Many Christians who say they love Israel believe the Jewish nation has one more appointment with God’s wrath. That it will be the worst suffering she has ever known. Worse than 70 AD. Worse than the Inquisition. Even worse than the Holocaust. And it will come by means of the armies of anti-Christ in the last days.
This popular consensus is based on the belief that Jesus words in Matt. 24: 15-31, Mark 13:14-23 and Luke 21:20-24 are all speaking of the end times without reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. So when Luke says that “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, recognize her desolation is near” this is understood to be her coming fate in the Great Tribulation. What Jeremiah calls “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer. 30:5-7). And Daniel, “a time of distress” (Dan. 12:1) .The justification given for this devastating wrath is the necessity to purify Israel from her sin and bring her to salvation.
But is this true? Must this nation, this people, endure one more horrifying chastisement from God via the hands of a sworn enemy? Must she suffer one more humiliation and dismemberment for her sins? Or is this the time Isaiah spoke about for the Church to comfort the Jewish people, and speak kindly to Jerusalem? To tell her “that her iniquity has been removed; that she has received double for all her sins?” (Isaiah 40:1,2).
I am 100% convinced it is the message of hope that God wants spoken today. I believe the Holocaust was the last of her punishment. That the curses detailed in the Law of Moses (Deut. 27,28) that fell upon Israel for her Law-breaking are fulfilled. That her long night of suffering is over. That God has now brought her home to bless her, not bash her. Because this is God’s time to restore the kingdom to Israel. It is the set time to favor Zion!
So what about those passages that seem to tilt exclusively towards an end-time fulfillment? First, I believe Jesus dire warning pertained to both the 70 A.D. disaster and the end-times distress. Second, Israel will surely face Satan’s final attempt at a final solution, but as Jeremiah tells us, “he [Jacob] will be saved from it” (30:7). Daniel also tells us Michael will arise to protect Israel at that time, “and everyone who is found written in the book will be rescued” (Dan. 12:2). Surely we can see He is already on her side fighting for her?
Those who think otherwise are judging Israel through the lens of the Mosaic Law. They see her sins and her continued unbelief today and they say, “How can God bless her?” They forget that God has promised to have the same mercy on her as He did on us (Rom. 11:30-32). And that His covenant of promise spoken to Abraham is not based on ethical righteousness, but the righteousness of faith. And since that faith is always a gift it shall be given.
It’s the nations who will be judged this time, not Israel.