Being a Christian in the End Times
What are the Christian’s responsibilities in the end times? God says the land of Israel will be rebuilt, His people will be gathered together, and the Temple will be rebuilt. God knows these events will happen. Does that mean He will magically cause them to occur or will He raise up people to make these events happen? We know that God can make anything happen but historically He has raised up faithful people to do His work.
Several of the prophecies that will be fulfilled in the last days relate to the Land of Israel.
“they shall dwell in their own land.” Jeremiah 23:8
The Hebrew in this verse literally says, “they shall sit on the ground.” All the prophecies concerning the uniting of God’s people in the end times connect the people of God to the land of Israel.
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37) indicates that the land of Israel will be rebuilt and will thrive once again. It will be inhabited by God’s people. Does this mean that all of God’s people will live in the land of Israel? Not necessarily.
Some of the prophecies about the regathering of God’s people refer to them being regathered to the land of Israel. Some of them refer to a spiritual regathering of God’s people.
“for I will cause their captivity to return says the Lord.” Jeremiah 32:44
God’s people were in captivity in Babylon when this was written. This prophecy refers to more than just the physical return of God’s people; it refers to the spiritual return of God’s people. Although some of the captives returned to the land of Israel from Babylon, God’s people have yet to be united as one.
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus says the Lord; refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded says the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.” Jeremiah 31:16
The first half of this prophecy was not fulfilled until Herod slaughtered the innocent boys 2 years old and under in Bethlehem in attempt to kill the Messiah. Rachel “cried”for her children in Bethlehem when Jesus was 2 years old (Matthew 2:17-18). The second half of this prophecy will not be fulfilled until the last days when God reunites His children from the spiritual bondage that divides them and keeps them away from God.
What is dividing God’s people today and keeping them from uniting as one? It is a division between the believing Jews and the believing Gentiles. All theological systems I know differentiate between the Jews and the Gentiles. In the times before Christ Gentiles became part of Israel by believing in God and keeping His commandments because they believed. Ruth, Rahab, Jethro, Egyptians in the Exodus and others joined God’s people because they believed. Once they joined God’s people there was no difference between them and the Jews except their physical features. God has never discriminated against a person because of his physical features!
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” Romans 10:12
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:28-29
In the Early Church there were not Jews and Gentiles. There were Jews who believed in God and Gentiles who believed in God and together they were called Christians. God clearly indicates that Gentiles who are in Christ are Jews. We are the seed of Abraham! It is time to eradicate this pseudo, imaginary, man-made division between Jews and Christians! It is time for Christians and Jews alike to set aside their manufactured traditions and follow the simple words of the Bible. We need to return to the practices and beliefs of the early believers whom Christ personally taught. It is time to be like the Early Church.
© Dr. Steven L Smith 2017