by Brian Hennessey, Reunion Ministries
Consider this a heads up. I believe the church is about to be given a final exam as far as the Jews are concerned. As you know, we have not done very well on this subject in previous tests. When asked if we loved and respected the Jewish people before, a people who we’d been taught were “beloved by God for the sake of the fathers,” we answered with Replacement Theology, the crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, expulsions, and a turning away during the Holocaust. And although a number of our coreligionists rose to the occasion during those trying times and shone brightly, as a group we failed miserably.
But for those who have since learned from the mistakes of prior generations and repented of our former anti-Semitism and bad theology, we’ll have a golden opportunity to show new wisdom in the days ahead.
Because it doesn’t take a genius to see that Israel and the Jewish people will soon be the most hated people on earth once again. They have already been accused, tried and convicted by world opinion of having stolen the Palestinian homeland. And blamed as the number one disruptor of world peace for fermenting Islamic hatred against the West. It won’t be long before another Islamic-inspired war with Israel breaks out, which will no doubt interrupt oil supplies and bring catastrophic economic hardship upon the world.
And when that happens, will we stand alongside the Jews? Will we raise our voice against the angry mobs demanding that the Jewish homeland be sacrificed for world peace? Or will we once again be swept along in a sea of anti-Semitic malevolence?
If you’re not sure how you will answer the question, or even how important the right answer is to getting a passing grade, let me show you something from the word of God.
After raising the question of how Gentile believers in Jesus should treat those Jews who had rejected Him as Messiah, Paul warns: “Do not be arrogant towards the natural branches ; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you […] Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell severity, but to you God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:18-23).
In other words, Paul reminds us that we got into this tree of His chosen people only by the kindness of God (we were saved by His grace, not just by faith). But if we don’t continue in His kindness, as evidenced by our treatment of the Jewish people, He will withdraw His kindness and we will be lopped off.
These are sobering words of warning that every Christian should take to heart. Which is why I’m sure the Jewish question will be on the final exam. So get our your Bible and study yourself to be approved. Finals are right around the corner.