September 13, 2015 | Posted in:Carter's Comments
Mark Dever has been the pastor of the Capital Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. for over 20 years. In a recent magazine article he explained how several months earlier he had been speaking at a Christian university. At this meeting he asked 1,000 students if they were familiar with Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezek. 37). Only ten percent were familiar with it. Equally sad is the critical reality that many professing Christians fail to understand the central place of Israel in God’s plans. The passage in Ezekiel 37 about the resurrection and restoration of the dry bones refers to the rebirth of the nation of Israel in the last days. Israel and the Jewish people are central not only to the history of the Bible, but also to Bible prophecy and events of the future. Israel is frequently in today’s news headlines because it is first in the headlines of God’s Word. It is not possible to understand world events without viewing them through the lens of Bible prophecy.
Not just Christians, but every American should be concerned with the dangerous nuclear treaty with Iran that our political leaders are tossing around like a basketball. It is too serious of an issue to be used as a political trophy.
America is treading on dangerous and deadly territory. Iran wants nuclear weapons because it has a clearly stated goal of destroying Israel. It has also been clear in its hatred for America. No one who negotiates by caving in to an enemy while that enemy is burning our flag is capable of looking out for the welfare of America, Israel, or the world.
Three critical factors should be considered.
The first is that God has a covenant with Israel that includes blessings for those who bless Israel, and curses for those who curse Israel (Gen. 12:1-3).
The second is that God has foretold a future Russian-led invasion of Israel that includes Iran as one of the invading forces. This is described in Ezekiel 38-39 – in the two chapters immediately following Ezekiel’s prophecy of the dry bones and the restoration of Israel. God will destroy those invading nations when they attempt to annihilate Israel.
Israel was restored as a nation in 1948, in keeping with Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Iran is on a collision course against Israel also in keeping with Ezekiel’s prophecy.
The nations included in Ezekiel’s prophecy can be easily identified today, even though some of them are insignificant in comparison to the United States and its historic place in the world.
This brings us to the third factor: America is in rapid and dangerous decline. It is also not clearly identified in Bible prophecy. If America is absent from Bible prophecy, it may be because of our present actions. We may be condemning ourselves to destruction or insignificance. If we abandon and betray Israel, we should stop asking God to bless America. He won’t. Or it could be even worse.
Carter has been the pastor at FSBC Versailles since July, 2000. He holds a Doctor of Theology in Advanced Prophetics from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology in Semitics and Old Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has also been an assignment writer for Union Gospel Press since 1987.