Israel Is Trying to Kick Jesus Out of the Country!
There has been, what to me, is astounding news coming out of Israel right now. Two leaders in the governments political party are pushing the government to make it illegal to share the news about Jesus Christ in Israel, with the punishment of up to a year in prison or if it to a person under 18 up to 2 years in prison.
This would mean you could not talk about Jesus, you could not write about Jesus, you could not print material about Jesus, nothing. The very country where Jesus was born, raised, preached, teached and did miracles. The very country where He died is now talking about kicking Jesus out.
Link to video report: https://www.newsmax.com/danielcohen/israel-jesus-bill/2023/03/20/id/1112738/
Why? The Jewish community never accepted Jesus as their Messiah, as their promised Chosen one, in fact it was the Jews that turned Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified. Should we then be against the Jews? Never!
Jesus was a Jew. The disciples were Jews and many thousands of Jews did become followers of Jesus and in fact these followers were the very first church. It was how Christianity was started with Jewish believers. God then went on to tell the first church to accept non-Jewish people also called Gentiles into their midst as well and the church spread throughout the world. Some traditional Jewish leaders did not like this and still do not.
When I was in Israel we got to see the Immigration building in Haifa and we were told about Aliyah. This is where the Israel government has opened its doors to all Jewish people and is allowing them to return home. It offers free airfare and a place to live when you come back. They will not accept Messianic Jews in this program. Those are Jewish people who call Jesus their Messiah, followers of Jesus.
Is Israel the only country to consider making a stand against Christianity? Certainly not!
In the world today – numerous countries have been put onto the Worldwide Watch List. In 2022 the top 10 countries (but there is a long, long list – these are only the top 10 but we could up to 100 or more) that are most dangerous for Christians are: Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and India the warning level in these countries is considered “extreme”.
The country right now where Christianity is growing the fastest? Iran, followed by Korea. Bizarre right? Countries in the top 10 of extreme persecution are growing the fastest.
I have always maintained that dark and light are 2 parallels similar to train tracks. They grow about the same rate. It would seem to be the case in Iran and Korea. If the world is looking dark and black, the light is growing at the same time – it simply is a matter of where you focus your eyes.
The Pew Research Center reports that 80% of the world’s governments interfered with their citizen’s religious worship in some way in 2019. It states that while Christianity is the world’s largest religion it is in no way immune to persecution. See the map at the top of countries where it is illegal to be a Christian.
As we get more and more squeezed by governments trying to mold us into their box, the question comes up to pushing back, to fighting for our rights, do we have any? I am posting Rick Warrens’ – former pastor of Saddleback Church, his article on Is It Ever Okay to Fight, Part 1.
Before we read the article, I must mention that our first and most powerful weapon to fight with is Prayer. Prayer releases the forces of heaven, prayer acknowledges that God fights for us and prayer is a strategic weapon when done correctly. Are there times where we need to physically fight? Read Pastor Rick's answer....
IS IT EVER RIGHT TO FIGHT? By Rick Warren
Yes. There are times when it is the lesser of two evils. There are times when it is appropriate and there are times when it is inappropriate. Ecclesiastes 3:8 "There is a time for war and a time for peace."
The Bible is very realistic. Sometimes war is the right thing. Sometimes war is the wrong thing. "There is a time for war and there is a time for peace." The Bible is very realistic about this. There are many, many examples in the Bible where God commanded a war, where God said, "Go to war!" When you look at the great heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 -- Joshua, David, Gideon, Samson -- these guys were all warriors. When you look at the Bible you find that sometimes war was the right thing to do.
When you study the ministry of Jesus you see a number of things. In the first place, He never told a Roman soldier to leave the army. If Jesus had been a total pacifist, He would have said every time He saw a soldier, "Leave your army! Come follow Me." But not once did He ever say it was morally wrong for them to be in the service. In fact, in Matthew 24:6, He said there will always be wars in the world until the Prince of Peace comes back. There will always be wars.
