ISRAELIS BECOMING MORE RELIGIOUS – 13 Sept 2010

Greetings in the goodness of our God.

It is still summer, and not only is Israel still not saved, but the summer-time-clock has ended, and we are back on standard time.  With all the different time zones and arbitrary time changes, Yeshua knew what He was saying when He said that we can not know the day and hour of His coming!  Praise God that He knows how to keep His own time!!

An interesting survey taken by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics was published today in the Israeli newspapers, which shows that more Israelis are becoming more religious.  Less than half the population – 42% –  (according to survey statistical measurements ) consider themselves secular.  Most of those surveyed say that they have become “more religious” than they had been before.  The survey broke down the Jewish people into 5 categories:  ultra-orthodox; religious; traditional-religious; traditional, but not religious; secular.

Just yesterday, I was speaking with a new believer about how there is religious revival all around the world in all the religions.  Acts 17:26-31  “And [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the Earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own [Greek] poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’  Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.  Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from among the dead!”

True and full repentance and revival comes when people come back to the living God Himself, and this is only through His Son, the Lord Yeshua Messiah/Jesus Christ.  There are many ways to come to Jesus; but there is only one way to come to the Father.

The verses quoted above gave me another way of thinking what it means to take the gospel “to the Jew first, and then to the Greeks” (which is the actual Holy Spirit inspired word in the text, not ‘Gentiles’), or that the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first, and also of the Greeks”.  Not everyone necessarily meets or knows or has an opportunity to witness to an actual Jewish person, or to a Greek.  But everyone — and every believer — does know in their own cultures those who are “religious”, and who think that they are more righteous than those who are not; and also those who “philosophize” and “politicize”, who consider the creation and possibility of “gods” or “a god”, but have no “Rock” to stand on.  (I am speaking very generally here.)  It seems that those to whom the gospel first goes are to these “religious, whose righteousness is of law”, and to those who think on “eternal” things, but do not have a rudder to keep them on a steady and clear course.  These “Jews” and “Greeks” have a sense of a “Judge”, a concern for accountable government,  and a hope to attain the world to come by their “good works” and traditions, and by their “good ideas, worldly wisdom, and politics”.  Each in some measure have a fear of God, even if He is unknown to them personally, but hope that should He actually exist, that He would find favor with them.

But even the actual Jewish people have to repent and be born-again through saving faith in Yeshua; even Cornelius — a God-fearing [Roman] military man —  had to learn the way of salvation through the God of Israel’s Messiah for the Jews, and also for the “good person”; and Paul felt the unction to reveal the true and personal God to the Greeks who only knew of Him as a rumor.  And the issue has to do with Jesus coming again to judge the world in righteousness!  Hallelu-Yah, say all the saints! 

Turning to religion is a step in the right direction for some people, and a falling away for others.  The religious spirit is opposed to the liberty which comes to those whose faith is anchored in the truth of the gospel.  The gospel is neither Jewish nor Greek; it is neither religious nor political nor military; it is neither right nor left.  May we see many more of the Jews and of the Greeks, and also of those “who were not initially invited”, come into the Father’s house!

This week, the Jewish people are preparing for the holiest day of the year in Judaism — the Day of Atonements.  In the survey, most of the Israelis, including the secular, go to the synagogue on that day, if they ever go at all.  My family did the same as we grew up in Conservative Judaism in the U.S.  Let us pray for their eyes to be opened, and their hearts to be stirred.  In the wonderful sovereignty of God and the authority which Yeshua has over His own countrymen, the Book of Jonah is read in the synagogues on Yom Ha-Kippurim (The Day of Atonements)!  Yeshua said that Jonah — a prophet from the Galilee —  is the only sign He would give them to prove who He is!  Our Lord and God reigns, even in Israel!

God bless you all, and praise Him that our names are already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in Heaven!