Since traveling to Egypt, my heart hasn't been the same. If it's possible to fall in love with a whole country, I believe I did.
I remember being overwhelmed, one evening during the worship time in a church in Egypt, with the feeling of God's passion for His people. He spoke to me in that moment - as I scanned the congregation worshiping with all their hearts - He said, "Angi, this is just a glimpse of what heaven will be." It was clear to me that He was showing me a picture of HIS children... all together... worshiping Him! I fell in love, at that moment, with His children.
There is a lot of discussion, controversy, debate, and varied teachings on who are really God's children. Especially in the "Christian" and political worlds, this is a hot topic.
I, being raised a staunch Republican, have adopted some preconceived views that I never really studied for myself. As an evangelical Christian, in America, we try to be very careful to follow the Bible for our views. Along with that, we have taken God's Word to heart, as it states in the Old Testament, that the Jews are "God's chosen people". So, then, end-time prophecy comes into play in a big way! There are literally thousands of books on this topic alone.
All believers, and most of America, are standing by watching what will happen to the Jewish people, to see what the future holds for the rest of us. America has historically taken a "Christian stance" to ally with Israel - which has been of some comfort to Bible-believing Christians. Along with that fact, we are eagerly watching the events in the middle-east.
Of course, since 9/11, some of our views changed or escalated, as some Muslim terrorists attacked our homeland. We've taken this to an extreme as time has gone by. These "Muslim terrorists" have been changed to simply "Muslims"... including all people of this religion. We have, then, made all "Muslims" out to be terrorists, and enemies of Christianity and America.
My heart broke the other day, in having a conversation with a fellow minister. The statement was made that "if people knew how horrible Muslims were, and how awful they treat people, we wouldn't be tolerating them so much!" I bit my tongue. How is it that we have come to this conclusion? Media? Internet stories? Pictures? My mind goes back to my short time in Egypt. In the midst of Christian Arabs in the church, and in the midst of Muslim Arabs, outside the church, not once did I feel threatened, looked down upon, or mistreated in any way. Quite the contrary! Within the church, of course, I was treated with great respect, as I was their guest, and we shared the same God. Outside the church, in the taxis, hotels, marketplaces, and on the airplanes, I was also treated with great respect. Although, it was known that I was not only an American, but a Christian.
I have to stop and ask myself... what is God's view of these people? The answer comes quickly: HE LOVES THEM!
Jews? He loves them!
Muslims? He loves them!
Hindus? He loves them!
Buddhists? He loves them!
Atheists? He loves them!
Murderers? He loves them!
Me? He loves me!
Does God see our political views the way we do? Does He favor a government over another? When we ask "who are God's chosen people?" The answer needs to be, as God's word states: "For God so loved the WORLD..." The New Testament makes it clear that a Jew is no longer one who is circumcised physically, but those who are circumcised of the heart. The ones whom have had God cut away the old heart, and has made us new. This is not a "physical nation", this is God's kingdom... those who have humbled themselves to Him, and called on the name of His Son, Jesus - still the only way by which man can be saved. He chooses that everyone has an opportunity to hear this hope, and become His child. Those, are God's chosen people.