Eight reasons Christians need to be active in standing with Israel
We as leaders find ourselves in a sobering moment in history, which calls us to take a stand with God’s covenants in the earth. It is our responsibility to do kingdom business until He comes (Luke 19:13).
More than 10 years ago, Robert Stearns asked me to join him in encouraging Christians to pray every year on the same day for the peace of Jerusalem. It is a daunting task to stir the global church to unity in prayer, but the millions of believers who now do just that the first Sunday of every October are proof that God’s grace is on this important issue.
The most essential things I could hope to pass on to the next generation of church leadership are these several reasons for standing with Israel:
1) Every believer is charged to make the Jews a priority in their value system and to render thanksgiving for God’s work via them as a people. Scripture speaks to us very clearly: We’re dealing with the roots of everything that has to do with the revelation of God to humankind. The proof of this is in the very existence of the Jews as a people and the fact that they’ve been recovered as a nation.
2) Our place in God’s present order inextricably links us with the Jews as a people and the land of Israel according to the Word. When we put our faith in the Redeemer who came through the Jews, we enter into a line of those who have trusted God according to His grace and redemptive purpose.
3) God has made unique declarations regarding the land of Israel which have never been rescinded. When we talk about Israel, we are dealing with: A) a piece of property that God has made pronouncements about and B) God’s people to whom He’s given the land. It is a major issue with the Creator of all things, and it is non-negotiable.
4) Israel’s present conflict is neither by its initiative nor perpetuated by expansionism or racism. The general attitude is to regard the Palestinians as the underdog, but Israel is defending the land covenanted to them in 1917 and established by the United Nations Assembly in 1948. The Palestinian goal is not to secure a homeland, but to drive Israel out altogether.
5) To stand with Israel is not to oppose Arab peoples as an entity or the rights of Arabs living in Israel to a peaceful, politically secure and prosperous life. God has no disposition against any human being, certainly not Arabs who are the offspring of Ishmael, the other son of His chosen leader Abraham.
6) The relentless animosities of sectors of the Arab world are not merely political causes but are driven by spiritual powers that will not be satisfied until Israel ceases to exist. We are caught in the stream of spiritual forces greater than humanity, forces that cannot be overthrown politically or by the power of persuasion. These forces can only be broken by intercessory prayer where principalities and powers are cast down.
7) The same spirit driving these animosities is equally opposed to Christians and Jews, and in time will eventually bring persecution to both. Just as Scripture states there are two witnesses who will be put to death in Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelation 11), there have been two witnesses that have stood for God throughout history—Jews and Christians.
8) A biblical assignment and a divine promise summon our stand in faith, our intercession with expectancy and our support with promise. We are called to stand with Israel today because we could be people of the last hour. The Lord has called us to be people with moral and biblical conviction, walking wisely and knowing His Word. He will honor those who make an abiding commitment to stand with the land He’s called uniquely His. (Ps. 122:6).
Jack Hayford is president of The Kings University in Los Angeles. “Pastor Jack” is the founding pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, Calif., where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. He also served as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and is the co-chairman with Robert Stearns of the global Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.