Major earthquake in Israel will cause untold damage.
This was the headline of a brief but alarming article posted on November 14th in the online Newsletter Israel Hayom.
Said official Amir Yahav, head of the Israeli government’s steering committee on earthquake readiness: “Israel is due to sustain another major earthquake, but it’s impossible to predict when or where it will hit.”
Actually, without going out on a limb, we can know where in Israel and approximately when this earthquake will strike … because it’s predicted in Scripture!
Scientists and geologists in Israel or anywhere in the world have never been able to predict precisely when or exactly where earthquakes or volcanic eruptions or tsunamis will hit or when hurricanes and tornadoes will form. However, with advanced technology and years of accumulative experience in the checking, calculating, and correlating of previous catastrophes to current demographics and geophysics, experts have become more adept in determining how much damage and loss of life could occur.
Messiah Jesus cited two of these natural calamities in his dramatic description of things that will take place during the last days of the end times … as have the prophets of the Old Testament and apostles of the New Testament.
“…There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come” (Matthew 24:7-8).
(Just One Example of an Earthquake)
Among the more to come are certainly the four mega-earthquakes found in the twenty-one plagues of the Book of Revelation—the sixth and seventh seals, the seventh trumpet, and the most massive of all described in the final 7th bowl judgment.
In Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near, Part I & II (posted 7-11 & 7-18-15), twelve Biblically foretold events or developments are identified that have taken place in this century and the last, including the one listed as number eight: Amazing Increase of Natural Disasters.
Here is an excerpt from Part II of those articles (in italics):
In general (all kinds), five of the top ten natural calamities of all time have occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries. That’s fifty percent in the last one hundred years alone! Likewise, five of the top ten earthquakes through the ages have occurred in the 20th & 21st centuries. Or expanding that to the top twenty-five deadliest earthquakes of all time, fourteen have taken place in the last hundred years or so. Of the ten deadliest tornadoes recorded, eight have occurred in this and the last century.
Yes, it’s true that there are more people now and the death toll would accordingly increase, but that’s not the whole story. Not only has the severity increased, but also the frequency. Although the Richter scale wasn’t invented until 1935, four of the top ten measured earthquakes have taken place just since 2004.
Bringing those figures up to date, we have the following statistics on earthquakes 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale:
Nineteen in 2015. Sixteen in 2016. Eight thus far in 2017 including the: magnitude 8.2 in Mexico on September 8th; 7.9 in Papua New Guinea on January 22nd; 7.7 in Russia on July 17th; 7.3 in Iran on November 12th; 7.1 in Mexico on September 19th. We also witnessed the most destructive hurricane (in terms of dollar loss and massive flooding) in United States history when Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in late August of this year. Please see Eye of Prophecy article, Hurricane Harvey & A Year of Prophetic Milestones (2017), posted 9-9-17.
The Earthquake in Israel: Biblically & Geologically Foretold
Returning to the Israel Hayom article: “The last major tremor to hit Israel was the 1927 Jericho earthquake, which measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was the Dead Sea, and its effects were felt in Jerusalem, Nablus, Jericho, Ramia, and Tiberius, killing 500 people and wounding 700.”
Whether casualties resulting from war, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters, Israelis are inordinately concerned and painstakingly detailed in tabulating the figures and also in projecting the number of casualties for future calamities. It has to do with Israel’s (small) geographic size; even more so her population, which is almost half of the approximate 14.5 million Jews alive in the world today.
For instance: During research for my first book—a novel entitled, O Israel … the end is the beginning for those left behind—a former Israeli Defense Force Major agreed to meet with me and provide general information (with no security breaches!) about the IDF. His specialty in the IDF was grid infrastructure and logistics. When I mentioned the opening scenes of the novel as a coordinated terrorist attack on Tel Aviv resulting in the death (and injury) of Israelis, he promptly asked me how many would die. Although partly dumbfounded by his question, I gave him the figures. He simply nodded his head in some sort of agreement; silently suggesting that if the number was too high, I should strongly consider reducing the casualties or perhaps not write the book at all.
