Isaiah 41:8-10 ESV
“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off’;
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Who is Israel Today?
Under the Old Covenant God had with his people, the Jews were God’s chosen people. They were Israel. But that all changed when Jesus died on that cross for our sins and when he was resurrected from the dead. In his death on that cross he destroyed that barrier that stood between the Gentiles and the Jews and he made us both one in Christ by genuine faith in Jesus Christ. So, we are no longer separated as Jew and Gentile but as saved and unsaved, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth.
The Apostle Paul couldn’t have been more clear on this subject when he wrote about it in the book of Romans and in the book of Galatians, which were both letters that he wrote to the churches in those areas of the world. For there were Judaizers in his day, as there are now, too, who were trying to convince Christians that they had to be more like Jews, and that they had to be circumcised and that they had to obey some of the Old Covenant customs and ceremonial and liturgical and dietary laws and restrictions.
So Paul made it clear that the promises of God were spoken to Abraham and to his seed (singular), who is Jesus Christ. So all who are believing in Jesus Christ are spiritual descendants of Abraham and are heirs of the promise God made to his people Israel. For not all who are physical descendants of Abraham are his offspring and not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel. For it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise. And if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Now the present physical city of Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City, and the temple of God is no longer a physical building in that city. For now the city of Jerusalem corresponds with Hagar, the slave woman, because she is still in slavery with her children. But we are of the free woman, Sarah. And the slave woman and her children will never share in the inheritance with the free woman and her children. So we, as Christians, are not children of the slave woman (the Jews who don’t believe in Jesus) but we are of the free woman. And Paul said that to let us know that we are not to be like the Jews. We are to be like Jesus. And we are now his temple.
So, although there is a physical nation called Israel, it is not biblical Israel. Biblical Israel is comprised of all people, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth, who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, who are born of the Spirit of God, who have died and are dying daily to sin and to self and who are no longer walking (in conduct, in practice) in sin, but who are walking in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, in the power of God.
[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Heb 12:1-2]
We are God’s Chosen Ones
So, again, all who are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, who have died and are dying daily to sin and who are walking in obedience to the Lord in holiness and in righteousness, are God’s children, his chosen ones, and his servants. We are Israel, the only Israel that is of God. All those who have not put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior are antichrist. They are not of God, and they are not heirs of the promise. It is what the Scriptures teach, so please read the above Scriptures.
So, if our faith and trust is in Jesus Christ, and if we are following him in obedience to his ways, we are not to fear any opposition coming against us. And the opposition could be coming from modern day Judaizers who are trying to convince us we must be more like Jews. Or the opposition could be coming from others who profess faith in Jesus Christ who think we are self-righteous or hyper-religious just because we take God and his word seriously and we are following it with our lives, and this is what we are speaking, too.
But if we are doing what the New Covenant Scriptures teach us we must do, as followers of Jesus, then we are to commit our lives into the hands of God, and we are not to fear what others think about us, or what they are saying about us, or what they might do to us. For our God is still sovereign over all he has made, and nothing can touch us unless God allows it, and he allows it for a time and for a purpose, which is usually to grow us in our walks of faith and obedience to the Lord, and to purify us and to make us holy.
So, whatever we may be facing, and regardless of how many people oppose us, or how fierce the opposition may be, at times, we are not to be afraid, for God is with us, and he will strengthen us, and he will help us, and he will uphold us with his righteous right hand if we are following him in his ways and if we are not rebelling against him by going our own way and doing our own thing without regard for God. So, stay the course!
Isaiah 41:11-13 ESV
“Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.’”
Those Incensed Against Us
Now, all who are presently incensed against those of us who are following Jesus with our lives may be allowed to continue as they are for as long as we live. So we have no guarantees that, in this life, that we are going to get any relief or that justice will be done. My hope is that many (if not all) who presently oppose me will turn from their sinful ways and that they will turn to Jesus Christ in faith and in obedience and that they will be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God. But if they refuse, which many will, they will perish in their sins, which is a very sad reality.
Now the Lord may deliver us from some of this opposition in this life, and if he does, praise God! But even if he does not deliver us physically from all persecution in this life, he will deliver us through our difficulties. And what I mean is that he will strengthen and help us through these trials, and he will teach us what we need to learn so that we can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And he will teach us how to be overcomers, and how to endure unjust suffering, and how to respond to our trials in godly ways which honor our Lord Jesus.
And one day Jesus is going to come back for us and he is going to take us to be with him for eternity, and then all our suffering will cease, and the tears we have shed will be wiped from our eyes, and there will be great rejoicing.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
What a Day That Will Be
By Jim Hill
There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be
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