A conference focused on the current hostile climate toward Israel in the Middle East has revealed that a number of prominent historians and theologians believe the world is witnessing biblical prophecies related to the End Times unfold before its very eyes.
Israel, the Church and the Middle East Crisis conference took place March 23-24 at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., and was organized by Messianic Jewish organization Chosen People Ministries. In February, The Christian Post sat down with Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen Ministries, who revealed that based on the Old Testament and the teachings of the New Testament, he believes Israel will become the focus of the world as the second coming of Jesus Christ nears.
"The Middle East will become the nexus or the focal point of what God is going to do in the very last days of planet Earth. All eyes will be on Israel and her neighbors and so it is important for those who are trying to decipher the times in which we live – not date setting, but knowing 'the times and seasons' in which we live," Dr. Glaser said in a recent follow-up interview with CP.
The Middle East crisis has been at the forefront of the world's attention especially with the growing Iranian nuclear threat and possibility of attacks on Israel, and the Chosen Ministries conference explored the latest signs current events are offering regarding biblical end-time prophesies, as well as the way forward for Israelis and believers. The event gathered thousands of people, including hundreds of students, and was described as a "celebration for Israel."
The Israel, The Church and the Middle East Crisis conference held workshops on how to witness to Jews and Muslims, and discussed the impact of anti-Semitism on Jewish evangelism and the relationship between Jewish and Arab believers in Israel. The event included testimonies by Michael Zinn, a Russian Jewish believer and leader of Chosen People Ministries' work in Israel, as well as Hormoz Shariat, an Iranian evangelist and former Muslim turned to Christ.
In a recent interview, Dr. Glaser told CP that the event established that the world is in the "very final parts of the end times," and shared a quote from one of the speakers, Dr. Walter Kaiser, president emeritus and Colman M. Mockler and distinguished professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
"I can give you 6 million reasons why the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as a sign of the end times," Dr. Kaiser said, according to Dr. Glaser. The speakers were also in agreement that the United States and its allies need to be pro-Israel, but not anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab.
Joel C. Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian and New York Times best-selling author, said at the conference that he had felt the Holy Spirit moving among Muslims.
"I am jealous of what God is doing among Muslims and hope and pray that the supernatural and miraculous movement of the Holy Spirit will begin soon among the Jewish people," the author added.
Dr. Gaser, who has been extensively involved in Jewish evangelism in several countries, shared that the above statement was one of the most significant aspirations that came out of the conference.
On the way forward for believers in Jesus, he said it is important for them to know what is currently happening in the Middle East.
"But, it is even more important to make sure that we interpret what is going on in the Middle East through the lens of Scripture. This was perhaps one of the most important statements presented at the conference. In the past, Christians have made enthusiastic and embarrassing mistakes about prophecy fulfilled. In some respects, this sensationalism has caused many believers to be 'turned off' to prophecy and therefore the very doctrine of the second coming of Jesus has been de-emphasized in many pulpits and even in Christians schools and Seminaries. It is this fear of being wrong that has caused Christians to lose a sense of the urgency of His coming," Dr. Gaser said.
"This conference tried to help Christians understand that prophecy should be studied seriously – and humbly – without sensationalism, which will motivate Christians to reach Jewish people with the Gospel and become more motivated to reach the world for Christ and to live godly as we see the day approaching," the Chosen Ministries president concluded.