Incredibly, he was apprehensive about the figures even though my book was a work of fiction … albeit based on reality and in the context of history and the near future fulfillment of Biblical prophecy! Thereafter, Major David Zadok and I became friends and have been since that interview in 2006. Before that, he became a Messianic Jew (accepting Jesus as Messiah and Savior), subsequently leaving the IDF to pursue a full-time ministry particularly to the Jews.
(David is Pastor of Grace & Truth Congregation Pictured Above, Near Gadera, Israel)
The Israel Hayom article mentioned earlier was one of 15-25 new articles I read weekly from several difference online sources, some of which I occasionally reference or even quote in a few Eye of Prophecy articles. Had it not been for a statistic cited toward the end of that article, it’s highly unlikely I would have used the article at all, let alone center this week’s Eye of Prophecy on it. I could hardly believe what I was reading.
Continuing with Amir Yahav’s ominous projections (the portion that I italicized is what captivated my attention):
“The most recent assessments paint a bleak picture. A major earthquake could cause the collapse of at least 28,000 buildings nationwide, with 290,000 buildings sustaining various degrees of damage. An estimated 7,000 people could be killed and almost 380,000 injured, 8,600 of them seriously. Over 170,000 Israelis could become homeless.”
*Note: Comparing, for example, Israel’s population of 8.3 million (6.5 million Jews, 1.8 million Israeli Arabs) to America’s population of 320 million, the projected loss of 7,000 Israelis in this earthquake would be proportionally equivalent to the loss of 268,800 Americans.
For some reason, I immediately made the connection of the estimated 7,000 killed to an earthquake that will certainly take place in Israel’s (near) future. I say certainly because it is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy … an absolutely sure thing. Hundreds of prophecies have already come to pass, which guarantees—through the laws of probability alone but also because what God says will happen always happens—that this earthquake will occur.
Read with me: “But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, ‘Come up here!’ And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.
“At the same time there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people died in that earthquake, and everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:11-13, italics for emphasis).
What city (where in Israel)? Answer: Jerusalem, as the text and context of this passage denotes both directly and indirectly.
It’s a foregone conclusion that Amir Yahav’s estimated fatality count of 7,000 bore no connection in his mind or in the mind of other Israelis (for that matter, to hardly anyone else) to the prophecy in Revelation. There’s maybe a one-tenth of one percent chance that Amir even knows of the Revelation prophecy; the vast majority of Jews in Israel are non-Messianic Jews, who do not (yet) believe in Messiah Jesus nor have ever read the New Testament. Besides, he’s quoting estimated (probable) geophysical measurements of the damage and casualties. Even if he is a Messianic Jew, it’s improbable that his superiors would permit or any secular news source like Israel Hayom would print such a comparison.
Instead, I’m convinced that the (scientifically feasible and reliable) 7,000 fatalities proposed by an Israeli expert in the field of earthquake statistical probabilities was providentially directed by God in yet another other end-times correlation between Biblical prophecy and the phenomenal events and developments of these last days in which we are living. In other words, it’s not coincidental.
It’s analogous to the 6+ million Jews now living in Israel. They literally and prophetically represent the return of Jews to Israel in great numbers from the floods of Roman dispersion and the fires of Nazi death camp, in triumphant comparison to the tragedy of six million Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust. This is much more than chance. It is the unfolding of divine destiny and providential purpose. Nazi Germany has fallen into the ash heap of history. The mighty Roman Empire is long gone. Israel is alive and well! The Jews are back, this time forever!
(The Hebrew Words Say, “The People of Israel Live!”)
These examples are more of what I would term incidental correlations to Biblical prophecy than the more obvious direct connections, such as the twelve events detailed in the aforementioned Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near, Part I & II. Another example of secondary parallels within Biblical prophecy fulfillment are the four 400-year eras found in Biblical and secular history, the fourth (last) of which is ending in our generation. (See Eye of Prophecy article, Countdown to Armageddon … End of The Fourth 400-Year Eras, posted 7-29-17).
