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Why Is Israel Important?

Israel is a small nation about the size of New Jersey, yet it’s global importance is nearly unequaled. It’s bizarre how much Israel is talked about in the news. The natural mind has to wonder “Why is Israel important?”

Israel is important because God has made Biblical promises to her that drastically affects every people group on Earth. Historically, Israel came about when God made a promise to Abraham, which eventually led to Jacob being born in the Promised Land and developed into a nation over many years.

Biblical prophecy was fullfilled in 1948 when Israel was rebirthed as a nation. 

“In that day, the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people… and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” Is. 11:11-12 (emphasis mine)

God has tied the salvation of every nation to Israel. He promised that out of Israel the Messiah would come. When Jesus the Messiah did come, the people of Israel rejected Him. As a consequence, salvation came to the Gentiles while Israel was put on a side-track.

“…through their trespass [rejection of Jesus as Messiah] salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world [salvation]… how much more will their full inclusion mean! [acceptance of Jesus as Messiah]” Rom. 11:11-12 (my notes added)

"For if their rejection [of Jesus] means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? [Jesus’ return]” Rom. 11:15 (my notes added)

God has given Israel so much favor that even their failures are turned into blessings for the earth. I speak of their "rejection” and the Gentiles’ salvation. Jesus goes one step further and bases His return (Second Coming) on the condition that Israel accepts Him as their Messiah. 

“For I tell you, you will not see Me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matt. 23:39)

Jesus loves Israel so much that His return on the Day of the Lord to restore all things is conditional on Israel’s acceptance of Him. That’s the real crux of why Israel is important. Can you see now why Israel is among the most despised nations? The Devil’s schemes throughout history has been to annihilate Israel so that Jesus cannot return. That understanding puts a whole new perspective on the holocaust during WWII and Iran’s hatred of Israel. 

We partner in prayer with Israel because 1) God’s Word commands us to partner through prayer with His sovereign decision to call them His people, 2) The Day of the Lord and the earth’s restoration is dependent on Israel’s acceptance of Jesus as Messiah.

Israel is important because:

  • God made a sovereign decision to call them His People
  • God’s salvation plan began with Israel by sending His Son to be a descendent of Abraham
  • The Second Coming of Christ and subsequent restoration of all things is dependent on Israel’s acceptance of Him as Messiah

As believers, we are commanded in the Word to pray for Israel. It’s a deception to think Israel is not pertinent to our lives, or that it’s a peripheral prayer topic. Israel is arguably the most important issue to commit to in prayer. 

I challenge you to pray for Israel at least 20 minutes a day. Or join our prayer room in prayer on Tuesdays from noon – 1pm.

Knowing the generation but not the hour

I’m not generally one to take advantage of current trending topics around the globe, but this seems like a good opportunity to get our minds thinking about the end times and the rapture. By now I’m sure you’ve heard: today is the end of the world. This group believes today is the day of the rapture and the beginning of a 5-month destruction of the earth. What does the Bible really say—can we know the day or the hour?

Knowing the trends and events related to the generation that the Lord returns

In Matt. 24 Jesus lays out an overview of the global scene in the generation proceeding His return. Jesus rebuked those who did not heed the prophetic signs that pointed to His coming (Mt. 16:1-4; Lk. 19:41-44). Prophetic signs serve the Church in the same way a weather station signals coming trouble so that people can prepare and save lives.

1 "The Pharisees…came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven…2 Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign…"  (Mt. 16:1-4)

1 “Concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you…4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness [ignorance] so that this Day should overtake [come on you unexpectantly] you as a thief…6 Therefore…let us watch.” (1 Thes. 5:1-6)

How can we know when Jesus is coming if He says in Matthew 24:36 that “no one knows the day or the hour”?

Jesus did not say we could not know the season or the conditions surrounding His coming. Neither did Jesus say that the Church would not know the day and hour in the generation the Lord returns. We have to humbly seek the Father’s word as to when this begins because only the Father knows. God did not want to make the day and hour known in the early Church, but Daniel and the Apostle John made it clear the Messiah would come exactly 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5). 

When does the rapture occur in relation to the tribulation? Getting a biblical mindset

A brief overview of the origins of the pre-tribulation rapture theory. 

In the early 1800’s the pre-tribulation theory was popularized by theologian John Darby. The basic theory states that Christ ‘secretly’ returns to rapture up believers before the 7-year tribulation, after which He openly comes with His saints to judge the earth (this is essentially 2 comings).

I believe the main reason for the error found in the pre-tribulation rapture theory is due to incorrect interpretation of passages. It’s important to read the Bible with a mindset that the Word says what it means and means what it says. When we view the Bible as primarily symbolic we get a confused and jumbled mess. For example, in Revelation, when it says ‘Behold, a sign,’ then what follows is symbolic; everything else is to be read as literal. Keeping that in mind, the scriptures that supported pre-tribulation rapture no longer support it.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51)

Then the seventh angel [with the last trumpet] sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”" (Rev. 11:15) (This last trumpet occurs at the end of 7-year tribulation).

Some common lies against knowing the generation

Lie #1: We can’t know the day or hour so we shouldn’t try to know the generation the Lord returns. Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability of the signs of the end times (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11). 

