COMMENTARY: Is Christian Love for Israel a Passing Fad?
Is this inter-religious romance doomed to be another Romeo and Juliet? Or will it have a happy ending?
Many Christian Zionists, when pressed, can’t really explain how they fell in love with Israel. Or why. Over and over you hear them say – “It just happened to me.” One minute they were totally ignorant and uncaring about the Jews and Israel, and the next they were passionate Zionists. Writing letters to newspapers to protest slanderous columns written against Israel. Volunteering to help scrub anti-Semitic graffiti off a local synagogue wall. Attending every pro-Israel rally within driving distance. And trying to figure how they can scrape up enough money to visit Israel.
Often they discover to their dismay they are the only one in their church who cares about Israel. And when they try to explain why Israel matters to fellow congregants they get that same blank stare they got when they told their non-Christian friends they just got saved.
Clearly this awakening of love has a divine origin. Who can explain it? But how will this historic courtship end? Is this love affair as doomed as Romeo and Juliet? Or as short-lived as a Hollywood romance?
One could hardly blame the Jews for not thinking so based on the most popular Christian end-time teaching called the Rapture. How many times have we publicly repented of our silence during the Holocaust? And sworn never to abandon Israel or the Jews again? Yet many Christian Zionists hold to this teaching that promises to fly them off to heaven at the first sign of trouble. Just when Israel needs us the most.
I don’t want to speculate here about how God’s salvation plan will unfold, or when. But if we truly believe Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, and not just the church’s Christ, then his rescue plan must include “all Israel.” Both Jewish and non-Jewish elect. Which means His last-days salvation plan will somehow bring us alongside Jewish Israel to stand with her. And not leave her in the lurch.
Jesus, Jeremiah and Daniel all described the Great Tribulation as a time of unparalleled anguish that will overpower the whole earth with evil, including Israel. Jeremiah declared, “It is the time of Jacob’s distress!” But then quickly added, “But he will be saved from it!” (Jer. 30:7)
And Daniel told us that that when this “time of distress” occurs Michael will arise to protect the nation and “everyone who is found written in the book shall be rescued.” (Dan. 12:1)
I ask you, we who have come forth from the nations through faith in the Jewish Messiah – are not our names also written in that book ? Is not the title of the book revealed at the end of the Bible to be – “The Lamb’s Book of Life?” (Rev. 21:27)
So I would say this courtship between Jewish Israel and the followers of Yeshua now awakening to the Hebraic roots of our faith will blossom into a full-blown, God-blessed family reunion. And we will all live happily ever after. To which I raise high my glass of Manischewitz, and toast, “L’chaim!” And forward Moses and Paul’s heartfelt wedding congratulations – “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” (Rom. 15:10).