The earthquake that will kill 7,000 as recorded in Revelation Chapter 11 takes place right after the two prophets were raised to life. Which caused even more terror to unbelievers who, “…will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them” (Revelation 11:10). Twice they are referred to as the two prophets, but at the beginning of Chapter 11 they are also identified as God’s two witnesses, which is how most Christians and Bible scholars refer to them.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Two Witnesses, Part I. Posted 6-7-14. With Part II & III posted on 6-14 & 6-21-14. (In italics):
So, too with Elijah. He not only was spared providentially from Jezebel’s decree of death for him, he was told by the Lord that 7,000 others in Israel also followed the Lord, who had, “…never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” (I Kings 19:18); to assure Elijah that he was not alone … nor the last true prophet in Israel at the time. Strange or ironic that 7,000 will die in the earthquake immediately after the two prophets are raised from the dead, 3 ½ days after they are murdered by Antichrist. Undoubtedly many, if not all, of these 7,000 who die had already taken the mark of the beast and/or had bowed to the statue of the beast. And it takes the prophets 3 ½ years to, “complete their testimony” (Rev. 11:7), approximately the same amount of time Elijah stopped the rain in Israel.
Ten Intriguing Observations of the Earthquake and the Two Witnesses
(1) As detailed extensively in the trilogy of articles, The Two Witnesses, these prophets are Moses and Elijah. This convincing conclusion includes documented comparison of the description of what they do as found in Revelation 11, to several events of their lives as recorded in the Old Testament.
(2) As indicated, they are stationed in Jerusalem for 1,260 days or 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation, where and when they “will prophesy” and “strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish” (Revelation 11:3-6).
(3) Revelation Chapter 11 begins with an (interlude) introduction to the two witnesses; however, it also chronologically continues the set of trumpet judgments ending with the 7th trumpet. Because the two witnesses are killed after 3 ½ years of their time on earth and this occurs between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, I believe we can determine what part of the Great Tribulation during which they testify.
(4) I would encourage you to read Eye of Prophecy article, Stunning Catastrophes of the Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose, recently posted on 11-4-17. As explained in that article: Based on the chronological sequence and evidence of all twenty-one judgments (actually twenty plagues as the 5th seal depicts slain tribulation saints, not a judgment as such) in Revelation, we can accurately estimate the approximate time duration of or gap between the judgments. The projected time between a preceding and successive judgment will be 4-5 months. Because the two witnesses are killed (and come back to life 3 ½ days later) between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, that would place their time of death at 48-50 months into the tribulation. They would have begun their mission 3 ½ years earlier (42 months) or about 6-8 months after the tribulation begins. Which, in turn, would be the same time-frame as the 2nd to 3rd Seal judgements (Horses of the Apocalypse).
(5) That would make perfect sense, as the two witnesses would be preaching to “those who belong to the world;” and, by great power given to them by the Lord, actually begin bringing to an end the destruction caused by the Four Horsemen, who figuratively depict the man-made catastrophes (war, disease, famine) in the first part of the Great Tribulation. Concerning those peoples and armies who try to prevent Elijah and Moses from shutting the sky so that no rain will fall, and turning rivers and oceans into blood: “If anyone tries to harm them, fire flashes from their mouths and consumes their enemies. This is how anyone who tries to harm them must die” (Revelation 11:5). Not until the last half of the tribulation does Antichrist Nero rise to the height of his power; thus, at first, he is powerless to take out Moses and Elijah.
(6) Antichrist Nero will begin his full reign of terror when he breaks the seven-year treaty with the Jews (Daniel 9). He and his ten-nation confederation, “…will trample the holy city (Jerusalem) for 42 months” (Revelation 11:2, parenthesis mine). Because of this increase in power and authority given to him directly by Satan (as permitted by God), Nero will finally be successful in killing Moses and Elijah, which would be about 12-14 months after the half-way mark of the tribulation. Thus, Moses’ and Elijah’s 3 ½ years will overlap the mid-point of the tribulation. Like the Lord raptures believers in Messiah Jesus just before the Tribulation begins, so will Moses and Elijah (after they are brought back to life) be spared from the final devastating full wrath of God poured out in the seven bowls, all of which are directed primarily (some exclusively) against Antichrist and his coalition. In fact, Jesus issues the same command to Moses and Elijah as he does to John, the author of Revelation (which is tantamount to and a representation of the Rapture). Do you recall that command? Hint: it was quoted earlier. Answer: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1 & 11:12).
