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March 23, 2021 8:00 pm
Glad you came out about opening a Bible with me to ask chapter 20 continuing our study of the life of a great man. The apostle Paul. Now if you been here the last few weeks. You know we've been talking from acts chapter 20 about Paul's speech that he gave the church of Ephesus, the leaders of that church and in the league in that speech with the apostle Paul did as he outlined the five spiritual principles that defined his life and that shaped his ministry and meeting the man of God that he was not been telling you over the last few weeks that if you aspire to be a man of God, a woman of God are true servant of God that these this little speech is the most significant section of the Bible anywhere for you and me.
Because if we can emulate these principles that Paul had in his life. That's how we get to be the common servant of Christ that he was that you missed any of these I encourage you to pick up the tape the CD were to move on today and I want us to look at verse 21, right in the middle of his speech. It was a verse that we, glossed over.
When we looked at it the first time I want to go back and really dig in with it and here's what it says it says both publicly and house to house. I declared to Gentiles and Jewish people alike, that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now friends earlier in the speech, the apostle Paul had said that he wanted these leaders of the church in Ephesus to shepherd God's flock and protect them from theological error and I take that responsibility very seriously. Here McLean Bible church leaders do and so I want to do for couple weeks to stop and look at some of the most in piteous theological errors that are being up polished and fostered on the American people today and this is one of them right here but we just read in verse 21 because you may not realize it, but there's an enormous conflict going on in the Christian community today about this very question. Do Jewish people really need to believe in Jesus as their Messiah do Jewish people really need to embrace what Jesus did for them on the cross in order to go to heaven and a large majority of the Christian community these days is saying no, they don't, here's a few examples, the Christian scholars group on Jewish Christian relations. This is a group of religious leaders from the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, Episcopalian church, other Protestant denominations and they published a statement in September about two and here's what it says and I quote in view of our conviction that Jews are already in an eternal covenant with God. We renounce all missionary efforts directed at converting Jews."
The US Catholic bishops in a statement entitled reflections on covenant admission released in August 2002 said and I quote targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity is no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church."
And when Jews for Jesus was over in London this past summer summer about three doing campaign that is campaign means were out on the street with her with the tens and tens of volunteers where passing out tracts to Jewish people trying to talk to Jewish people about Christ, the Archbishop of Canterbury released a statement in which he said and I quote the campaign by Jews for Jesus represents an approach to Christian witness which neither I nor the wider Church of England can endorse end of quote is that what in the world is going on long willingly tell you what's going on friends.
There is a very smooth public relations job that's being done by the people in the Jewish community by Jewish leaders is being done over the past 30 years and it's aimed at trying to convince the Christian community that is Abraham's seed as Abraham's descendents. Jewish people have their own unique arrangement with God completely apart from Jesus Christ.
They don't need Jesus Christ and so therefore it is unnecessary for us to share Jesus Christ with them or evangelize them. This is commonly referred to as the two covenants theory and it says that God made one covenant with the Jewish people to Abraham. God made a different covenant would Gentiles through Jesus Christ. And because we have our own covenant with Abraham. We don't need Jesus Christ. We don't have to accept Jesus Christ going to hell and needing a Savior is a Gentile problem. It is not a Jewish problem. This is why I said in the Washington Times back earlier this month. Quote mean now that okay here I am. Quote me there we go. I am deeply concerned about the growing tendency in evangelical Christian circles to accept the idea of the Jewish people have a separate arrangement with God in Gentile and the Jewish people therefore don't need personal faith in Jesus as their Messiah to go to heaven. I continued 20 years ago, professors at Fuller seminary in California so were cheaper preaching this back then it was an extremely tangential position, but it's gained an unbelievable following now the slippage has been significant." So is what we want to talk about today do Jewish people really need to believe in Jesus as their Messiah and their Savior in order to have eternal life, and go to heaven.
This is part one of the three or four part series I'm going to break and do here: modern theological myths because this is a myth, and on the talked about some other myth and friends. This is a critical issue that goes way beyond Jewish people and let me tell you why, because if there's another way for Jewish people to get to heaven outside of Christ and how do we know there's not another way for Muslims to get to heaven or another way for Hindus to get to heaven or another way for good secular Americans who recycle we get to heaven.
