Israel is a lost cause, spiritually speaking, not because God has cast them off like a molten garment fit for burning but because Israel has rejected God, in the person of Jesus Christ, and the Bible has made this clear. Israel has fulfilled her role, as chosen by Almighty God, to be the conduit for the world's salvation in giving us Jesus Christ and through him the elect of God known today as the church. Everyone outside the church is lost by choice and that includes Jews. By church I mean all those who are truly saved, born again, sanctified and living lives pleasing to God and worship him in spirit and in truth. This has nothing to do with church denominations.
If nothing else is understood when we speak of Christian Zionism, Restorationism, Covenant theology, Dispensationalism or eschatology (end times) then this one thing must be clear. Israel was chosen to give us Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Everything else hinges on this truth and until this truth is fully and unreservedly accepted we are in error.
Here is what the Bible says:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Notice that Jesus did not say "I am a way" thereby implying that there are other ways as others want us to believe. This is important because the Jews, and some Christians who believe Dual-covenant theology, tell us that God's covenant with Abraham and the Jews (Genesis 17:13) is an everlasting covenant and that when Jesus spoke in John 14:6 he was referring just to Gentiles (non-Jews). Suppose we accepted that contention (and I most certainly don't) and go just a little further.
For such a vital, life-changing subject there must be another defining scripture and to all those genuine seekers of truth, I am happy to inform you, they are.
Here is a mighty scripture that should settle the argument:
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:3-6)
These four verses are mighty powerful and leaves no doubt as to the universality and inclusiveness of Jesus Christ and his ministry. Contemplate on these four verses for they provide exceptional clarity for seekers of truth.
These verses affirm:
1. That God's Will is that all men be saved. No one is to be left out and no race is to be excluded.
2. That there is only one God. Not a multiplicity of gods as some think (sorry Hindus). God may reveal himself in the form of the Holy Trinity but he is and always will be one God. It is comforting that the three major religions all believe this, i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
3. That there is one mediator between God and men; the man Christ Jesus. Notice here the specificity of the pronouncement for if it was otherwise it would have said one mediator between God and Gentiles; meaning Jews were not included and had some separate arrangement. But no it did not say that for God wanted all mankind to know the status of Jesus Christ and his mediatorial role for ALL MEN.
Jews have played a vital part in bringing Christianity to the world, and that must be acknowledged, but their "chosen people" role is past, submerged in history and the world has moved on. The chosen people of God today is the church, and this is the church age and God's people are the saints in Christ and are described like this, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
Jews have absolutely no entitlement that differs from the rest of the world, and just like the world they need to seek God's face through Jesus Christ for salvation. Just like Jewish Peter asserted before the Council, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4;12), Jews need to come to terms with the ministry and person of Jesus Christ.
Jews are important for giving us Jesus Christ,
Israel is important for it is the land where Jesus Christ lived.
Bethlehem and by extension Jerusalem are important because that is where Jesus was born and their relevance are irremovable written in history. But Zionism in all of its permutations should be seen for what they are; nationalism plain and simple.
Christian Zionism is something quite different; for here I am referring to a section of the fundamentalist, evangelical, protestant conservatism that has aligned themselves with political Zionism and think that somehow Israel controls God's plans as per the re-building of the Jewish Temple and Armageddon.
It is a fallacy to think that God has ceded control of his plans to anybody. Events on the ground do not determine prophecy but on the contrary; prophecy determines what will take place in the world.
Israel is deluding herself, and all her acolytes are walking in serious error, when she thinks that she can force God to act or not to act as regard end-time events.
Zionism seeks to foment untold angst in the Middle East on the basis of doing God's Will and what they are really doing is undermining peace and perpetuating hatred in their attempt at Jewish nationalism and some adherents of Christian Zionism have bought into it with their misguided views of Dispensationalism.
An article by Aline Edson at Faithwriters.com began like this:
"Christian Zionism is at best oxymoronic and at worst pure heresy. It gives equal credence to the old Mosaic law of sin and death, and the law of grace and truth that flow from the cross of Christ. It is dangerous as well as illogical. It is sneaking up on good, honest people in the guise of Christianity per se. It has as its proponents the devil and his minions dressed as angels of light. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing permeating the Body of Christ. And it's growing fast both politically and religiously. Basically, it insists that the Jews are still God's chosen people, that when the third temple is built in Jerusalem and the Jews assembled there, Armageddon will arrive. For this reason they see no point in trying for peace in the Mideast (or anywhere else for that matter). They have appointed themselves prognosticators and helpers of God to bring about the end of the world as soon s possible, which is pretty arrogant in and of itself. I remember God's answer to Job's questioning, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" Exactly. There is a mighty chasm between Creator and His creation." The full article can be assessed here: http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=67931
God will bring about all the events prophesied in the Bible not because of what Israel will or will not do but because of his Sovereign, Decretal Will as it affects all mankind. This is not something that the Israelites can vote on and veto or amend; or that the Israeli Prime Minister can choose to do or not. The notion that Israel can hold God's plans hostage to their political shenanigans is laughable. If Israel refused to fall in line with God's Sovereign, Decretal Will then be assured that others, at God's bidding, will do so and no power on earth can stop them.
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Rather than put a lengthy comment about this article and about what the other commenters are saying I have an article that I think balances out the issue a little bit. If anyone is interested it's called Symbolisms in Genesis regarding the first and Second Covenants. It's actually very popular article and have never had anyone on either side of this debate object to it.
(James 3:1 seriously comes to mind as I read your words, Doctor) - - - One of the enemy's greatest tools of deception is to weave lies into some aspect of truth. This particular posting of your's is a great example of that very thing. For what you have tried to explain away concerning 'Israel', Romans 11 disagrees with you, and puts in perfect order. - "Israel is a lost cause"?... "Israel has fulfilled her 'chosen' role"? Hardly Doctor, hardly. - There is yet a 'chosen people' in Israel. A 'JEWISH REMNANT in YASHUA HAMASHIYACH' who will come forth at the ordained time, and be set apart for the salvation and restoration of 'true Israel' in the Millennial Kingdom with Christ (which will be the prophetic fulfillment of Romans 11:26 'and so all Israel will be saved'). But you are right in that 'Zionism' is a movement of man, and not of the Holy Spirit. 'Millennialism' however, is quite the opposite, and ISRAEL is still 'ground zero' for end time prophetic, and return of Christ. - - - Yes Doctor,... Israel is still very much 'CHOSEN'. - Careful how you tread.
As for Anthony Green's comment below,..."There will never be peace in the Milldle East because the Moslems come from Esau and Ishmeal',... Anthony obviously doesn't understand end time prophecy, as the anti-christ is coming on the platform of 'Peace', a FALSE PEACE, and will bring it about through all signs, wonders, and lying miracles.
Good morning Dr.
Yes, too many misguided believers seem to think they can do things to bring about Gods plans before His time and that is wrong.
There will never be peace in the Milldle East because the Moslems come from Esau and Ishmeal. That is why they claim to be Ambrahams children and beleieve it is only by wiping out the Jews they will get the blessing.
I read some interesting articles about that.
God bless you.