News & articles

Sandor Nemeth

Grace and Works

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The hostility between God and man can only be removed by the priest, anointed by God, through the atoning sacrifice.

Only through this holy act does the covenant and fellowship between God and man become possible.

The first fundamental message of the New Testament is that this hostility was removed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. For this reason, the basic condition for reconciliation with God is the acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our lives and sins.

The second essential message of the Gospel is that following His resurrection, Jesus ascended to Heaven and appeared before the Father with his blood, on behalf of His people, as the high priest of the good things to come.

The third fundamental idea expressed by the New Testament is that the Father accepted the sacrifice of Jesus, glorified Him, and as a testimony to this, He poured out the Holy Spirit.

One aspect of the ministry of Jesus as high priest is that He baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit and in fire, and administers gifts of grace to His people.

We can trust in Jesus Christ without fear. He never rejected anyone who turned to Him during His ministry here on Earth. He promised us, "the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)

He did not change after He was raised from the dead. Just like His Father, He shows mercy and compassion to all who cry out to Him.

It is impossible to force the Lord to give us His grace and blessings, even through our good works. God's grace and blessings are given to believers freely, through faith, and cannot be earned. However, through earnest prayer they can be obtained from the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of grace, who administers the gifts of God in our lives." 9But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:9,12)

The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in our relationship with the Father and Jesus Christ.

It is the Holy Spirit Who enables us to accomplish God's plan, to fulfill His mission for our lives.

Life on earth is hard. There are many huge challenges and problems facing us today.

This is especially true regarding the restoration of Israel and the restoration of the Church.

The great heroes of faith in previous generations were only able to rise above these challenges through the grace of God.

A greater outpouring of the grace of God in necessary today for the work of God to move forward in Israel and among Christians as well.

Besides trusting God, another condition for receiving grace is to humble ourselves. "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5) or "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11)

One of the main obstacles to the renewal of European Christianity is that ever since the fourth century, the Church – again and again – committed monstrous crimes against the Jewish people and has only half-heartedly faced its responsibilities arising from these historic crimes.

We believe that a total rejection of anti-Semitism is necessary for one to become a real Christian.

In Europe, anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel continues to have a destructive effect on Christianity and societies.

These views deprive many believers of the blessings of God, preventing them from understanding God's plans and purposes concerning the restoration of Israel and the Church.

Today, the most vocal expression of true repentance from anti-Semitism in Christianity would be if church leaders, along with their congregations, would take a stand today in support of Israel, which is being threatened in its existence by weapons of mass destruction.

The goal of militant Islam is not only to annihilate Israel, but also to destroy Judeo-Christian values and democracy.

Christian anti-Semites are faced with a choice: if they continue down the path of anti-Zionism, they will meet their shameful end as allies and supporters of the dark forces that are also aiming to eradicate Christianity.

However, if they repent, they will obtain grace and mercy, for God forgives our sins if we are truly sorry, and confess them, and leave them.

The future of Christianity largely depends on whether it is able to break away from the Christian anti-Semitism voiced by Saint John Chrysostom, Pope Innocent III, and Martin Luther.

We should be thankful to God that He has given Christians time to repent; what is more, to settle our debts towards the Jewish people.

Christianity owes its spiritual heritage, its partaking of the grace of God to Israel.

It was through Israel that God gave us the Bible, the covenants, the fathers, the glory, the Law, the acceptable form of worshipping God, the divine promises, and the Messiah.

These priceless and eternal gifts of God must determine our attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people.

This is a reason why we cannot remain passive when incitement to hatred against Israel and the Jews is spreading in our nation. Because the most powerful anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and Iran-friendly parliamentary party of Europe is functioning in Hungary.

However, one of the most powerful philo-Semitic, Christian Zionist churches of Europe is also found in our country.

The Word of God makes it clear that the acts of faith also have a role in obtaining more grace from God.

The best example of this is Rahab from the Old Testament, who, as a citizen of Jericho, had not only hid the spies of Israel, but also believed that the Lord will give the land to Israel, and that the God of Israel is the true God in Heaven and on Earth.

This sinful woman endangered her own life by hiding the children of Israel from her own king; which means she sided with Israel in a time of conflict, all because she believed in God's plan for Israel.

James, in his letter, says of Rahab, that she received the gift of justification because her actions were in unity with her faith.

Just like Rahab of Jericho, we must also believe in God's purposes concerning Israel, and we must express our commitment by supporting Israel with specific actions, even against the will of its enemies.

Today, a practical way to go about this is to take up the struggle against those who poison our nations with anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist hatred and lies.

According to the Apostle Paul, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4) But today, besides using spiritual means, Christians should take a greater social responsibility for their nations.

The gathering of Jews to the Land of Israel, which we have been witnesses of for over 100 years now, their becoming a people, this national and spiritual restoration, will benefit the whole of mankind, all nations.

We are eyewitnesses of the fulfillment of several-thousand-year-old prophecies. We have the opportunity to become servants to this great cause. This will open up to us an abundance of the endless grace of God, if we testify – to the world – with faith about the truths of Israel and Jerusalem by genuine actions.