Apart from Jesus Christ honey once there's a crack in the store. There might as well be a thousand. This issue is central to the integrity of everything we understand about how to get eternal life, and how to get to heaven. So let's talk about this now before we answer the question do Jewish people really need Christ to give you little background in the relation due to the relationship of the Christian community and reaching out to Jewish people with the message of Christ for the first 19 centuries of the church's existence, the dominant theological position of the church said that God had disinherited Israel from all the promises that he made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David the God given those promises to the church instead that the church had essentially become Israel in the mind of God and therefore, in light of this theological position.
Jewish people were nothing more than a sad group of people who have rejected and killed their Messiah.
Because of this theology, you might as you might imagine, there were virtually no missionary outreach is to Jewish people at all in the first 19 centuries of the church's existence will all that change at the beginning of the 20th century, with the emergence of dispensationalism the reemergence on my dad as a theological force in Christianity. One of the basic tenets of dispensationalism is that Israel and the church are distinct and separate entities in the plan of God that God has not disinherited Israel that the church is not become Israel and that God intends to fulfill every promise he made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the Jewish people because of dispensationalism.
Many preachers in the beginning of the 1900s began to preach that the political nation of Israel was going to be reborn that millions of Jews were going to return to their land. In preparation for God keeping his promises that Hebrew was once again going to be heard in the streets of Jerusalem that the barren deserts of Palestine would once again bloom and people call these preachers Christ is what you crazy because in the beginning of the 1900s. The Jewish people were scattered in ghettos all over the world. They were disenfranchised and powerless people. The Ottoman Empire owned the land of Palestine, and they didn't want any Jews there and they didn't let any Jews come there, but World War I changed all this began with a man named Arthur Balfour, Arthur Balfour was a committed follower of Christ even promised the minister of Britain before the war and after the war in 1917 he authored the Balfour declaration.
This was a document pledging British support for Palestine to become a national homeland for the Jewish people. Then, of course.
Next was Woodrow Wilson, also a committed follower of Christ present in the United States and he insisted that the newly formed league of Nations after World War I endorse and approve the Balfour declaration, which they did. This was the first time in 20 centuries that there was international recognition of the fact that Palestine belonged to the Jewish people and should be there homeland.
Finally in 1948. The saga concludes with Harry Truman in 1948 the United Nations made the modern state of Israel brought into existence and the war broke out with all of the Arab nations, vowing to push every Jew in Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. A group of evangelical Christians, pastors and Christian leaders went to see Harry Truman in the White House took the Bible showed him from the Bible how God predicted that the Jewish people would survive how he predicted the nation would be reborn convinced Harry Truman that what was happening right in front of his eyes was prophecy coming true. And as a result, Harry Truman became the first leader of any nation to recognize the state of Israel by 248 we became the first country to recognize the state of Israel and as a result the modern state of Israel survive friends what you seen today in our lifetime is a modern political miracle. No other people in history has ever been separated from their homeland for 19 centuries and even survive, no other people in history has ever gotten their homeland back after being separated from it for 1900 years.
No other language in history has ever died out as a living spoken language and then been revived as a living spoken language except for Hebrew, which will here today in the streets all over Israel and you say how long, how can we explain this, modern political miracle.
Very simply, friends, God isn't finished with the Jewish people. Yet he hasn't disenfranchised them. He hasn't disinherited them.
He hasn't taken away their promises and abandon them. Rather, God is going to keep every promise he ever made Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the Jewish people and he split the nation of Israel back together as a prelude for doing that and let me just pause here and make one observation we should recognize that Israel's greatest friends through this entire political process, and even today has been and still is Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ that would Balfour was that's what Wilson was with the lobbyist were we went to see Harry Truman and friends you cannot read the Bible you cannot walk with Jesus Christ and the anti-Semitic.
The two are mutually exclusive.
You can't do it now. One of the other things that happened in the 20th century as a result of all this political activity in this theological activity is that all of a sudden the way the church look to Jewish people began to change. We began to understand Jewish people. We are to reach out to these people with the message of Christ, we ought to try to bring them to Christ.
They have a future in the plan of God. And so Jewish missionary organizations which had never existed for 1900 years began to spring up at the beginning of the 20th century there were many of them today. Now in the beginning. Our success was minimal, but in the last 30 years. The success of Jewish missionary organizations has been phenomenal. Friends you may not realize that there are more Jewish believers alive and walking the face of the earth today than at any other time since the days of the apostles.