(7) I’m convinced that most, if not all, of the 7,000 who die in the Jerusalem earthquake will be unbelievers—both Jew and Gentile—who have taken the mark of the beast, which Nero will implement soon after the mid-point of the Tribulation. The reason for that conclusion: “…everyone else was terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13). Many of those not killed will immediately acknowledge God as the only one who could undo what the false messiah had done (kill Moses and Elijah) by raising them from the dead. Undoubtedly, giving glory to God will also include some in Jerusalem who will embrace Jesus as the true Messiah. This spectacular resurrection of Elijah and Moses to life will prove to many Jews that Jesus is Messiah. Also that Elijah is, indeed, Elijah, and Moses is truly Moses.
(8) This earthquake in Jerusalem is not one of the trumpet plagues, as it takes place between the sixth and seventh trumpets. It is a special sentence on the city of Jerusalem. More specifically, a judgement directly against the Antichrist beast (Nero) and his coalition; which, by now, have occupied Jerusalem, including the rebuilt Temple’s “outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations” (Revelation 11:2).
(9) Although Revelation Chapters 13 & 17 contain much more information on the biographical and geographic origin of the Antichrist beast including strong clues to his identity (to be solved with wisdom and a mind of understanding—Revelation 13:18 & 17:9), the first mention of the beast is in Chapter 11. “When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them” (Verse 7). Can you imagine? Nero and his armies will declare war against two men! That’s how much power will be given to Moses and Elijah during their astounding 42 months on earth proclaiming the Kingdom of God, along with the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Revelation 7) all over the world.
(10) The Jerusalem earthquake is not one of the four major world-wide earthquakes that occur during the twenty-one seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. Remarkably ironic: the seven thousand killed is a (one thousand) multiple of seven, representing the number of God’s final judgment of evil and sin before the 1,000-year Millennial Reign of Christ Jesus on earth begins.
*Note: It is, in fact, a coincidence that I ended up with ten comments, the number of which correspond to “a tenth” of Jerusalem destroyed by the earthquake. Granted, its speculation, however, I believe we can establish a comparative link with one tenth of the city to the ten Egyptian plagues of the Exodus. The implied meaning: The Lord is judging Jerusalem (in general, for allowing the Antichrist to kill the two witnesses and also because that is where their Messiah was crucified); but also sparingly … to represented the equivalent effect of only one of the ten Egyptians plagues. This comparison to Egypt is further reinforced by the fact that Jerusalem is also depicted symbolically: “And their bodies will lie in the main street of Jerusalem, the city that is figuratively called ‘Sodom’ and ‘Egypt,’ the city where their Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8).
Premise: Concerning Biblical prophecy, essentially there are two kinds (extremes) of speculation. (1) That which is reasonably safe based on comparing and correlating Scripture itself. (2) That which is unreasonably risky with little or no textual or contextual evidence in Scripture or history.
The Spectacular Increase in Messianic Fervor Among Both Religious and Secular Jews
In several Eye of Prophecy articles, I’ve written about this passionate expectation in the Jewish community for Messiah’s return—what they believe is the first imminent appearance of the Messiah. At least four articles have been entirely focused on this remarkable 20th & 21st century phenomenon. (See Great Expectations for Messiah, posted 8-8-15; Amazing Anticipation for Messiah, 8-29-15; Messiah’s Arrival … On Whose Authority? 11-28-15; Where is Messiah? Is He Already Here? 6-25-16). It’s been 2 ½ years (1 ½ years for the last one mentioned) since these articles were published.
If anything, the Jewish zeal for Messiah’s arrival has intensified even more; unequaled since eager enthusiasm for Messiah’s (first) advent just a few decades before Jesus of Nazareth’s miraculous Virgin birth—which changed the very measurement of time from B.C. to A.D.
Here is an excerpt from, Great Expectations for Messiah … beginning with the opening paragraph of that article (in italics):
What does Aliyah, the blood moon tetrad, the Shemitah, hidden Bible codes, the third Jewish Temple, a red heifer, and Jonathan Pollard’s release from prison have in common, one with the other? If you desire a short easy-to-remember response to that question, then the answer is: Israel’s Redemption Is Very Near. If you prefer a one-word explanation for the common-ground connection between these seemingly diverse subjects and events, we can do that too:
Later in that article, more details were given for each of those seven events to further explain how and why both religious and secular Jews have linked them, and many others, to Messiah’s imminent appearance.