Lie #2:  Understanding the end times causes us to minimize our work in the kingdom. This is a criticism toward the escapist and defeatist mentality of some who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture. They conclude that they should not work hard to transform the culture since the Antichrist will take over everything anyway and since they may be raptured at any moment.

Lie #3: It will all pan out in the end. The question is, will it pan out well with you and your loved ones? It will only go well for those who are prepared. 

It’s important to never accept anything anyone says as doctrine. You have to search the scriptures yourself with a prayerful mind, seeking for the spirit of wisdom and revelation. People and traditions can lead astray so we must be rooted in the Word.

Recommended Reading: 100 FAQs about the end times

Why Study The End Times?

The study of the end-times can be daunting, misunderstood and completely overlooked. There is so much confusion as to whether or not it’s meant to be understood as symbolic or literal. Really, what’s with all the beasts with many wings, heads and horns? That’s kinda weird. Is it symbolic? Are there literally dragons? How do I know what’s literal and what’s symbolic? There are so many questions and the answers are usually hidden behind droves of technical names of beliefs that really only confuse. Premillennial Dispensationalism? Amillennialism? Futurism? How can I figure this stuff out without a PhD?

Fear not, reader! The books of the bible that deal with the end times were written to be understood by all. The majority of society in human history have been uneducated farmers, and these books are meant to be understood by them, not just scholars and theologians. 

The biggest question amongst all these is Why study the End Times?

First, because the generation in which the Lord returns will experience vast extremes of darkness and light. Matt. 13:24 speaks of this generations two extremes when it says

“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The tares (wickedness) and the wheat (unprecedented revival) will grow up together and this generation will be pressured to choose a side. There will be no room for middle ground.

Second, we study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns is the most written about generation in scripture. Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme. Jesus spoke more about the last generation of natural history than the generation that He was born in. Why? To prepare the Bride (church) to be victorious in love and power during the most dramatic time in world history.

Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme…

Third, we must study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns most openly manifests Jesus’ heart and leadership to the nations. The four gospels (totaling 89 chapters) give us a record of Jesus’ heart and power at His first coming when He accomplished redemption. In a similar way, the end of the age (over 150 chapters) reveals Jesus’ heart and power as He takes over the leadership of the whole earth. The gospels and the end-time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus operating in the same power of the Holy Spirit. The book of Revelation is called the revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership (Rev. 1:1)

Fourth, God has announced this generation as having the most prophetic signs. These prophetic signs include: supernatural disturbances in the heavens and on earth, natural signs in nature (earthquakes, etc), trends in society, and political, military, religious, scientific, technological, and economic developments. These signs increase in intensity as we get closer to Jesus’ returns. We must learn how to discern these signs. In fact, Scripture requires those in the generation in which the Lord returns to know the prophetic signs and to respond appropriately. (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11)

God promised to give these prophetic signs in the generation which the Lord returns as an expression of His mercy, so people can make the necessary preparations far what is coming. These prophetic signs serve the Church like a weather station that signals trouble before it comes so people can prepare and save lives. An example is the Southeast Asia tsunami caused by the Sumatra earthquake in 2004. 230,000 people died. Most of those who died could have been saved simply by knowing and hour earlier that the tsunami was coming.

We don’t study the End Times out of fear. It’s very apparent that people are afraid of the End Times because it has been portrayed as the ‘end of the world,’ and the destruction of all things, for so long by so many. The End Times is never phrased as the end of the world in scripture, but the end of an Age – meaning the earth and humanity continues on after, with a perfect, righteous, loving King of humanity.

We must study the End Times because it clearly displays Jesus’ character, as revealed in the book of Revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ). It shows His heart, dominion, righteous judgments, and ultimately His undying love for humanity. The storyline of the End Times is that of a fiery lover willing to go all lengths to purify a Bride to spend eternity with. We study the End Times because of love.

Study Guides & Resources:

End Times Simplified: Preparing Your Heart for the Coming Storm by Dave Sliker

Most people don’t know how to approach the end times, but the Bible is clearer than you might think on this subject. If you want to understand end-time events and how you fit into them, the straightforward language and biblical truths in this book make it an excellent resource.

Book of Revelation Study Guide by Mike Bickle

A simple but inspiring, verse-by-verse guide to the book of Revelation, with a glossary of terms and symbols, and in-depth articles and charts. Mike Bickle’s straightforward approach brings the message to life and emphasizes its relevance for us today.

  • As an "end-time book of Acts,” it reveals God’s glorious plan to use a lovesick Bride at the end of the age in unprecedented power and authority. She will partner with Jesus as He cleanses our planet of evil and ushers in the kingdom of God.
  • It’s an “infallible prayer manual” that maps out the global, strategic prayers of the praying church. We’ll be equipped to pray in unity with Jesus’ heart as He unleashes His judgments upon the Antichrist’s evil empire.
  • While many saints are waiting to “go up” in the rapture to avoid the tribulation, God is waiting for the church to “grow up” to release the tribulation judgments by prayer on the Antichrist. This is truly the Church’s greatest hour.
Copyright © 2022 Evan and Sarah Olsen. Site by Evan Olsen.