Since Peter and James and John and Paul walked the face of your when I came to Washington in 1971. There were not 100 Jewish believers in the entire city of Washington DC. Today we have almost 200 Jewish believers in this church alone in 30 years we have double the amount that was an old Washington area now this is why the Jewish lobby. This is why the Jewish leaders have embarked upon this public relations campaign this to covenant theory because they were losing the war of trying to keep Jewish people from coming to Christ. They were losing the battle of trying to keep Jewish people from embracing Jesus and so they decided to change tactics and instead to convince the Christian community not to share Christ with them because they don't need him.
They said that you know what where the Jews were the chosen people. We have our own unique relationship with God. We don't need Jesus. We don't want Jesus. So you need to respect us and keep Jesus to yourself. God wants you to be respectful.
God would want you to be courteous. It's disrespectful for you to share Jesus with us.
We donating when a warning keeping these two. And that's how we got to where we are today and they've had amazing success. As you've seen from some of the quotes I shared with you the beginning, convincing us that there fine the way they are now are the Jewish people find the way they are. What is it really mean to be the chosen people that mean they're okay without Jesus Christ will.
Nobody argues that God chose the Jewish people to be his unique people in a way he's never chosen another race.
Nobody argues with that Catholics know evangelical Christians don't Jewish people don't we all agree. Deuteronomy 7 the Lord is chosen you.
Moses said, out of all the peoples of the earth to be his special people. His treasured possession. We all agree with the question is what exactly did God choose the Jewish people for we say they're the chosen people. Does that mean God chose them for automatic salvation that God chose them automatic eternal life in heaven. Apart from Christ that they they don't need what Jesus did for them on the cross. Is that what it means to be the chosen people will attend to them.
Paul tells us in Romans chapter 9 what it means to be the chosen people. Here's what he says verse four. He said there is is the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises there are the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and from those men is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is cross God. Overall, there are three things here that God tells us to Paul that he chose the Jewish people for number one. He chose the Jewish people to give the Scriptures the Bible the written word of God to the world. There is is the receiving of the law. Paul says friends I'm sure you realize that apart from the gospel of Luke in the book of acts. Every other book in the Bible was written by Jewish people, and I hope you understand that until the church began for the 15 centuries before that the care and preservation of the Bible was exclusively the responsibility of the Jewish people. They were chosen to be the conduit through which God gave the Bible to our world. Second thing God chose the Jewish people for is to give the true knowledge of God to our world, there is is the divine glory, the covenants, the temple worship and the promises of God. Israel was the channel God use to reveal to the human race. His nature, his person, his glory his promises how he wanted to be worshiped and referred God chose the Jewish people to give the Messiah, the Lord Jesus to our world in his human lineage. There is are the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and from those men is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah.
Now here's the essential point which you notice that in spite of all of these great privileges. God gave the Jewish people in all these entitlements notice that being the chosen people never meant automatic personal salvation for every Jewish person. The Bible doesn't say that it never meant that every Jewish person because they were descendent of Abraham was automatically guaranteed to go to heaven. The Bible never says that.
That is never what it meant to be part of the chosen people. And yet, this misunderstanding goes all the way back to the days of Christ. There were Jewish people in the days of Jesus. The Bible said who had the same misunderstanding that because they were Abraham's descendents they were going to have an automatically remember John the Baptist.
He went out Luke chapter 3 and called Jewish people to repent. Called Jewish people to believe in Christ and he said this to them.
He said and don't say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father because John the Baptist, that is my go to work that doesn't exempt you and you still need to repent and you still need to believe in Jesus to bring this to covenant ID is not some new goes all the way back to the time of Jesus himself, but the Bible is clear.
Nobody gets eternal life. Nobody gets in the heaven. Just because there is a physical descendent of Abraham. Jesus said to the Jewish Rabbi Nicodemus, John chapter 3, you must be born again.
Nicodemus, are you not see in heaven. Jesus said to the Jewish disciples.
John 14 six I am the way, the truth of the life nobody gets to have been the less they come by way of me Peter said to the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem. Acts chapter 4, he said, salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we can be delivered in the whole argument of the book of Romans.
The whole first 11 chapters of the book of Romans is all about this issue. Jewish people and how they get to heaven, and Paul says enroll in Romans chapter 3 verse nine we have already proved that God sees Jews and Gentiles alike that they're all under sin. Romans 323. Many of you memorized it.
There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God plug up. Paul says you know what God says everybody has the same problem and as a result, everybody needs the same solution.
Jews and Gentiles alike.
Romans 10 if we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we believe in our heart. God raised him from the dead.