Continuing with the excerpt:
Jews all over the world, especially observant Jews in Israel, are becoming exponentially excited over Israel’s redemption. They see this restoration as both physical—rescue from and protection against their enemies—and spiritual … individual and national return to God through renewal of the sacrificial system lost to them when the second Temple was destroyed. No matter what form this revival takes and no matter whether a Jew is religious or secular, there is one prevailing and passionate premise: Messiah will make all these things happen upon his glorious appearance.
Then later in that article:
For those of us, Jew and Gentile, who have been redeemed by Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross, it will be the glorious reappearance of our Lord. For the greater number of Jews in Israel and world-wide, they believe of course, that it will be Messiah’s first advent. But during the time of Jacob’s trouble (the Great Tribulation) they, too, will fully realize that Messiah and Jesus are one and the same.
For now, suffice to say that Jews (particularly rabbis) are seeing Messianic connections between seemingly unrelated events… I firmly believe that when Jews, especially rabbis, begin making these associations in such large numbers and to such a level of intensity; this is God’s sovereignty in action … by planting the seed of Messianic passion within the hearts and minds of his people just as he did before Christ came the first time.
A Recent Example of the Non-Messianic Jewish Focus on Messiah’s Arrival
As we’ll see from excerpts in the following article, this time a rabbi has gone so far as to claim that Messiah’s identity will be soon revealed. For millions of Gentile Christians and thousands of Messianic Jews down through the ages, we know who Messiah is! Therefore, it’s a matter of proclaiming that truth, and praying for and bearing witness to the Jewish community that they would see this, too; if they would objectively examine the testimony of the Scriptures (such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and Psalm 110). Then compare that evidence to the amazing 100% fulfillment of messianic prophecies by Jesus of Nazareth when he came to earth 2,000 years ago.
The title of this article written by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, posted November 9th in the online newsletter, Breaking Israel News, was: Mystic Rabbi Describes How Will Messiah Be Revealed To World. The article begins:
“Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a well-known Israeli mystic leader, made a remarkable statement last Sunday predicting that the identity of the Messiah would be revealed in the very near future, even giving specific details on how the revelation would occur.
‘Messiah is at work right now,’ Rabbi Ben Artzi said in a sermon. ‘Jews, be happy! Very soon, the Messiah will be revealed to everyone!’
*Note: He’s right, but for the wrong reasons! For example, Messiah has already been revealed (Jesus of Nazareth). His soon arrival will be his second coming, but that won’t occur until seven years after the astonishing Rapture of believers, Jew and Gentile alike. See Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Return & The Rapture (Same or Separate Events?). Posted 12-3-16.
The article continues to quote Rabbi Ben Artzi:
“‘The Holy One, Blessed be He, will come to the rabbis in a dream with a vision and inform them of whom He has chosen for the King Messiah … There will be a yellow card and holy letters inscribed on a parchment like a Torah scroll, where they will be told in Aramaic who is King Messiah,’ the rabbi continued. Aramaic is no longer spoken, but it is the language of the Talmud (oral law). ‘Then they will have no choice and they will recognize the King Messiah.’
‘Either you reveal him or the Creator of the world will cause you great trouble and will not let go until you reveal this and tell it to the people of Israel … Then they will follow the instructions laid out in the dream and acknowledge who the Messiah King is.’”
(Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi)
Once again, we find a rabbi who doesn’t quote even one passage of Scripture to substantiate his claim (how Messiah will be revealed). Although some rabbis will cite a verse or two, invariably it doesn’t track with nor is it pertinent to whatever event the rabbi may refer or prediction he makes. A few have been relevant to Scripture in a general context, but with specific details inaccurately applied to, not found in, and/or contradicting the Bible.
Here is an excerpt from the aforementioned Eye of Prophecy article: Where is Messiah? Is He Already Here? (In italics)
Indeed, there will be great joy when Messiah appears, not just with the Jews but with all the surviving tribulation saints who are on the brink of Armageddon-ish destruction.
Sadly, before the rejoicing, there will be great sorrow and mourning throughout Israel and with Jews globally. I’ve sometimes quoted the following verses and will cite them again, because it is a passage that you seldom hear or see quoted by Jews, especially the Orthodox among them. It is one of several Messianic passages in the Old Testament that Judaism unfortunately ignores or tries to explain away. See Eye of Prophecy articles, Does God Really Have a Son, Part I & II (published 10-31-15 & 11-7-15) for some of these key passages.
