Less than a week after Pope Francis called all muslims his brothers and sisters, the Vatican has come out to declare that Catholics must cease trying to convert Jews. In an attempt to fight against anti-Semitism, they have now started an inter-faith partnership with their Jesus-less brothers and sisters.
Of course most Christians don’t care about what the Pope or the vatican says, but I think this can serve as a little reminder of why Israel desperately needs the Gospel.
Paul in Romans 9:1-5 says:
I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Not only did Paul understand that Israel was lost but it broke his heart. He would have even been willing to be accursed (go to hell) if he were able to trade himself for their salvation. Paul understood two basic truths that led him to believe that all Jews are headed towards Hell and must be born-again.
They are a works based religion
When Jesus came he exposed the fact that the Jewish religion was completely performance based. The whole Sermon on the mount was a message that declared to all that God is not impressed with outward actions, but he looks at the heart. And when he looks at everyone’s heart he is not impressed, in fact the Bible tells us that his wrath is upon all mankind because of our wicked hearts. Judaism teaches that you can earn your way to Heaven based on performance. In a sense it is the same as Roman Catholicism. In fact we would say that there are only two religions in the world. Paul is very clear in Philippians 3:1-8 that although he (like all Jews currently do) use to trust in his works for salvation, he came to the point where he understood that those “accomplishments” only condemned him further. That God sent His son because of the fact that man could not save himself, and that any attempt to earn his forgiveness is a slap in the face to Jesus.
They don’t have Jesus
The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah who will deliver them from their constant problems. Jews have never really had peace in this world, at least not since the days of Solomon, and now they are easily the most hated people group on earth. They are hoping this future messiah will bring peace and establish Israel to Solomon-like days. The problem is that the Messiah has already come, and His plan was not to rescue the Jews from problems in this life, but His mission was much, much greater, He came to solve their eternal-problem. He was the perfect lamb who unlike the old testament sacrifices was able to finally pay for sin permanently. He was God Himself, the creator of the Universe and He came and fulfilled God’s promise to Eve in Genesis 3:15. Jesus is the only person who can save them.
Anti-Semitism is a terrible issue, and one that should be done away with, but not at the expense of the Gospel. We must fight injustice without compromising on truth. We have to stand strong and abhor evil, and continue to bring the Gospel to every end of the earth. Being at war with any nation is awful, but let’s not forget that there is nothing worse than being at war with God. So while we pray for peace in Jerusalem please don’t forget to evangelize your Jewish friends!