1. On Whether God's Promises For Israel Are Lost It’s actually not complicated; if Israel and the Jews are destroyed, then so is our salvation in Christ Jesus.
It’s really that simple. If Israel’s wiped off the map, then our salvation’s wiped from the cosmos. Any man who advocates for the annihilation of Israel advocates for the annihilation of mankind’s blessed hope.
This isn’t some new or radical revelation. Instead, it’s simply the set of truths Paul taught in Romans 9-11 when he asked the question, “Is there hope for the Jews?”
His answer is simple: There must be hope for the Jews. If Israel’s lost, so is everyone else. If Israel’s destroyed, then God is a liar, and all of us are dead.
I’ve heard that if a man supports Israel, he supports everything Israel does.
You might as well say, if a man says he has a brother, he supports everything his brother does.
Men do not support Israel because Israel’s perfect. Like the rest of us, the people of Israel are sinners, and the Bible’s littered with tragic stories of their rebellion against God. Their present progressivism is manifest, and their nation’s been very wicked.
Neither do men support Israel because Israel loves Christ Jesus. As a matter of fact, many Israelis hate Christ and Christians, and they fulfill the words of Paul, in Romans 11:25, who said, “…Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”
Support for Israel does not mean sending countless billions into their country while people in ours suffer in poverty, and it does not mean a blind allegiance to everything Israel does, or a willful ignorance regarding their problems.
Rather, supporting Israel means supporting the salvation of mankind.
Do not underestimate the magnitude of the consequences incurred if Israel’s annihilated by Hamas, or a coalition of hostile states. If that were to happen, the salvation of all mankind becomes nothing more than a pathetic lie started by an unsuccessful con-man crucified on a cross.
The logic behind such a statement is simple. If God breaks one promise, He can break two.
If He breaks His promise(s) regarding Israel, He can break His promise regarding our salvation.
If God says to Israel, “My promise to you no longer applies, because you weren’t good enough,” how much worse is it for us, to whom God could say, “My promise of salvation for you is no longer binding, because you weren’t righteous enough?”
At this point, we might ask exactly what promises God made to Israel. There are many of them, especially considering 918 out of 929 chapters in the Old Testament reference Israel.
Genesis 12 is a good example of the promises we’re talking about. There, God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 17:6-8 is another example of a promise given to Israel. Again, God said to Abraham,
“I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
These promises are eternal, and in spite of Israel’s demonstrable rebellion, rejection of the Messiah, hatred of the Almighty, and refusal to obey the commandments, the promises of God for His people yet endure.
Thank goodness they do.
If they didn’t, the Lord’s promise to save Christians believe in Him from an eternity in Hell would be lost.
2. On Whether The Church is Now Israel
There is a powerful sect in Christian spheres, growing in persuasion and influence. They speak and act like Old Testament Israel has been replaced by the New Testament church. Their belief is called Replacement Theology, and the problem with it (or the blessing of it, depending on one’s point of view) is that it’s not true.
Simplified, Replacement Theology has three main tenets:
1. The church has become Israel
2. The Jewish people are no longer “A chosen and set apart people for God”
3. The promises for the Jews have been given to the church and Gentile Christians
There are many problems with these beliefs, the most devastating of them all once again being if God’s promises for the Jews are changed in any way – even if they’re changed to be given to the church – our salvation is lost.
To our relief, Replacement Theology isn’t orthodoxy. The God of the Bible still keeps His promises for Israel, and they’re separate from the Gentile Church. Here are a few reasons proving so:
1. Paul Explicitly Says The Jews Haven’t Been Replaced By The Church
The Apostle, in Romans 11:1-2, says,
“I ask, then, has God rejected his people [the Jews]? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.”
Paul is clear. Although Israel rebelled against their God repeatedly, and although they crucified their prophesied Messiah, God still hadn’t retracted His promises for them. Again, that’s because the promises of God don’t depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s sovereign mercy.
Granted, Romans 11:1-2 doesn’t prove that God’s promises are unchanging, but Paul deals with that later in Scripture when he says,
“To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does NOT annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void” (Galatians 3:15-17 ESV).
Once God makes a promise, like a promise to give a specific people a healthy portion of prime land, He can’t ratify or change His promise in the future. How could He do so, when “the future” doesn’t even exist for He who exists outside of time?
2. Replacement Theology Forces Us To Read Literally Hundreds Of Passages Of Scripture In An Unintelligible And Unnatural Way.
God’s promises to Abraham, for example, are clear, precise, and unmistakable.
To argue, “Actually, God was talking about the church when He gave His promises for Israel to Abraham” doesn’t make any sense, at all. Like the previous promises mentioned above, Jeremiah 31:35-37 is another evident example of a promise that is clearly for the Jews,
“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD of hosts is his name: If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus says the LORD: If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD.”
It's impossible to read the modern church into promises like these. Doing so forces a square into a round hole. It doesn’t make sense to put the church in place of Israel, and it’s not supposed to, because the promises for Israel are different than the promises everyone else.
3. By Definition, It’s Unbiblical To Call The Church “Israel” Because The Church Is Never Called Israel In The Bible
Anyone who looks for the phrase, “…and the church replaced Israel, so the promises for the Jews are now the promises for the Gentiles,” in the New Testament will discover it isn’t there.
In every New Testament instance, Jews and Gentiles, even among believers, are always spoken of separately. More than that, if anyone reads the Scriptures, and tries to replace the word “Israel” with “The Gentile Church,” the Bible becomes nonsensical. For example, 1 Corinthians 10:18 says,
“Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?”
What if we changed it to say,
“Consider the church: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?”
Of course not! Have sacrifices ever been part of, or associated with, the Gentile Church? Not once!
Instead, Paul, like every other New Testament author, means Israel when they mention Israel, and the church when the mention the church.
There are many more proofs that Replacement Theology is false, but this article is already long enough.
There are also many Scriptural texts, like Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:29, and Ephesians 2:11-12, that Replacement Theologists use to justify their position, but this paper here does a better job of refuting them than I ever could.
God's promises never fail, so Israel will never be destroyed, and neither will our salvation.
As it always is, we can summarize this entire entry about Israel pretty nicely with a verse from Genesis 12:3:
“I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.”
*Emphasis added on all quotes