When reading the following passage, pay special attention to the personal pronouns. The context is clearly the very last days just before and during Messiah’s magnificent appearance. Actually, his return; which is, as indicated, the main emphasis of today’s article … reappearance versus appearance.
“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David, and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died. The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo. All Israel will mourn…” (Zechariah 12:10-12).
Messiah is speaking, and he tells Israel that they will, “look on me whom they have pierced.” Then switches to the 2nd person and states, “…and mourn for him…”
The piercing was literally fulfilled when the Romans cruelly staked Jesus to a cross with spikes driven into his wrists and feet—a form of execution not yet invented (at least not like the Romans “perfected” it) when Zechariah made this prophecy.
Considering the anxious anticipation and eager expectation for Messiah and the wonderful things he will do to restore and redeem Israel, why on earth would Israel mourn when they first see him? If the Jews are right that this will be Messiah’s initial appearance, what then would produce such great sorrow, before their joy of being delivered from their enemies?
The text is explicitly clear: They will recognize that it was Jesus all along who was and is their Messiah. Their personal redemption had been purchased long ago, which is why they will mourn for him individually and separately (see the rest of Zechariah 12). Grief will flow from their (and their ancestor’s) rejection of Messiah and their decision to ignore the New Covenant that Isaiah and Jeremiah had promised would come.
There is no Scriptural evidence whatsoever for Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi’s vision to be given credibility. He is but one of several Jewish rabbis who purport to have visions or dreams or messages from heaven concerning Messiah’s arrival. Many of these predictions are based on and interpretations of the Oral Law of Judaism written down in the Talmud. Most of these rabbis belong to the Kabbalistic branch of Judaism, which is a mystical, sometimes even paranormal, attempt to correlate the Old Testament and (mostly the) Talmud to modern-day events and developments.
(Many Volumes to the Babylonian Talmud)
More often than not, these psychic projections or problematic predictions are extra-Biblical in origin and application to whatever event is being cited to “prove” that Messiah is on his way.
Nevertheless, there is a profound positive perspective that both Gentile Christians and Messianic Jews can and should possess with regard to this exponential growth of Messianic fervor in Judaism. At the very least, most observant and even some non-observant Jews are generally tuned in to the prophetic events taking place, not the least of which was the miraculous rebirth of the State of Israel as a prelude to Messiah’s imminent arrival. And, that is good!
However, the Jewish ardent anticipation for Messiah needs to be placed in the context explicitly explained by the Apostle Paul. Reason: By and large, Jews and Judaism still refuse to believe and receive Jesus as the (their) Messiah. Read with me Paul’s passionate words which are every bit as relevant and applicable in the 21st century as the 1st century:
“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, the cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).
Things to Ponder
I trust you had a happy Thanksgiving Day, continuing throughout this weekend.
Whether a Jewish or Gentile believer in Messiah Jesus—saved by personally accepting his substitutionary sacrifice on a cruel cross—or an unbeliever who will hopefully reach out to Jesus for redemption, we have much to be thankful for. Despite all of the internal strife and polarization in America and all over the world, we still have the freedom to live for and share whom and what we love and believe in.
As born again believers, we certainly are not better than anyone else. But, according to the powerful and precious promises so wonderfully presented in the Bible, we are (in the context of eternity) better off. I say this with utmost humility, because believers are simply sinners saved by the Grace of God. We have a hope that is grounded in the sure word of Biblical prophecy, whether those promises pertain to the present or future or both.
Here is one of those many promises that assure born-again believers in Messiah Jesus that our salvation is permanent; it cannot be taken from us, nor can we lose it. Because it’s based solely on God’s unconditional love and our eternal position in Christ (what he did for us that we could not do for ourselves) the moment we trust him as our personal Savior.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? ….
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
One day soon God’s great love which gave us so great a salvation will lead believers to a change of address from earth to heaven, through a brand new body just like our Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus!
On the wall above my desk, I’ve attached a note with these words:
Things Precious to Me:
The Lord’s Promises, Protection, Patience, and (above all) Presence
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. We are ready.