This year marks eighty years since the Warsaw ghetto uprising in Poland that began on the eve of Passover in April 1943. In commemoration of this event and the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, Israel established the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, known as Yom HaShoah, which this year begins at sundown on April 17th. We at Hargrave Ministries stand with Israel to honor the memory of these brave martyrs, others who perished in the Holocaust, and the heroes who tried to help them.
Much of anti-Semitism is founded in ignorance. People hear things, but they never really separate truth from falsehoods. Rumors get started and no one goes back to check the veracity of what is being said. Human tendency is to just believe the rumors. And because people believe them, their spirits, minds, and thoughts are painted with certain attitudes toward the Jewish people and Judaism. I cannot overstate the harm inflicted by the Church’s two-thousand-year history involving anti-Semitism. Christianity has been involved with much of the pogroms and persecutions suffered by the Jewish people, including the Holocaust. I know that God will convict our hearts; so I encourage us to aggressively search for the leaven of anti-Semitism, sweeping it out and refusing to allow it to dwell any longer in our hearts and minds. We must get rid of this leaven completely (Exodus 12:15). Beyond repentance, however, we must bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8). True repentance requires action on our part personally and on the part of the Church collectively. We must bring forth good fruit.
In the Jewish mindset, repentance is not difficult. You simply turn and go in the opposite direction. When a crowd asked John the Baptist what to do, he responded, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” Then the tax collectors were told, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” And some soldiers were instructed, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages” (see Luke 3:10–14). The Baptist was talking to people who were all very different, and they were wanting to know how to apply what he was saying. So he told them, “Simply look at the way it applies to you and apply it.” If you have food, share it with someone. If you are a tax gatherer, stop robbing people. Stop doing the negative thing; turn around and do the opposite. Do the good thing born out of what your repentance is showing you to do.
This message likewise is not difficult. Simply turn away from the false teachings of supersessionism and replacement theology. Then we will find that we are able to fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah,
“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:1–3)
It goes back to God’s promise to Abraham: “The one who curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). You may look at your life and ask, “Why don’t I have more of God’s blessings in my life?” Very simply, if you are involved in anti-Semitism and the persecution of His people, then God by virtue of His Word and covenant with Israel is forced to cut Himself off from you. However, He has also made the promise to Abraham, “Whoever blesses you, I will bless.” If we return to the Lord through our repentance, then He will return to us, restore us, and let us find His presence.