We will be saved. Watch for there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles the same Lord is Lord of all and he richly blesses all Jews and Gentiles alike who will call upon his name, through Jesus Christ, that summarize friends in the matter with your Jewish with your Gentile with your animal vegetable and mineral friends and on matter whether you descended from Abraham or Billy Graham doesn't make any difference. The Bible is clear that for person to go to heaven. We got to embrace Jesus as Messiah. We've got to trust what he did for us on the cross to pay for our wrongdoings that the only way to do it.
As Peter said there is no other name under heaven by which we can get eternal life and get into heaven now we want to stop and ask our most important question at this point, and some you look a little glazed over you guys all right not thrown a lot after this morning your body.
Okay Your Way, God so there we go most important question you know what it is. 123 right is a lot. So what say okay okay yeah you know that I stayed awake most of episode. What's with diversity that make well here's the difference. Here's the so what brings us so what is that every Jewish person you know your doctor, your dentist, your lawyer every one of these people you know. Listen, I'm here to tell you that you can look at them and be certain that they do not have a different arrangement with God then you have to get the heaven they do not have an alternate way to get eternal life that bypasses Jesus Christ any more than you do and friends. These potent people really really need you to share Jesus with them because it's the only hope they got a sing-along yacht, sniffed out, that's where you're going with this. Well you run exhibiting a lot. I don't share I don't share Jesus with Jewish people. Latte will I got I got some good reasons I like the Arabs a lot up for all right what are the reason number one.
Is this just out a reason number 11 is on the Gentile Gentile.
I'm not Jewish. It seems to me when you talk about Jewish people coming to Christ in order to be, like a kosher on kosher. Do you understand what I'm saying is if I'm not kosher that I don't really think that on the right person to do this well you know it would surprise you to know that the vast majority of followers of Christ are Jewish today that there they are followers of Christ, primarily because of the influence of a Gentile in their life, not another Jewish person pay the man led me to Jesus Christ on the streets of Chapel Hill, North Carolina Bob Eckardt. He was as Gentile as a ham and cheese sandwiches. They went on sale this man Wenona matzoh ball if you fell over on the street and yet this man led me to cries, friends, statistics don't support that. It's gotta be a Gentile, merely a kosher on kosher thing.
If you are here in your Gentile.
You are a perfect candidate to share Jesus Christ with Jewish people because most Jewish people, Christ do so because a Gentile share is the art art art are okay so I got another reason my my second reason is I don't know the Bible well enough to be talking to Jewish people about the Bible. I may not that yeah just a delete meal. What are you kidding you kidding friends.
If you're a follower of Jesus Christ who attends McLean Bible church and are 20 times more about the Bible than the average Jewish person. I remember my dad when I was share Christ with them before he became believer, we sent out once I took the bylaws and I dance I want to share some with you out of Isaiah chapter 53 he went nope nope nope stop right there. I don't believe the New Testament I said that Isaiah is an Old Testament look here, an index, I'll show you right here in the index is in the Old Testament is like really I'm like yeah okay. Did you know Isaiah is an Old Testament you know more than the average Jewish person I'm telling you the truth we go to church. We go to synagogue and we sit there and learn wrote prayers and wrote things to go through the service, but we don't know the Bible you know the Bible much better than we do.
So don't live in some kind of false intimidation that all my gosh you know Jewish affair with a Jewish preferred that the strawman you know the Bible much better than they consume logout surgeries. 1/3 reason is Jewish people to listen anyway. You know what the Bible says about you, which is your stubborn and your hardheaded and your stiffnecked and you people are going to listen anyway. So why the word I want to waste my time share with you people. You people are going to listen while I admit share in the gerund with Jewish people, you know, can sometimes be a challenge. I was in New York two years ago will campaign the Jews for Jesus had a big T-shirt on.
Since Jews for Jesus all over the front of it and I was standing right outside the Empire State building, 34th St., New York, given out tracks. It is little Jewish man came up to me he was like about 3 foot nothing and say what I'm saying and he put his hands on his hips and he looks up at me and he says so what do you think you are and I looked down at him and I said I'm a Jewish person who believes in Jesus and he says no you're not present I'm not he said no you're not. I said what am I then he said you are a figment of my imagination.
There is not real. You don't even exist. You're not even here, he said I'm just seeing you anything or figment of my imagination. You don't exist as it was to never meet and talk to me and I'll convince you I exist and he said no and he walks up the street looking the other way going figment or figment Jason or figment you cannot real your figment and screened out all way up the street okay Jewish people can be hard to reach.
