I've been reading your site. Today I have been reading about God regathering the Jews from the ends of the earth and bringing them back to Israel.
If a Christian is of Jewish blood, are they suppose to go back to Israel too, even if they have never lived there? The reason I ask is in one of the scriptures he says he will not leave one behind.
thanks for the interesting email.
If God is showing you that you have Jewish blood, should you go back to Israel? Obviously I can only answer that in a general way. What I mean by that is that God may be calling you to go there and if so He will make that clear in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses. So all I can do is give you 'general' advice.
Firstly, a little background... The calling and promises for Israel and the Church are different (but do eventually merge). The promises to Israel and the Jews revolve around the land of Israel, the coming of the Messiah and the great promises of the coming earthly kingdom when the Messiah Jesus shall reign from Jerusalem and Israel shall be a light to the nations as they were always meant to be. It is a great future!.. but it involves great difficulty for them (the day of Jacob's trouble) before that kingdom age arrives. I add this because we shouldn't romantise what life in Israel will be like in the coming days. If we truly are near the return of Christ then there is a general belief among Bible prophecy scholars (based on Zech 13:7-9) that 2/3 of the Jews living in the land will lose their life in the tribulation period.
And what of the calling of Christians? The calling and promises to believers in Christ (Jews and Gentiles) is heavenly and actually far more wonderful! Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and will come again to take us to be with Him, where He is! (John 14:1-3) That is why the writer of Hebrews reminds us of this saying 'Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.' (Heb 3:1) For believers, whether Jew or Gentile, the Lord's return is to take us to our heavenly home and to rescue us from the coming day of God's wrath. (1 Thes 1:10, 5:9, Rev 3:10) The promises to believers in Christ today, whether Jew or Gentile, also involve the wonder of being changed into His very likeness in this life and being as He is when we see Him at His return! Amazing promise and grace! (2 Cor 3:18, 1 John 3:2)
So why say all this? Because your highest calling is that of the Christian, the believer in Christ, the heavenly calling, not the earthly Jewish calling. You are correct that God is drawing Jews back to the land of Israel in preparation for His end time purposes. But those purposes are not for one 'in Christ'. God's purposes for the Jews involve initial times of judgement in order that they will repent and cry out again for their Messiah (Hos 5:15-6:3, Matt 23:37-39, Zech 12)
It is also worth noting that the scripture which talks about God bringing ALL the Jews back to the land and not leaving any behind (as in Ezek 39:28) is talking about the post-tribulation regathering of Israel back to the land in BELIEF (when they know the Lord). Not the current regathering of the Jews in UNBELIEF in preparation for the coming judgement.
I tried to think how I would react if I found out that I was partly or fully Jewish. I am not a Jew but I certainly have a great love for Israel and the Jewish people. If I found out I had Jewish blood I would find it very interesting, I would continue to support them as I am able, but from a Christian point of view I wouldn't go live in Israel unless God made it VERY CLEAR!
I hope this helps. Like I said, I can only speak in general without knowing specifically what God wants you to do. But from a Biblical point of view I wanted you to see that you already have a higher calling because of your faith in Christ than your natural calling because of Jewish blood.
Continue to pray and I will pray that He will makes things clear for you.
Blessings from one gentile believer to one possibly partly Jewish believer in Christ : )
Thank you for writing that. The way you explained it cleared things up a lot more for me. I definitely do not want to move over there unless that is God's will. I spoke with my son and said perhaps it will open doors to witness to other Jews. I don't know. I'm not sure how much of a good witness I would be considering what I'm going through right now. I'm a new believer so have much to learn. I say new, not because I haven't been in the church but because I always went to a church that stressed works as necessary for salvation. I had never heard the gospel till these last few years. In fact I'm having a bit of a struggle with my faith. I constantly doubt my salvation. I know that God's elect will be kept saved through his grace by faith till they are taken home, but find myself unsure if I'm elect. The fact that people lose their faith after coming to Christ confuses me. I realize that those who lose their faith and walk away from it never really had a genuine faith to begin with.
