Inside View May/Jun 2022

I hate to think what this world would be like without Israel.

Have you noticed that ads to help feed children in Africa, common in the 1980s and 1990s, are seldom seen today? That’s partly because Israel is making a difference in Africa. Israel took its drip irrigation and solar technology to villages across the continent, and people there now pump water from the ground and use it efficiently to grow food.

In fact, in science, medicine, communications, agriculture, and computing, Israel leads the world in innovations that save lives and improve living standards. Were it not for Israel, we would not enjoy many of the technologies we take for granted today. Israel makes a difference!

In the realm of redemption, Israel makes all the difference. Without the Jewish people, you and I would have no salvation. Though that fact seems obvious, there is a decline in the number of Christians who understand Israel’s importance—past, present, and future.

This development is alarming, given the fact that the nation’s role appears prominently on the pages of God’s Word and is eternally defined in everlasting covenant promises that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his descendants: Israel.

According to a recent survey conducted by Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research, only 51 percent of evangelical Christians polled believe the Jewish people are God’s Chosen People. That’s a mere one out of every two evangelicals. The percentage declines noticeably with younger people. At age 70 and older, 59 percent believe the Jews are God’s Chosen People, while only 44 percent under age 40 believe this way.1

Why are so many Bible-believers ignorant of the difference Israel makes in our redemption, and why is there such a steady decline in this understanding among young people? Robert Nicholson, president and executive director of The Philos Project, points to the negative views about America that younger evangelicals are taught.2 It seems the anti-Americanism bombarding our children makes an impact.

But there’s more. As I travel and speak, people commonly tell me they never hear preaching about Israel. Nor are they taught Israel’s critical role in prophecy. This failure is at the root of declining support for Israel. If believers understand the difference Israel makes in our redemption and the role God has defined for the nation, they will believe the Jewish people are God’s Chosen People.

To remove Israel from God’s covenant promises renders our redemption worthless. The church cannot replace Israel in the covenants without sacrificing its salvation. Jesus Himself said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22).

The Abrahamic Covenant is more than a promise of redemption for Israel. God also promised that through Abraham’s Seed, He would bless the entire world (Gen. 12:3; 22:18). The apostle Paul taught in Galatians 3 that because of this promise, the salvation God brought to the Jewish people through Christ is shared with the world.

Does Israel make a difference? Absolutely! Without Israel, we would have no access to God’s unparalleled gift of grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. What the church needs today is a well-rounded understanding about Israel. Its ignorance, more than any other factor, is leading to the decline in evangelical support for Israel.

The good news is that when God’s Word is taught, it is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12) and more than capable of cutting through all the nefarious influences of our culture and times. The Friends of Israel is committed to proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah. We will give our last breath upholding this calling from God.

ENDNOTES
      1. Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research, The Jewish Connection: Evangelicals and Israel, December 2021, 7.
      2. Robert Nicholson, “No Zeal for Zion,” World magazine, January 5, 2022 (tinyurl.com/ZealZion).

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