I can, but you know what the Bible doesn't say go out in the world and share Christ with people that are easy to reach. It says go out in the world and share Christ with everybody and friends were not allowed to decide who's easy to reach and who isn't and discriminate who we share the Lord with we have a responsibility and a charge to share with everybody and I charge you with that responsibility is like God is charge me so long to go forth and and and final thing here in you know cannot be really honest.
This is the real reason and that is I don't know how to do this I mean I don't know how to talk to a Jewish person. I feel completely unequipped and completely untrained who not to worry, we got some for you is coming to town this summer is a thing we call, behold, your God be YG for sure is that what is that what the campaign that were running as Jews for Jesus. Your motherboard is a five year campaign were rare or programmer were trying to have a one month campaign, you mean like when you go out on the streets and you give out tracks of your standard to Jews for Jesus shirt the whole thing get one of them will try to do a one month campaign in every city in the world that has at least 25,000 Jewish people were about three years into this, we've already done Portland, Seattle, Toronto, London, Paris to several cities in Germany, Russia, South Africa, and were coming to Washington the summer and for the last two weeks. August 1 two weeks of September were to try to put hundreds of volunteers on the streets of Washington and Baltimore to hand out information until Jewish people nobody else has the courage to tell him, and that is they need Jesus Christ.
We want to be part of them.
I want you to take a week off work and I want you to come out on the streets with me because I'm going out there and were to do this together were to Shake, Rattle, and roll Jewish community of the city. They never seen anything like this before and I'm happy to announce where the host church. I'm proud to be the host church.
I want to be the host church and working offer some training here this spring for people who are willing to volunteer and do this with us about how to share Christ with Jewish people so you don't know when you feel untrained. All I'm telling you as you keep your eye on your bulletin and were to be offering training here you come to the training run by Jews for Jesus staff and will teach you how to do this is not that hard. That's not an excuse. It's going to hold up. Let me summarize the Jewish people may be the chosen people when it comes to giving the world the Scriptures and the true knowledge of God and the Messiah according to his human lineage, but friends, but to covenant theory is bogus. It is theological. Baloney.
Nobody gets into heaven because they are descended from Abraham. Every Jewish person just like every Gentile needs to believe in Jesus Christ as their personal savior or the going to miss heaven and that means that God expects you and me to do everything we can to tell him what nobody else has the courage to tell the listen all this high sounding logic. The listen to all this rhetoric about being disrespectful. You know it is not disrespectful to share Jesus Christ with somebody in a courteous way. This is all rhetoric friends aimed at deflecting you and deflecting us from sharing the message with them that a lot of Jewish people want to hear and will respond to, and the rabbis have absolutely no way to stop it and that's all this is its rhetoric. Don't believe Matt close by saying that inferior today in your Gentile and you've never given your life to Jesus Christ in a real and personal way. Listen folks take a lesson from the Jews. They believe falsely that they could rely on the descendents of Abraham, and that would get them in heaven. God says in the Bible not work well. We Gentiles you Gentiles on the one of you Gentiles you guys allow all kinds all the stuff you allow church membership in baptism and church attendance and sacraments in the rosary and penitence and confession and last rites in your mother's Christian life in the Bible that sits on the shelf and and somehow you think that that's going to work full so none of those things are working either. Remember what God said. He said this the same solution is for every body. If we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we believe in our heart. God raised him from the dead. We will be saved. For there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus. That's the person that will be delivered and just tell your friends ushered straight with you. If God is not going to let Jews into heaven on any other basis that the link will let you Gentiles, and on any other basis telling you the truth. This is the only way it happens right here now next week were going to continue in this series on phone theological error errors that are being fostered on the American public and next week. The title of my messages. So what's the big deal about homosexuality. You don't want to miss next week or thanks for talking to us today about truth and you know there's a lot of rhetoric out there and there's a lot of lot of public relations efforts out there aimed at getting us off the simple message of the Bible that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. Lord I pray that you would remind us today where the beam is so we can stay on and that you would keep us true to that being and that you would as a result of believing that that you would grant us a new motivation and a new excitement about sharing Christ because we understand that the only hope anybody has Jewish or Gentile father send this out in this into the city's missionaries every single day, knowing we carry.
The only message in the universe that can change people's eternal destiny and transform their lives till they get there and give us boldness and grant that we might not be ashamed, but we might share the word of God.
The message of Christ courteously but we might share it courageously with the people of the city use our efforts beyond our wildest dreams to Shake, Rattle, and roll the city for Christ and we pray this in Jesus name, amen