We Stand With Israel!
Not all evangelical Christians provide support to Israel for the right reasons—which is why they sometimes withdraw it.
There is no authority on Earth except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. That may seem like a strange statement in view of the godless events overtaking this world, both culturally and politically. But it is true nonetheless because the Bible says it is true (Rom. 13:1).
Scripture also says, “Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (v. 2).
It would be a gross understatement to say not everyone is happy with the new Israeli government. How can a man whose party won a mere seven out of 120 Knesset seats form a coalition with anti-Zionists and Muslims to wrest the premiership of the Jewish state away from Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party won 30 seats? Well, it happened. And as evangelical Christians, we should not withdraw our support for Israel because of it. According to Scripture, God determined the outcome.
Unfortunately, a prominent evangelical leader made headlines this year by threatening to withhold from Israel the massive amount of evangelical support vested in his organization “if Bibi Netanyahu goes into the opposition.”1
We should all marvel that, after four elections in two years, Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, saw its political process through. Like it or not, Naftali Bennett took his seven seats and formed a coalition, though by the slimmest margin (60 to 59, with one abstention), to move the government forward.
W. A. Criswell
Evangelical support for Israel is not rooted in politics. It is rooted in God’s eternal Word (Gen. 12:1–4). The Bible teaches that God raises up leaders and removes them. The prophet Daniel put it this way: “He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Dan. 2:21).
Romans 13:1 instructs, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.” Christians are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6), regardless of who heads the government there.
W. A. Criswell (1909–2002) pastored First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, for 50 years. On February 12, 1956, he preached a message titled “The Coming Again of the Lord,” explaining to his congregation his love for Israel and the Jewish people:
To me it’s all together; it lives together, or it’s just another book. It’s all the Word of God or none of it is the Word of God. It lives or it dies together. So I say, when you listen to this preacher, you’ve got to remember that’s a bias in him. That’s a persuasion in him; that’s a prejudice in him. He believes, he believes under God, that all of those prophecies and all of those promises that were made by the prophets to the children of Israel—to the seed of Abraham—that every one of them, someday, will be fulfilled and not a word of the Lord will ever fall to the ground.2
Criswell lived his words. He visited Israel several times and met several Israeli prime ministers. In 1979, Prime Minister Menachem Begin bestowed on him the Israeli Humanitarian Award. His support didn’t falter when a different prime minister took office; and none of Criswell’s accomplishments were due to his devotion to Israeli politics but, rather, to Christ and His Word.
On May 10, 2021, the terrorist group Hamas launched thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem. Israel responded with Operation Guardian of the Walls, designed to defend the country and eliminate ammunition and rocket-launching sites.
Shortly after the 11-day operation, StandWithUs, a nonpartisan, Israel-education organization, sponsored a rally against anti-Semitism in downtown Philadelphia at the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza, near Love Park. I was asked to represent the Christian community and The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry (FOI) and to speak on why Christians support Israel. Politics had nothing to do with my message. Here is an excerpt:
Just last week, in the midst of the bombing, when Israelis were under attack, FOI purchased six new bomb shelters, adding to the 31 we bought over an eight-year period. Wherever and whenever we find Jewish people in need, we seek to help. That only happens because thousands of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people want to stand with love and support of Israel.
And so, as a representative of Christians who cherish Genesis 12, I stand in front of you today to proclaim, you are not alone! Thousands and thousands of Bible-believing Christian Zionists stand with you, unashamed of our solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. With every fiber of our being, we condemn Hamas terror, we condemn anti-Semitism, and we condemn anyone or any group that spews hatred against the Jewish people. We watched in horror as thousands of rockets, as many as 170 in an hour, were launched indiscriminately into Israel, reaching as far as Jerusalem, most of which were intercepted by Iron Dome.
Unfortunately, not all rockets were intercepted. It grieves us to see the suffering. It grieves us to know that Hamas cares nothing about its own people, willing to hide its ammunition in schools, hospitals, and homes and launch their rockets from those locations. It grieves us to see the devastation on both sides brought on only because the leaders of Hamas hate Israel.
You need to know that Bible-believing Christians care. We love Israel and the Jewish people. We know God loves Israel and God loves the Jewish people, and we love what God loves.
→ The prophet Jeremiah tells us God loves Israel with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3).
→ Three times in Scripture, once in the Torah, once in the Psalms, and once in the Prophets, we are told Israel is the apple of His eye.
→ Israel’s relationship with God is unlike any other.
For 83 years, The Friends of Israel has stood with the Jewish people, and it will always stand with Israel, regardless of the choices Israelis make concerning their government.
As Bible-believing Christians, we stand united with Israel—and will continue to stand with Israel—as long as God gives us breath, because God loves Israel. As He says in His Word,
Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land . . . in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever (Ezek. 37:21, 25).
Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul (Jer. 32:41).
Am Yisrael Chai! The nation of Israel lives! And it will live forever because God says so.