Wasn't Jesus a pacifist? I don't think He was. Twice in the New Testament, He cleansed the temple by force. It says He made a whip and He went in and He cleansed the temple. He didn't politely ask them, "Would you guys, pretty please get out of here?" He forced them out. They were in the wrong place. So He forced them out.
One time Jesus told His disciples to sell their coats and buy a sword. Luke 22:36.
I want to challenge you to do a study in the Bible of the word "resist". Make a study of all the things that we are to resist in the New Testament, that we're not to simply passively accept evil, but that we are to resist it. And how are we to do that?
The Bible says there is a time for war and a time for peace. Then the question becomes, "When's the right time?" How do you know a good war from a bad war? Two or three times the Bible says we ought to fight:
1. In order to preserve freedom. There are many examples in the Bible of this. Once God told Joshua to wipe out the Midianites, they were very oppressive. They were very evil. He was afraid that they would be oppressed by them. They had all kinds of evil practices like throwing babies into the fire. It was a terrible, atrocious culture. In Numbers 32, God gets very upset, in fact He expresses anger, at two tribes in Israel, because they wouldn't go to war. Moses says to these two tribes, "What are you going to do? Just sit here while the rest of your brothers go to war? Aren't you going to participate?" That's different than a lot of people here.
You have to decide what's worth dying for. If you don't know what's worth dying for, you don't know what's worth living for. There are some things that are worse than war.
Many times in the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to go liberate a certain group of people.
2. In order to defend innocent people. Proverbs 21:15 "When justice is done it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." Circle "justice". Christians are not just interested in peace. We want peace, but we want peace with justice. Peace at any price is not peace. Peace at any price is appeasement. God says that God is not only a God of peace but He is a God of justice. Things should be done right. That's why the Civil War was fought. Blacks were being treated unjustly. So there had to come force, to force people to treat them justly. Somebody said that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. We must do justice.
John Stewart Mills said, "A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free."
3. In order to stop the spread of evil. The Bible makes very clear that God has authorized the government to enforce the law and punish offenders. Romans 13:4 (Jerusalem Bible and New International Version) "Government is there to serve God for your benefit. If you break the law however, you may well have fear. He does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of justice to bring punishment on the wrongdoers."
Three facts of life: We live in a fallen world. Every person has sinned. And wherever there is sin, people hurt each other. So there must be laws enacted to prevent people from hurting each other. God has authorized law and government as part of life. He started by giving us the Ten Commandments. "You shall do this and you shall not do this..." God has established in a fallen world where people are not perfect that there has to be laws. God has authorized government to enforce those laws, because if there's no enforcement, the laws are worthless.
It says if you're doing good you don't have to fear the law, you don't have to fear government. "If you break the law however you may well have fear." Have you ever been driving down the freeway and saw a red light in back of you and all of a sudden you were overcome with fear? Then it went on past you! Why did you get uptight? Because you know you have a guilty conscience. If you never broke the law, you'd never be afraid of law enforcement. The Bible says that God has established government to be the agent of enforcement to maintain the peace, because we live in a world where people will hurt each other. So God says there are laws.
For instance, the eighth commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." That means you have a right to private property. So do other people. Most of the world would agree that Saddam decided, "I want that down there in Kuwait so I'm just going to steal it. I'll just take it by force because I want it." So he's broken some international laws. One law that says you don't steal somebody else's country. Good law! The whole world agrees with this except Saddam and a couple of kooks! You don't go in and take over somebody's country by force. We shouldn't do it. They shouldn't do it. So the Bible says there are agents to bring about punishments for wrongdoers.
"Doesn't the sixth commandment say, `Thou shalt not kill.'" No it doesn't. It says "Thou shalt not murder." The word is used 47 times in the Bible and it always means murder. Is there a difference between killing and murder? Absolutely. C.S. Lewis said, "All killing is no more murder than all sexual intercourse is adultery." There is a difference. Many times in the Old Testament, God commanded capital punishment for certain kinds of crimes.
When is it right? To bring about justice. To preserve freedom. To reduce evil in the world.