Does the Church Have a Responsibility toward Israel? - Part 5

Johannes Pflaum

Paul writes to the Romans in chapter 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” The apostle prayed for the salvation of his own people. 

Earlier, in the first few verses of chapter 9, he speaks of his intense wish for the salvation of “my kinsmen according to the flesh.” That means more than an overall patriotic concern for salvation ... such as a Swiss believer might express a wish that many of the Swiss would come to faith in Christ, or Chinese Christian hope that many Chinese could be won for the Lord. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, Christians should have an overarching missionary concern for their own countrymen.

In chapters 9 to 11, Paul discusses the election of, and promises for Israel; God’s dealings with His people; and the relationship of Israel and the Church, until such time as God has completed His purpose for Israel and all honor and glory is His alone. That is the reason why Paul implores God for Israel. He desires that the Jews already at his present time would recognize Jesus as their Messiah and be brought to salvation. At the same time, though, it is also a prayer for the return of Jesus and the final salvation of Israel.

The responsibility to pray is also incumbent upon the Church of Jesus Christ. And it is in this manner that we should pray for Israel. 

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).

Going back to the conversation between two Christians concerning any responsibility the Church might have for the Jewish people: one of them had a simplistic answer, namely, “The Lord will see to Israel’s future.” Yes, definitely, He will! We read about Jerusalem in Isaiah chapter 62, and we know that its fate is always inextricably bound to Israel’s destiny. But God wants us to remind Him of this.

Clearly, the watchmen on Jerusalem’s walls are not the Israeli army or members of the Secret Service ... They are those who fear the Lord, who know His salvation plan and take it seriously. Since that prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, this is the commission for the Church of Jesus Christ. Once again,it is a matter of God’s glory and the salvation of Israel.

News from Israel - 12/2019

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