Has the Church Replaced Israel?
As I wing my way home from our latest Israel trip, I am amazed by three things - the incredible speed of airliners, the incredible shrinkage of airline seats, and the incredible Jewish people.
Our annual tours to Israel show people a wonderful land - a land truly flowing with milk and honey; a land where modernity meets ancient history. But the land is only half of the story. It is the land of God's people. The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have brought us so much - the Scriptures, the Savior, and through Him, salvation.
If this is true, then why are the Jews hated so? Why have so many, from Haman to Hitler, tried to annihilate them? Why does the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, call the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews were exterminated like vermin, a myth? There can only be two explanations - the Jews are a unique people that God chose to use in a unique way, and there is a Devil who hates God and God's chosen people.
Israel may not be in the land today in belief, but they will one day be saved in a day (Romans 11:26; Joel 2:32). Their return to the land that God promised them unconditionally and eternally is a true miracle. Never before in history have we seen a people be dispersed to the four corners of the earth and return after 2,000 years (Ezekiel 20:34). Even Hebrew, a dead language, was revived.
Romans 9-11 clearly teaches that God is not done with Israel. There is one more week (7 years) of Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks yet to be fulfilled. And all 70 weeks are exclusively Jewish. The Jewish people are the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). Who is stupid enough to poke God in the eye? And yet most countries in the United Nations vote against little Israel. Most church denominations even believe the Church has replaced Israel. But not me or Dayspring Bible College and Seminary. We believe there is a blessing to those who bless Israel (Genesis 12:3).
So even though the land is beautiful and the Bible sites amazing, these trips are more about showing love and solidarity with a much-maligned people. The Church is special to God. But so are the Jewish people. Has the Church replaced Israel? Not in 1,000 years. But that's another article. Shalom.