Question: Enclosed is an article that kind of “blind-sided” me by a thought I’m having trouble with, i.e., why aren’t evangelicals today warning Jews about the eventual slaughter of most of them who return to Israel?
Answer: The author, Gary DeMar, insists that Christ’s statements in Matthew 24 were all fulfilled in A.D.70. Nero was the Antichrist, Christ returned as the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem, and we are now in the Millennium with Satan locked up. We offer a debate (audiotape or CD) which I had with DeMar on this very topic (see offering list).
He interprets Christ’s statement, “this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled,” to mean the generation living at that time. That is impossible, however, because “all flesh” could not have been destroyed with weapons of that day (Mt 24:22), angels didn’t gather the elect (v. 31), etc. The way both Christ and John the Baptist used “generation” makes Christ’s meaning clear: faithless, perverse, wicked, rebellious generation, generation of vipers, etc. In other words, Israel as a whole will continue in unbelief, rebellion against God and rejection of her Messiah until all is fulfilled. Only when Christ returns to rescue Israel in the midst of Armageddon will all living Jews believe (Mt 24:13; Rom:11:25,26) at last, and that unbelieving generation will have passed away. That is when the angels will gather all Jews back to Jerusalem where the Messiah will reign over them on David’s throne at His Second Coming.
Other scriptures agree. Ezekiel:38:11-16 refers to a people, who once were scattered but have been brought back into their land and dwell in apparent safety, being attacked by the armies of the world commanded by Antichrist. Verses 17-23 tell us that God has brought these armies against Israel (see also Zech:14:1)in order to punish them for their treatment of His people the Jews, and in order to make Himself known to them in great power and judgment. Ezekiel 39 tells of the destruction of these armies and of Israel’s redemption: “Israel...will not...pollute my holy name any more” (v. 7); “the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward” (v. 22); “for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel” (v. 29). These statements agree with Zechariah 12-14, which tells of Israel’s turning to the Lord at His Second Coming: “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced...” (Zec:12:10). Christ’s statement about His angels gathering His elect from the four winds back to Israel is simply a further explanation of “I...the Lord their God...have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there” (Ezk 39:28). The present return of Jews to their own land is only a prelude to this final gathering at the Second Coming.
That most Israelis don’t yet believe sets the stage for their coming to faith when Christ intervenes to rescue them. DeMar claims that those who encourage Jews to return to Israel are bringing them into a trap where they will be killed at Armageddon. Yes, two-thirds of all Jews alive at that time will be killed; however those who are willing to believe the truth will not perish, but will be kept alive for Christ’s return.
Moreover, since two-thirds of all Jews on earth will be killed, and only about 40 percent live in Israel, more will be killed outside of Israel than within. Thus, Israel is probably the safest place for a Jew.