The Holy Spirit says through Jeremiah, "Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.' (Jeremiah 31:10)

It is our obligation to fulfill this prophecy in our nations and throughout the world.

Our message must be louder, wiser, and stronger than the voices of those who say Israel's existence is a "catastrophe of history."

The existence and flourishing of the State of Israel proves both God's commitment and faithfulness to His people.

This encourages us as well, and must inspire all of us to unconditionally commit ourselves to the Kingdom of God and His truth. We should not be afraid of the enemy, because the One who started this wonderful work, will surely bring it to completion. For it is written, "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29)

Iran, in trying to destroy Israel, does everything in its power to spread the Khomeini interpretation of the ingathering of the Jewish people and the existence of Israel, through anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi movements in Europe.

According to their misguided ideology, Israel is the incarnation of human and Satanic evil, which has to be wiped out.

Day-by-day, the Jews living in Israel are being bombarded by a surge of swearing, blasphemies, and curses.

They criminalize and demonize the Jewish people and the Jewish state, to which they have found allies in Hungary as well, who now serve the propaganda machine of Teheran.

This is certainly a new challenge for us, Hungarian Christians, to which we seek to provide an appropriate and effective answer. Although believers familiar with prophecy are not surprised by these phenomena, for the prophet Ezekiel foretold this long ago, "Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people" (Ezekiel 36:3) Or as Isaiah said, "And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth." (Isaiah 9:12)

Because of the restoration of Israel, the spiritual conflict between God and Satan has become more intensive and dramatic in the heavenlies.

The prophet Zechariah reveals to us in a vision that the main obstacle to the restoration of Jerusalem is Satan himself, who tries to prevent the purposes of God from being fulfilled concerning Jerusalem with his constant slandering and cursing. (Zechariah 3:1-2)

However, according to the New Testament, his attempts are doomed to fail because through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, and through His resurrection, the prince of this world has been cast out (John 12:31) and Jesus has anointed His disciples with power over the forces of the enemy.

We must use this authority in our intercessions for Israel and Jerusalem, that we may fulfill another obligation we have towards Israel and Jerusalem, which the Holy Spirit revealed through the prophet Isaiah, "6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,7 And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6-7)

According to the Gospel God sent Jesus Christ of Nazareth exclusively to the children of Israel, to share God's blessings with them.

The accounts tell us that initially, only philo-Semite Gentiles received grace; who also supported the Jewish people financially.

Just think of the centurion of Capernaum, for whom the elders of the synagogue interceded with Jesus so he would heal his servant. This centurion liked the Jewish people and he built a synagogue for them.

This Scripture also proves that our access to grace is influenced by our attitude towards the Jewish people.

Another example is the story of Cornelius the Centurion, who was a God fearing person, who prayed and supported the Jewish people financially.

It was not because of his good works that he received grace, but he did attract God's attention through his prayers and donations, which paved the way for the outpouring of the grace of God in his life.

Through donations we can take part in the work of God even in areas which may not be accessible to us physically. And it is written, "Blessed is he who blesses you..." (Numbers 24:9)

The media is a very important frontline in the struggle between the work of God and the forces lined up against it.

The perspective of news sources is crucial. Especially due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of world media is negatively biased against Israel.

Every media transmits a worldview and a system of values.

Besides preaching the Gospel and building the Church, Christians must make sure that the majority of those who are receiving news from the Middle East get this through Israel-friendly networks and newspapers, for this will positively impact the attitude of media consumers towards Israel.

The key to being effective is gaining influence over popular media channels, which serve a large audience. Also, there must be a commitment to deliver news at a high standard of professionalism, using authentic media presenters and producers.

For example in Hungary in addition to television, online news portals, mobile news applications, magazines, newspapers, and book publishing, we also have activists (commenting teams) who join to wage the news war on the side of Israel.

We should train talented, capable, skilled Christian young people in public discourse and journalism, so they will be equipped to refute the accusations hurled against Israel, to educate the public, at times even at an academic level.

The truth of Israel and Jerusalem is a national and at the same time a universal truth.

We have no right to keep these great truths within the limitations of religious denominations.

Due to their power and nature, these values demand greater exposure. We must humbly commit to serve this cause, that on every level of our societies the truth may be manifest. This way, more and more people can recognize God's plan for Israel and Jerusalem and escape from the influence of the forces of hatred and darkness.

There is a need, especially in Europe, for a more organized and coordinated apologetics on behalf of Israel.

We must do everything in our power, in cooperation with civil organizations and pressure / lobby groups so anti-Zionist movements will lose the positions they have conquered in our societies and on the Internet.

I am convinced that it is still possible to break the power of hate groups and inciting movements. We can make them the subjects of public disgust.

Churches and Christians must support all those political initiatives, organizations, politicians and decision makers, who encourage understanding and friendship between Israel and the nations.

In closing, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58) and "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you." (Psalm 122:6) May the Lord bless you!

[Bible quotations from the New King James Version]

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