Throughout Scripture, it is evident that God loves the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, even referring to them as His children (Jer. 3:19). In fact, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms and Jesus Himself detail the ever-powerfully beating, loving heart of God for His chosen people: the nation of Israel.
All children inevitably make mistakes and are then subsequently disciplined. This occurred for the nation of Israel many times. When we, as parents discipline our children, we don't stop loving them. We don't banish them from the family, disinherit or disown them.The same can be said about God's relationship with Israel. When He disciplined them, He never stopped loving them. Never. Yet, there seems to be something amiss stirring in the fabric of the church and the posture of some people towards our Jewish brothers and sisters.
A message circulating through the church today is a mode of thought called replacement theology. Its basic premise is that Christians through the New Covenant of Jesus Christ have replaced the Old Covenant made only with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as God's newly chosen people. Jesus distinctly states in John 14:6b that He is "the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Those of us who have placed our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior are therefore blessed and redeemed. 1 Peter 2:9a declares we are, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. " This distorted belief that we, Christians, now replace the Jewish people and the nation of Israel is as much anti-Semitic as any other anti-Israel propaganda.
There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that supports replacement theology doctrine. However, instead, there are individual verses such as Romans 11:11-27; Romans 9:31-32; Romans 10:1-4, 16; and Galatians 3:14 that have been cherry-picked to promote a false agenda. Sadly, these have contributed to the silence and resignation of the church in regard to the recent persecution that our faithful allies in Israel face on a daily basis.
Conflicts aren't new to Israel, in fact just in March, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority called for demonstrations and protests along the border fence. By Aug. 8, it had escalated to what most would describe as an all-out war, with over 200 rockets and mortars being fired into Israeli neighborhoods in a single 24-hour period.
Recently, the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres proposed military forces to protect Palestinians from Israel (emphasis mine). This came as a response to a General Assembly request to report on Hamas-led clashes in Gaza along the border of the Jewish state. The preposterous notion that Palestinian civilians need protection from Israel is as ludicrous as it is unfounded. On the contrary, it is Israel that trucks in relief aid to Palestinian civilians on a frequent basis (jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israeli-humanitarian-aid-to-the-gaza-strip) living up to their long-aged motto, Tikkun Olam: to repair or improve the world. On May 15, two Israeli Defense Force (IDF) truckloads destined for Gaza containing much needed medical supplies were turned away and rejected by Hamas-despite Israel's Good Samaritan deed. (jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-turns-away-truckloads-of-Israeli-humanitarian-aid-destined-for-Gaza-556565).
The consistent rhetoric seems to never end with Israel's enemies. If it's not the Palestinian Authority's decree to stab or run over its Jewish neighbors, it's Hamas launching rockets into Jewish homes and schools. Not to mention their new aerial force of fire kites, aimed to decimate Israel's agriculture. Nevertheless, the IDF responds with its highly effective Iron Dome and strategic counter strikes on Hamas' military bases.
The right to defend oneself begs for more than lip service. The United Nations has seemingly turned a blind eye to the truth of this conflict by absurdly defending the aggressor and condemning the victim. Lack of support doesn't stop there; while there are some in the church who wave their flag for the Jewish state, the overwhelming response from the body of Christ seems to carry a much more deafening silence.
"Why do you hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man who is more righteous than he?" (Hab. 1:13).
Now is the time for followers of Christ to rise up in a powerful display of solidarity with the nation of Israel. It is also time for the church as a whole to join in one voice, showing the world that we will not allow such hateful prejudice to continue toward our Jewish brothers and sisters. With all of the negative propaganda being spewed from the mainstream media about Israel, it seems the church needs a biblical reminder of why we should stand with God's chosen people, land and nation. Brian Sanders is a filmmaker and producer who has undertaken such a task.
As a way to help open eyes and awaken hearts, Sanders is making a film entitled Why Stand With Israel. The film is slated to make its world-premiere release by the end of this year, reminds viewers through historical and scriptural truths of God's heart for Israel and the Jewish people. The documentary inspires believers of their duty and calling, as followers of Christ to bless the nation of Israel (Gen. 12:3) and "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Ps. 122:6). Why Stand With Israel is more than a film, it's a catalyst to spark a fire within the global church. The Gentile church has been grafted into this olive tree known as Israel, as clarified by the apostle Paul in Romans 11:17-24.
The intent of the film is to encourage the church to eradicate all replacement theology teaching, repent for its long history of Anti-Semitism and to unite and bless our Jewish friends as God's Word commands. The movement and long-term vision involve more films, social media awareness and a TV show to educate believers of God's sovereign love and end-time plans for Israel and the church.
For now, it begins with a film to turn our eyes, to redirect our thoughts and more importantly, to change our hearts.
God's unconditional love and endearment toward Israel is eternal. After all, she is the "apple of his eye." (Zech. 2:8). The world may stand against Israel, but let us be the church that stands with her!
The Why Stand With Israel documentary NRB Trailer: youtube.com/watch?v=bC6yL9fRu0I
Brandon Shirkey is a former youth and young adult pastor who serves others as a financial adviser with a local firm and as a co-founder and co-pastor/teacher of Springs of Living Water, a discipleship-based ministry that pursues authentic life transformation through the teachings of Christ in their proper context. He also contributes to the Why Stand With Israel project in a limited role and basis. While he is currently called to awaken the sleeping church, he has a concurrent passion for seeing the glory of Israel restored and the church united with her.
Brian Sanders is the CEO and executive producer for the Why Stand With Israel documentary. For more information and ways you can partner with this project, go to whystandwithisrael.com. Also check out the Why Stand With Israel Facebook page for weekly updates and news on the film's release date. For media bookings, email Brian at [email protected].
Brian is also the president and executive producer of HOPE Media LLC and is an award winning international broadcast-video producer/cinematographer after God's heart. He is passionate about telling God's stories through testimonies, shows and documentaries as well as promoting organizations' personal stories of HOPE. To find out more on how Brian can promote what God is doing in your life, email him at: [email protected]
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