I am a fan of Joel Rosenberg, both as teacher and as an author. Inserted into this post is going to be a copy of his most recent post concerning peace in Israel and his own perspective as to what this may mean for Christians in the 21st century.
But, before inserting Joel’s post, I wanted to comment a bit on my own “eschatological” point of view:
MY OPINION: I have been a follower of Jesus Christ and a diligent and prayerful scholar of the Scriptures for nearly a half a century. In my Biblical “infancy”, I fell easily into the footsteps of seemingly “Holy Spirit-filled” teachers that have established precise “doctrines”, timelines, and convincing apologetics concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, the “Rapture”, the “Great Tribulation”, and all of the “signs” leading up to these events. I must confess that, in 50 years of prayer and in-depth Bible study, I have become less and less influenced by the zeal of self-proclaimed eschatological teachers, and more and more convinced that God alone knows. Thirty years ago, I was as confident as those “professors” concerning God’s “timeline”- I was an adamant “pre-tribulationist” having the same degree of confidence in my eschatological position as the most devout, self-proclaimed “Holy Spirit-filled” teacher.
MY POSITION: Judging by human interpreters’ track records in the past of predicting when and how certain prophecies would be fulfilled (e.g., how the OT Messianic prophecies would be fulfilled in Christ—even to the point of whether they would be fulfilled in his first coming or second), I think we need a heavy dose of humility when it comes to eschatological convictions.
What, then, is the value of prophecy? The value, as I see it, is that most of the time once a prophecy comes true, those who know the scriptures say, ‘Ah hah! So that’s how it’s to be played out!’ My faith is strengthened at the time of the fulfillment, not at the time of the prediction.
Today, I proclaim to be a fool concerning God’s end-time plan. Today, I am WHOLLY confident that God knows His plan; and while I certainly PREFER a “pre-tribulation rapture” plan, I am WHOLLY confident that, however His plan unfolds, my continued trust in the work of Jesus on the cross has got me covered…whether it be high-up in the clouds in a state of rapture or as a suffering servant of Jesus Christ in the heat of great tribulation!
MY OBSERVATION: Jesus did tell His followers that, while He Himself knew even less than today’s “eschatological” experts, His Father in Heaven would send signs preceding the Second Coming of His Son in the “end-times”. So, I too observe the signs of the times, prayerfully and humbly praying for wisdom, discernment, and truth… from God… that I would NOT become responsible for conveying any untruth to my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
So ends my own reflections. Following is from Joel Rosenberg:
Is Egyptian President el-Sisi about to help broker a major breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli peace process? Fascinating signals this week.
September 21, 2017
Four decades after the historic Camp David Accords, is Egyptian President el-Sisi signaling he is about to take the lead in helping broker dramatic peace agreements not just between Israelis and Palestinians but perhaps between Israel and the rest of the Arab world, including the Saudis and Gulf States?
Given his warm, even effusive, public meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, there are surprising and growing reasons for optimism, as I discuss in my new op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, “Behind The Smiles: Why Did Sisi Go Public With His Close Relationship With Netanyahu?” [see excerpts below]
What’s more, I strongly encourage you to watch or read the full text of President el-Sisi’s courageous address to the U.N. General Assembly, especially went he went off script to speak of Egypt’s “wonderful and excellent experiment in peace” with Israel and to urge both sides not to miss a “rare” opportunity to make peace that “may not be repeated.”
Mr. President, let me put the text aside and appeal to those who may concern. My first appeal is to the Palestinian people. I tell them that it is extremely important to unite behind your target and overcome differences, not lose the opportunity and be ready to coexist with the Israelis in safety and peace to achieve stability and security for all. I appeal to the Israeli people, telling them that Egypt has a wonderful and excellent experience in peace with you for more than 40 years. We can repeat this experiment and wonderful step. The security and safety of the Israeli citizen should be put side by side with that of the Palestinian citizen. I appeal to you to stand by your political leadership. Don’t hesitate. I assure the Israeli public opinion that we stand with you all to render this opportunity a success.
This opportunity may not come again. I address also all peace loving states and all sisterly Arab countries to support this magnificent step. I appeal to the rest of the world to back this step, which if it succeeds, it will change the history. In addition, I appeal to the US president that we have an opportunity to write a new page in the history of humanity for achieving peace in this area.
EXCERPTS FROM MY JERUSALEM POST OP-ED
Monday’s tete-a-tete between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, held on the sidelines of the opening session of the UN General Assembly in Manhattan, was their first-ever publicly announced meeting, and it went better than both men had hoped.
But why was President Sisi willing to go public with the relationship now?….
Is something even bigger going on?
Sisi is not a politician by training. He’s a military man, a strategist. He doesn’t make moves – certainly not vis-à-vis Israel – without carefully thinking them through. To go public now, especially with such warm and friendly photographs, strongly suggests something else is brewing.
Is the Egyptian leader about to invite Netanyahu to come to Cairo for an official, formal state visit, the first ever by an Israeli premier? Might Sisi even host a summit and introduce Netanyahu to other Arab heads of state? Will he offer to host serious peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians for a comprehensive and final treaty, having secured Netanyahu’s agreement to such talks ahead of time?
At the same time, is Netanyahu about to invite Sisi to come to Jerusalem for an official state visit? Will he invite the Egyptian leader to address the Knesset and lay out his vision for a broad regional peace, sharing lessons Egypt has learned about making – and maintaining – peace with the Jewish state?
It would be the first time an Egyptian leader set foot on Israeli soil since Anwar Sadat stunned the world and melted the hearts of the Israeli people with his bold visit to Jerusalem in 1977. It would be powerful by itself, but could it also be designed to lay the groundwork for an historic visit by another major Arab leader, or by several?….
Could another breakthrough be in the works?