. Judgment awaits the ones who hinder or stop God's efforts of restoration. God wants us to reach out to all.
I remember my first year of Bible college. The college took the students to a city wherein there were many Jewish people, with whom we were to witness. I was a freshman, so I thought to watch some of the upper class men, and learn how to do this. In horror, I witnessed the scoldings, the belittings, the mocking, being given to these Jewish people for the rejection of Jesus. I wanted to give the good news, that the Messiah had come, and the Lamb of God had died for their sins. But, several upperclassmen, pulled me aside and told me to watch how they would do it. I watched for a few moments, and noticed there were no salvations, only anger and fear being generated by that so called ‘method’ of witnessing. I had to finally back away, not wanting to be part of attacks being wrongly called ‘evangelization.’
Prophecy is sometimes conditional. God sends some warnings of judgment to turn people from their sins, and when they do repent, He forgives and restores. There are many ‘if’s’ in prophetic words to peoples. Some take messages out of context, some ignore the ‘whosoever’, and ‘to all nations’, to end up with a gospel they will only share with ones like themselves.
The secret of effective preaching is first dying to self, and the shedding our own faults and failures. If we harbor a sin, as did Jonah, we will end up doing harm to the revival that God is trying to give. Jonah had one of the greatest revivals ever. Yet, he could have had an even greater one. The revival might have continued into the next generation, had Jonah not been bigoted. The captivity to Assyria, and later to Babylon would have been avoided, had Jonah taken the message of God to the world. Jonah was partially obedient to God, and took part of the message to the people of Nineveh. Many are partially obedient today, and expect God to see only the obedience. God sees all of our lives. He knows where we have changed, and where we are still harboring sin and bigotry.
GOD IS CURRENTLY0 TURNING HIS ATTENTION BACK TO THE JEWS
Daniel predicted 490 years of God dealing with the nation of Israel. A total of 483 of those years have passed. In the meantime God has dealt with the Gentiles. Seven of the years are left for God to deal with the Jews. We call this last seven years -‘Daniel's 70th week, the tribulation’. We are now in an overlap period. God is ending His dealings with the Gentiles, preparing to rapture His church. He is also beginning to deal again with the Jewish people.
"JERUSALEM SHALL BE TRODDEN DOWN OF THE GENTILES, UNTIL THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES BE FULFILLED."
Yes, the time of God working mainly with the Gentiles is being ‘fulfilled’. The time of Him, not dealing mainly with the Jewish nation, is almost over. In 1967, Jerusalem came under the control of the Israelites. This was God's way of announcing to the church that He would soon be dealing with the Jewish people again. The rapture of the church is imminent.
"THEN YE (Jews) SHALL BE HATED OF ALL NATIONS FOR MY NAME'S SAKE."
Most of the time in the U.N. is spent on resolutions condemning Israel. Terrorists can strike at Israel, but if Israel retaliates, the U.N. wants to condemn them. The Arab terrorists may blow up a plane of innocent people and go un-condemned. If Israel bombs a camp of terrorists who periodically attack Israel, then the U.N. condemns them. Antisemitism has been stated and restated so many times that even some Christians believe it. We need to become more vocal for Israel.
"AS CONCERNING THE GOSPEL, THEY ARE ENEMIES FOR YOUR SAKES, BUT AS TOUCHING THE ELECTION, THEY ARE BELOVED FOR THE FATHER'S SAKE."
There are presently 4 to 5 million Jews in Israel. In the world there are 14 million Jews. 6 million are in the United States. 3 million are in Russia. The rest are scattered amidst the world. For 2000 years the Jews have been scattered.
"BEHOLD, I WILL GATHER THEM OUT OF ALL COUNTRIES, WHITHER I HAVE DRIVEN THEM IN MINE ANGER, AND IN MY FURY."
"FOR I WILL TAKE YOU FROM AMONG THE HEATHEN AND GATHER YOU OUT OF ALL COUNTRIES, AND WILL BRING YOU INTO YOUR OWN LAND... YE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE, AND I SHALL BE YOUR GOD."
God has been re-gathering the Jewish people back to Israel since it became a nation again on May 14, 1948. The Bible predicted that when the nation of Israel was reborn, the generation then present would not have died till all things (rapture, tribulation, and second coming of Jesus) would be fulfilled.
"...THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED." (See also Luke 21:29-31)
"BEHOLD, I WILL BRING THEM (Jews) FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY (Russia)... HE THAT SCATTERED ISRAEL WILL GATHER HIM... FOR THE LORD HATH REDEEMED JACOB (Israel) AND RANSOMED HIM FROM THE HAND OF HIM THAT WAS STRONGER THAN HE."
The break up of the Soviet Union has allowed many Jews to finally be allowed to escape that area. Plane loads, and boat loads are still arriving in Israel. Following the rapture of the church, the devil will begin to cause greater persecution of the Jews left in this country. Unhindered by the Christians, the sinful Gentiles will cause many Jews in this country to flee back to their homeland. They will escape in the nick of time for God has a horrendous defeat planned for the post rapture United States. He will save the Jews that flee to their homeland.
The devil has a plan, still, to annihilate Israel from this world, for he knows God intends to bring them again to a choice of Jesus, and see if they will this time respond for Him. Many will.