If you believe the Bible, as I do, the return of Israel as a nation after 2,000 years is a greater miracle than all that occurred during the Exodus.
That's what God says in Jeremiah 16:14-15: "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."
Think about that. The reformation of the nation of Israel 64 years ago and the ingathering of dispersed Jews from all over the world is a greater miracle than all of the following:
— Parting of the Red Sea
— Manna from heaven
— Water from rocks
— Giving of the law on Mount Sinai
I don't think most Christians and Jews in the 21st century fully appreciate what it means to be witnesses to such an awesome miracle.
Sometimes when we read the Bible, we scoff at the blindness of the ancient people to what was happening at the time. But I think we're just as guilty as they were — if not more so.
The miracle of the ingathering is greater than the miracles of the Exodus. That's not what I say. That's what the Lord says. And it's a miracle we have been privileged to experience this firsthand. But that privilege comes with a responsibility — a responsibility to recognize what God is doing and to get behind that mighty work.
We have too many Christians in America today who don't get that. They are not standing with the children of Israel, our brethren whose covenant we experience and share by virtue of bring grafted in, as Paul explains in the book of Romans.
Christians who don't appreciate their connection to this miracle are Christians who ultimately don't appreciate the gift of salvation and the redemption offered to the whole world. They don't fully appreciate whom their Lord and Savior is — why he came and that he's coming again!
They don't appreciate where he's coming. He's not coming to Washington, D.C., to rule the world. He's coming to Jerusalem.
When and why is he coming? He's coming at a time when Israel is facing disaster, and he's coming to save Israel.
Replacement theology is not only a dangerous theology. It is a shallow one — one that tried to render most of the Bible as irrelevant and portray God as a covenant breaker who changes his mind and even his personality.
But today, much of the church is confused about whom we are as believers and the rich biblical heritage that serves as the foundation for our faith and our hope.
Some Christians aren't sure our Savior is coming back at all — let alone that he's coming back to Israel to save and preserve it.
Some Christians are confused about whether the modern miracle of Israel is truly a manifestation of prophecy at all.
Some Christians even see more connection between their faith and Islam than they do between their faith and Judaism, even though Christianity makes no sense except in the context of the messianic promise from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It would behoove all of us as believers to read and study the rich and abundant scriptures dealing with the second coming because I suspect there will be believers unprepared and caught unawares.
Many people missed his first coming because they were looking for a conquering king. I suspect many Christians will not recognize the conquering king when he returns because they will be looking instead for the suffering servant.
What is Yeshua going to do when he returns? The Bible tells us he's going to mete out justice. His garments are going to be stained in blood. He's going to destroy nations. He's going to enforce his will with a rod of iron. Are we prepared for that Yeshua?
He's going to judge individuals and nations, as we learn in Matthew 25. The nations will be divided into sheep nations and goat nations largely on the basis of how they treated his precious Israel. He will bless those that bless thee and curse those that curse thee.
Our Christian faith — and our very redemption — is constructed on a foundation of promise by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Without an understanding and appreciation of that connection, our faith doesn't even make sense. Our Savior did not just spring up spontaneously one day in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago without expectation. He came as the long-awaited Jewish messiah, the King of the Jews, out of the line of David, and he will eventually rule on David's throne for 1,000 years in the future.
By the way, he didn't come to start a new religion called Christianity. He came to fulfill the law and the prophets, and offer Jews and non-Jews alike salvation.
If you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, you will also acknowledge that when he returns you, I and other believers are going to be keeping the Sabbath and observing the Feast of Tabernacles. We will be visiting Jerusalem regularly — and if we don't, we won't get any rain. I think some Christians are going to be shocked at just how Israeli-centric our life will be in the millennial kingdom.
How many Christians in America today really understand just how Jewish our Savior and our God really is? He won't be eating ham sandwiches at the church potluck.
How many of us will recognize him when he returns?
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.