You know, I'm a little behind on my thru the year bible reading. This morning, I read the last 6-8 chapters of Isaiah. So much of it looks forward to the new Jerusalem, echoed strongly in Revelation. Then, there is language that reads as some interim condition of Jerusalem, a time of blessedness but not anything that has ever been recorded and not anything that is described in the new Jerusalem.
The hope in that interim? It is clear. Jesus, the servant, brings all nations into the redemption of God because it is "too light" a thing, Isaiah writes, that God should only save Israel.
Yet, Israel is not saved, are they? They still reject Jesus. They leverage Him for political and financial gain especially from Roman Catholics and American evangelicals, but it is certain that -- nationally, culturally -- Israel rejects Jesus. Just like the nations do.
With Paul, my heart's prayer is that Israel will be saved. And, a remnant will be, because God will have them for Himself. No one or nothing can stop Him.
Yet, I'm deeply concerned that American Christians would not only lead Israel to a fake Christ, but will themselves follow a fake Christ. To a great extent, we already do.
My mind returns to those latter chapters of Isaiah that I read this morning: "But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in." (65:11, 12)
We have a Jesus-flavored soup with death in the pot. We have mixed dispensationalism and New Age paganism, a little something for everybody. How many of our American preachers repeat the mantra of "finding your destiny", "living out your destiny", or call our churches by the name of this or that kind of "destiny". How many of those same "destiny" preachers mixed the new wine with the wine of the spirit of this age? One church in Louisiana wants to build a "destiny dome" as part of a church campus with a gym and retirement community and wants people to "give and it shall be given unto you". Another popular TV pastor wants you to "discover your God-designed destiny". It is just so much neo-pagan gobbledy-gook. You can take any man or woman, put some sweat on their brow, give them the right intonation of voice, the right fashion of clothing, give them a large bible and a handkerchief, and have them proclaim something about the arrival of Jesus and you'd be hard pressed to stop the rush of those who believe it. You could likewise marshal all of the jumped-to conclusions about prophecy that substitute now for deep study and painstaking prayer, proclaim something about the arrival of Jesus already, and you would find yourself on the opposite side of a large plurality or even majority of professing "Christians".