I know that no one can come to Christ unless God draws them first. That is the part I find tricky. How did these that lose their faith come to Christ to begin with? I always wonder, how do I know that I am not one of these people? The fact that I doubt my salvation so much makes me think it's very possible I'm not really chosen by God to begin with, which very much unnerves me. This constantly makes me think I'm that seed that sprung up with great joy and then quickly died away because it had no moisture.
I don't say that because I've given up and walked away, but because no matter how much I try to assure myself I'm saved it just won't stick. I once believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was saved but as I read the bible of those that walk away from the faith, I can't help but stumble over that and wonder if that is me.
I try to assure myself it is OK that God is drawing me. I've seen him work in my life and wonder why he would bother if I'm not elect. For instance I was sitting at my computer and ruminating over the gospel and trying to understand it a couple years ago and I was trying to figure out why some verses seem to indicate that works were necessary and I thought to myself, maybe most works are not needed but certain ones are, a small amount. I had not said anything aloud but was deeply in thought when my eldest son walked in the room and he told me he had a vision and felt he was suppose to tell me. In the vision he saw a room with a man who was richly dressed and there were all of these boxes of decadent things but they were empty. He was sitting proud like a king on all of these boxes. A voice said aloud in the vision for the one who has many works he weeps for he has none and then the boxes burnt and he fell to the ground and cried. Then the vision goes to another room where there was a guy and he was praying and he had no shoes on and a voice said for the one who has little works, then it was stopped by another voice that said, NO that is not biblical, and the second voice continued for the one who has NO works he rejoices for he has many. Then a hand reached into the room and placed a gift next to the man that was praying. The hand that placed the gift in the room looked beaten up or bloody or something alone those lines he said.
I always check dreams and visions against the word and this seems biblical to me. The vision my son had was saying, to me, that no works are involved and that salvation is a gift.
Anyhow, that is not my issue anymore it's just keeping faith that God has chosen me and that he will keep me. I hope you will pray for me this one time. I've read many of your articles on all of this so I just hope that God will settle my faith once and for all so there will be no more tossing about in my faith.
thanks for the reply and I'm pleased that my previous email helped. In regard to your issue of doubting your salvation I can understand that if you came from a church that taught salvation by works. It would be hard to get your eyes off yourself and onto Christ. But there is no peace with that because how could anyone ever know that their works were 'good enough'?
You seemed to stress two things in your email -
1. Doubt as to whether you are one of the elect and have been chosen by God
2. The problem with others that have professed faith in Christ and then fallen away.
If I was your doctor I would prescribe that you read John 3:16 three times a day, with or without food, until your symptoms ease!
Seriously... read it and re-read it. There is a reason that it is one of the most well known and loved verses in the Bible. Read all of John 3:14-18. Focusing on whether God has chosen you and whether you are one of the elect won't get you anywhere. Believe the promise of John 3:16!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God loved the world and WANTS to save people.
The offer of salvation is for WHOSOEVER BELIEVES.
Those that do SHALL NOT PERISH but HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
Thank God that He has promised salvation to those that cannot save themselves (all of us) and believe in His promise and receive Him. And thank Him for it! If you have doubts about this, pretend it to be true and praise God for it! That might sound strange but it is better to pretend (when you are pretending on the truth) that doubt it.
In terms of others falling away, we can do nothing about that. We can only look at our own hearts. The fact is that the enemy sows tares among the wheat as Jesus said. Many come to Christ with mixed motives and when things don't work out as they expect they leave. It has been happening since the days of the early church and won't change till Christ returns. But you sound to me like someone who cares a great deal for your salvation. Jesus said that 'the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.'
And God has been kind to you with your son's vision. Hold onto that. That does teach what you said that salvation is not of works and should give you confidence. God saw your heart and doubts and was gracious in showing you that.
Romans 4:4-8 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. (5) But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, (6) just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: (7) "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. (8) "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT."
Hope this helps. I will pray but please keep thinking and renewing your mind with the truth of great promises like John 3:16 and Romans 4:5 as well.