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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 1993

The Christian Gospel Versus AntiSemitism

    Modern dispensational Bible prophecy theorists exonerate unbelieving racial Jewry to the status of a chosen electorate, with special privileges and promises guaranteed to them solely on the basis or their racial decent. Such doctrine, however, is totally at variance with the plainest teaching of the New Testament, and is held at the expense of misconstruing the entire salvation history message of the Bible.

    A careful reading of Romans 9-11 and Galatians 3-4, wherein the student opens himself up to "hear" what the texts themselves actually say, not what the preconceptions and prejudices of Darbyism only want them to read, reveals that all distinctions between Jews and Gentiles based on racial considerations alone are now obsolete. "There is no difference," the Bible says (Romans 10:12), and that settles the issue, once and for all.

    There are no longer "Jews and Gentiles" there are only "believers and unbelievers" in the present messiahship and saviorhood of Jesus Christ. Unbelieving racial Jews remain under the wrath of God, as do all sinners (John 3:36; Matthew 23:37-39). The option open to them is the same that is available to all men: "repent and believe the Gospel."  Some first century racial Jews did just that, and they were called Christians. What does the dispensationalists do with the first disciples of Jesus Christ, who recognized Him to be the promised "Messiah" of all Israel? They must either allow that these racial Jews were "misled," or at least "premature" in their consignment of the messiahship to Jesus of Nazareth, or admit that they themselves are wrong, and on the side of Christianity's earliest opponents, the Judaizers.

    Paul says that his unbelieving countrymen, who would not accept Jesus as their present Messiah, were "going about to establish their own righteousness, [and] have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). Such, he says, are not the true Israel (Romans 9:6), are not the present heirs of the promises to Abraham (Romans 9:7-8; Galatians 3:7-8, 14-16, 26-29), and, in fact, are not even "Jews" at all (Romans 2:28-29).

    Jesus himself, put it even stronger: he said that "those who say they are Jews" (i.e., certain unbelieving Israelites), "but are not" (i.e., not true Jews who accept the Messiah, i.e., Christians), are "blasphemers," "liars," and "of the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9; 3:9; cf. with John 8:44).

    Modern Christians must be careful not to deny the true Gospel of Jesus Christ by appeasement to the reproach of carnal men, who decry "anti-Semitism!" at the least condemnation of Jewish racial exclusiveness. The Christian believes that the truth of the Christian Gospel judges men's actions and motivations. And in the truth of the Christian Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is now (not will become someday after he has returned to "set up" his imagined "millennial kingdom"!) the Messiah of all Israel. So what, then, if some racial Jews do not accept Jesus as their Messiah now? Does that mean that Jesus is somehow not (objectively) the Messiah yet, just because some refuse to believe? "What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:3-4a).

    The fact is that many racial Jews in the past, as well as numbers in the present, do accept Jesus as their promised Messiah. And this is exactly how the Scripture has said it should be: "Even so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5). The "remnant" of Old Testament Israel is all racial Jews who make up the New Testament Church. The "remnant" is never referred to as unbelieving racial Jews, as many modern dispensational Bible prophecy theorists are erroneously teaching. God does not have two "remnants": that is, a remnant of unbelieving racial Jews, and another remnant of believing Jews who make up the Church. Unbelieving racial Jews are not a true "remnant" at all. They are, rather, the natural branches who have been "broken off" of the olive tree, in order that the wild branches, the Gentiles, might be grafted in (Romans 11:17). And even these, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in again (Romans 11:23).

    Whether racial Jews accept Jesus or not is a "predestination" question, that Wesleyan-Arminians must believe is left open to free moral agency. It is not for us to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in his own power (Acts 1:6-7). Our responsibility is to witness to all, both Jews and Gentiles alike, of the "great salvation" that is freely available and incumbent upon all today (Acts 1:8). "He that believeth [the messianic gospel of the kingdom] and is baptized shall be saved, He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).

    Racial Jews who die without the knowledge of Christ are lost, just as every sinner is lost. Paul's heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was that "they might be saved" (Romans 9:1-3; 10:1). God's wonderful plan for the Jew, therefore, is not the restoration of Judaism in Darbyism's imagined "millennial kingdom," but rather that they might get saved from their sins and know the joys of "scriptural holiness" today!

    Beware, then, of what many term "anti-Semitism." It may be nothing more or less than a smokescreen for hiding racial bigotry. Jews may be "racial bigots," just as well as may anyone else--something too many moderns too willingly forget! He that takes the sword, shall perish by the sword. War-mongering, by whatever party, Jew or Arab, is certainly the wrong approach to peace and truth in modern times. Someone must begin to lead the way to God. In going about to establish his own righteousness, the modern Jew does not, he cannot, submit to the righteousness of God. The answer, then, is to turn inward to repent of personal and national sin, and "die out," as it were, to human pride and self-sufficiency. Only then can a true reconciliation between Jacob and Esau again take place.

    Racial discrimination, of any sort, roots in human pride and self-righteousness, the very thing that Christianity came to save men from. The truth of the Gospel, with its glorious provision for "heart purity and perfect love," however, condemns carnal pride and self-righteousness. The Bible does not justify the racial Jew in his stubborn disbelief in the present messiahship of Jesus Christ (as modern dispensational Bible prophecy theorists, by their doctrine, do).

    The New Testament is not "anti-Semitic," either, but it is truthful to the human condition. Sinners, who resent its intrusion upon their self-delusions, may call it "anti-Semitic" if they will. The Christian Gospel that condemns all pride of race, of face, of place, and grace, however, is still the truth-reality that will judge us all "in the last day." No man, not even the Jew himself, can boast in who he is, or in what he has, for God has concluded both Jews and Gentiles alike in unbelief, that, through the Christian Gospel, he may have mercy upon us all (Romans 11:32).

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