Hot Potatoes

Does Israel have a future?

“June 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. For four decades we have been told that the cause of the anger, violence and terror against Israel is its occupation of the territories seized in that war. End the occupation and the "cycle of violence'' ceases. The problem with this claim was that before Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza in the Six Day War, every Arab state had rejected Israel's right to exist and declared Israel's pre-1967 borders -- now deemed sacred -- to be nothing more than the armistice lines suspending, and not ending, the 1948-49 war to exterminate Israel. But you don't have to be a historian to understand the intention of Israel's enemies. The issue is, and has always been, Israel's existence. That is what is at stake” (Charles Krauthammer).

We affirm the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. God has chosen Israel to bring forth our Messiah Jesus Christ, the son of David, the Lion of Judah, as well as His true revelation to mankind in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel. Despite the national unbelief of Israel concerning her Messiah, God has neither finished with Israel, nor replaced Israel by the Church in His purposes.

1. Israel’s standing is based in her ELECTION by God’s sovereign, unconditional grace before the foundation of the world (Deut 10:15, 32:8,9; Amos 3:1,2; Romans 11:1-7,28,29). Thus she remains God’s CHOSEN people. Although only a remnant of believing Jews (‘the Israel of God’) will fulfil God’s calling (the rest disqualify themselves), God’s election of Israel guarantees the preservation of the remnant of Israel and the ultimate repentance, salvation and restoration of the nation of Israel in fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant (see Romans 9-11).

2.Israel’s standing, existance and future is guaranteed by the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT for God is faithful to the everlasting, unconditional Covenant He made with Abraham, and confirmed to Israel through Isaac and Jacob (despite Israel’s sin). This Covenant guarantees the continued existance of Israel as a nation and the fulfilment of all God’s covenant promises to her, as confirmed by all the prophets who prophesied the coming golden Messianic Age of God’s Kingdom on earth (the Millennium) when Israel will enjoy all the promised covenant blessings.

The Abrahamic Covenant was first stated in seed-form in Genesis 12:1-3 promising: (1) The Land, (2) Nationhood, (3) Spiritual Salvation.

Later these 3 promises were confirmed and developed by God in 3 Covenants:

1. The Land Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Genesis 12:7, 13:14-17, 15:18, 17:7,8, 1Chronicles 16:17, Psalm 105:8-11).
2. The Davidic Covenant, promising nationhood through an everlasting King (the son of David) and Kingdom (2Samuel 7:12-16, 1Chronicles 17:7-14, Psalm 89:19-37, 132:11-18).
3. The New Covenant promising spiritual blessings, prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and established through Jesus Christ. This New Covenant replaced the temporary Old (Mosaic) Covenant and belongs to the seed of Abraham. Now the Church, by virtue of being in Christ (the Seed of Abraham) are partakers of the New Covenant. However this does not change the fact that Israel will receive the fulfilment of the New Covenant, as well as the rest of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Messianic Kingdom Age, when Jesus will literally reign on earth on the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years, with Israel exalted among the nations.

3. Israel has unconditional promises that guarantee her future (Jeremiah 31:10,35-37).

What about Israel now? The rebirth of Israel in 1948, and her re-establishment of control over Jerusalem in 1967 were according to God’s purpose, plan and promises and fulfilled the Biblical prophecies that after scattering Israel to all the nations, God would regather her to her promised land. Israel’s rebirth is the fulfilment of the sign of the Fig-Tree given by Jesus for us to know when we are near the end of the Church-Age (Matthew 24:32-35). This event signified that ‘the Times of the Gentiles’ (of Gentile Dominion over Israel), a time-period imposed by God on Israel as a discipline because of her sin, are now fulfilled (Luke 21:24). Now God is preparing the way to bring Israel to repentance and faith concerning her Messiah. Israel’s rejection of Christ has resulted in tribulation for her, which will continue until she accepts Jesus as her Messiah. Israel’s repentance and faith in her Messiah are necessary for her national restoration in the Kingdom (which is why Jesus did not establish the Messianic Kingdom at His First Coming, but instead postponed it and released salvation to the Gentiles by establishing the Mystery Church-Age). But Israel will finally repent and call upon Jesus in faith to save her, and in response He will return (His Second Coming) to judge the nations, restore Israel and set up His Kingdom on earth (Romans 11:26,27). Thus the rebirth and regathering of Israel is a fulfilment of prophecy and sets the stage for all the remaining prophecies of the Bible to be fulfilled. Israel’s miraculous rebirth is now a sign to the nations that God’s Word is true and that the End of the Age is upon us. God will fulfil his purposes for Israel, but if people, nations or religious groups resist God’s purposes for Israel, by cursing her or seeking her destruction, then God will bring them into judgement. But if they bless Israel, they will receive a blessing (Genesis 12:3).

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