(Washington, D.C.) — I just finished a very interesting conversation with Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who was guest hosting for Sean Hannity on his radio show. Pastor Michael Youssef of “Leading The Way,” originally from Egypt, also joined us on the program. Thanks to both of them for the questions they asked and the points they made. I appreciated being included in the conversation.
Here is a brief summary of what we discussed:
- We talked about the dramatic changes in Egypt this past year, including the counter-revolution last July when the military arrested President Mohamed Morsi and most of the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Now General Sisi and his forces are fighting the Brotherhood throughout Egypt, and fighting against al Qaeda in the Sinai. It’s still not an easy life for Egyptian Christians, or anyone in Egypt.
- It’s too early to say whether Sisi will prove to be a positive force for Egypt over the long haul.
- We need to keep praying for all Egyptians, and especially for the persecuted Christians there. But the three of us agreed that the situation is much improved from 2012.
- [For more on this, see my recent blog, “Here’s my list of the Top Five most important events in the Mideast in 2013.”]
- We discussed the dangers of the Shia Muslims in Iran and elsewhere who believe their messiah, the “Twelfth Imam” (or “Mahdi”), is coming soon. We discussed how determined Iran’s Twelver leaders are to annihilate Israel (the “Little Satan,” in their view) and the U.S. (whom they call the “Great Satan.”)
- We also discussed the Mideast peace process and Secretary Kerry’s visit to Jerusalem today. This is a very important and very sensitive topic. We all want peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I definitely do. I believe we need to keep praying and working towards peace. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” The Psalmist told us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). We must be faithful to those commands.
- That said, Rep. Gohmert asked me about two specific Bible prophecies. One prophecy he quoted is from Jeremiah 31:1-6. This passage indicates that Israel will be reborn as a country and will resettle the land of “Samaria,” the territory many call the “West Bank.” The second prophecy he quoted was Joel 3:2. In this passage, the Lord vows to bring into judgment all nations that divide the Land of Israel.
- I noted that it’s not often we talk about Bible prophecy on the Hannity show, but I’m glad we did today. It’s important.
- Presidents, Prime Ministers and diplomats don’t like to discuss prophecy, but it’s important that they are aware of and understand these important Biblical truths.
- Yes, ancient Bible prophecy tells us Israel would be reborn in the last days, and it has been.
- Yes, prophecy tells us the Jewish people will resettle Samaria. That is happening, though I realize it deeply angers the Palestinian people, including many Arab Christians.
- Yes, prophecy tells us that all nations (including the U.S.) that divide the Land of Israel will be judged.
- These are not easy passages for everyone to hear. They are not easy to teach since many are upset by them. But as Christians we know there are consequences for ignoring or opposing the Scriptures.
- As Christians, we must be particularly aware that these are sensitive issues. We as evangelicals need to be careful in how we handle these prophecies. Many of our friends in the Mideast don’t agree with them. Some are angered when these topics are raised. I don’t want to hurt my Palestinian friends. I don’t want to be insensitive to their very real day-to-day challenges and concerns. I know the Israeli government and military are not made up of believers. They make serious mistakes that affect the Palestinians in very real ways. Indeed, both sides have long lists of grievances against each other.
- That said, as a lay person who does not work in or for the U.S. or Israeli government, or any government, I don’t have the ability to affect the geopolitical state of affairs in the epicenter.
- Rather, as an author and speaker I see my role as helping people understand what is happening in the Middle East; teaching the Scriptures, including the prophecies; and helping Christians (and all people) in the U.S. and around the world understand the Biblical importance of loving Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Arabs, Arabs throughout the Mideast, Persians, and all the people of the Middle East.
- I want to encourage people to pray for peace, and to invest in ways to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. We need to proactively show love to both sides. We need to encourage persecuted believers. We need to help local pastors teach the Word of God. We need to provide food, clothing and medical supplies to those in need, both Jews and Arabs.
- God doesn’t tell us to love Jews OR Arabs. It’s not “either/or.” It’s “both/and.” We must love Jews AND Arabs. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what He commands us to do.
- Let’s work together to be faithful to the task.
- Follow on Twitter — @joelcrosenberg
- Order Damascus Countdown (last in the trilogy) – now available in paperback online and in bookstores nationwide
- Listen to Damascus Countdown as an audio book.
- Order the paperback of The Tehran Initiative (second in the trilogy)
- Order the paperback of The Twelfth Imam (first in the triology)
- Learn more about The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net). Learn about our heart for educating and mobilizing Christians to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, caring for the poor and needy with food and other humanitarian relief, and teaching the Word of God and encouraging believers in the Middle East. Please read our 2013 Donor Report, and make a tax deductible, secure on-line contribution.