Jesus, Zionism, and the Millennial Generation
Creativity, liberalism, cultural awareness, and selﬁes all describe my generation—Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation. But what probably characterizes us the most is our dislike of labels. We view them as conﬁning and narrow; and they rapidly birth stereotypes—another of our pet peeves.
So, naturally, even as believers in Jesus, when we hear the terms Zionism or Zionist, we tend to steer clear. Many young adults equate Zionism with racism. But that association is completely inaccurate.
Zionists simply believe the Jewish people have a right to create and develop a Jewish state in their historic homeland of Israel. As Bible-believing Christians, we of all people should embrace the Zionist label.
Modern Zionism is often traced back to Theodor Herzl’s World Zionist Congress in 1897. But its origins actually go back much further—all the way to the book of Genesis.
In Genesis, God promised a Chaldean man named Abram a piece of real estate known then as “the land of Canaan” (Gen. 12:5). This promise is called the Abrahamic Covenant.
God said, “All the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever” (13:15). This promise was unconditional—no strings attached. Thus God the Father was the ﬁrst Zionist, giving Canaan (Israel) to Abram and his descendants through Jacob as an eternal possession.
Jesus the Zionist
The most ardent Zionist of all is Israel’s Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Scripture clearly reveals Jesus’ support of the nation of Israel and His Zionistic views.
Jesus Will Destroy Israel’s Enemies. Someday, when Israel calls to Him for deliverance, He will return to Earth and destroy Israel’s enemies: “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:9; cf. Ps. 2:8; Rev. 19:15).
Jesus will say to the nations that persecuted Israel,
Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting ﬁre prepared for the devil and his angels: Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it [provide help] to one of the least of these [the Jewish people], you did not do it to Me (Mt. 25:41, 45).
Jesus Will Establish the Jewish Kingdom in Israel. Following Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Christians who deny the literal, future millennial reign of Christ in Israel often criticize His disciples for asking such a question.
Notice Jesus’ answer: “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (v. 7).
He did not say, “Guys, you’re missing the point! The Kingdom is already reigning in your hearts!” Rather, Jesus aﬃrmed their question’s legitimacy by saying that the time when He will restore the Kingdom to Israel was not for them to know.
In the last days, the Jewish people, persecuted on every side by the anti-Semitic nations of the world, will cry out to their Messiah, “Save now, I pray, O Lᴏʀᴅ;…Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ!” (Ps. 118:25–26). Then the Messiah will return to Earth to rescue them and establish the promised, literal Kingdom of David (Mt. 23:39).
Jesus Will Reign as King of Israel. Jesus’ Zionism is most evident in the fact that He will rule over Israel as King. At His Second Coming, Jesus will assume His rightful seat on the throne of David (Isa. 9:7; Mt. 24:31). As King of Israel, He will rule not only the Jewish state, but also the entire world.
The prophet Isaiah wrote,
The government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts will perform this (Isa. 9:6–7).
Jesus the Messiah is the ultimate Zionist, and His Father clearly established that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Jesus will set up the long-awaited Messianic, Jewish Kingdom in Israel, where He will reign eternally and execute justice on the world, seated on the throne of David.
Wear the Label
Fellow Millennials, if ever there were a label followers of Jesus should wear proudly, it is the label “Zionist.” We don’t have to wear it as a sign of political aﬃliation or as a statement of agreement with all Israel does; but if we seek to imitate the Jewish Messiah, we must stand in solidarity with the very nation He stood with and died for.
The Lord Jesus Christ will one day rule the world from the throne of David in Israel, where He will judge the nations based on their treatment of the Jewish people. Now is the time to choose whether you will wear the Zionist label—proudly standing with the Lord’s Chosen People—or side with the world in its rejection of Israel.