Long ago, God appeared to Abraham and promised Abraham that his family line would be the one that produced the Messiah, the savior of the world. If you follow the story of the Bible, you will clearly see that Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, and whole story of the Bible reveals the events surrounding the lives of each following generation. But the story of Abraham's descendants ends when we get to Jesus. The Bible simply stops recording Abraham's family lineage. This is because Jesus was and is the Messiah that God promised to Abraham and there is no more need to trace the family history. The reason for the tracking of Abraham's family line had come in the person of Jesus. But the nation of Israel hated Jesus and wanted him dead. In fact, they killed him. After Jesus rose from the dead, he commanded his disciples to preach the good news to all the Jews. He commanded that they preach the forgiveness of sins through the greatest and last sacrifice ever offered to God, Jesus' own blood. His disciples obeyed the command to preach about Jesus but the Jews hated them too and wanted them to stop teaching about Jesus, they didn't even want them to speak the name. (Acts 4:18). As time went on, the Jews completely rejected Jesus' followers and they rejected the gospel of forgiveness of sin that they preached. (Acts 13:44-50) In fact, the last words that are recorded from the Jews are in regard to the Apostle Paul, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live...and when it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves to an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul." (Acts 22:22, 23:12). In short, they hated the gospel and wanted to ban it from their society. Shortly thereafter, the Lord destroyed the temple and all of Israel thereby sending them fleeing in all directions across the globe and Israel was no more. But the moral of the story is, the Jews hate the gospel message.
THE MODERN AGE
The next time that we see the Jews is almost 2,000 years later in 1948. Shortly after World War II the United Nations decided to send the Jews back to the land that they had lost in the year 70 AD. Since that time, Christian churches and Christian organizations have been sending money to Israel by the tens of millions of dollars per year. Israel has used the money to advance their many causes, one of them being the stamping out of the gospel. Yes that's right, stamping out of the gospel. They haven't changed that much at all in 2,000 years. Israel is a very consistent people. They fought against the gospel when it was first preached at the outset and they continue to fight against it now. The difference is this: in the first century, Christians around the world collected money to send to the Christians living in Jerusalem who were suffering under the oppressive gospel hating environment. Today, Christians in America send money to the oppressive gospel haters to help them persecute the Christians in Jerusalem. Pretty crazy right? Can you imagine the early Christians collecting money to send to the High Priests and Pharisees that were trying to stomp them out? And yet that's what American Christians are doing. (Keep reading and I'll explain why American Christians do this.)
THEY STILL HATE THE GOSPEL
|A Pamphlet by the Counter-missionary |
Department of Israel warning Christians
that they and their gospel are not welcome.
So the question that you may be asking yourself is "why are Christians giving millions of dollars to people who want to put a stop to Christianity in Israel?" The answer is pretty complicated because it is based upon a massive theological system which was put together to prove the superiority of the Jewish people. In fact, most Americans have been indoctrinated with this theological system and don't even know it. This explains why they blindly funnel millions of dollars into the hands of people who hate Jesus.
SO WHY DO CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL?
In the 1800's a new theological idea came onto the scene which put forth the idea that everyone who is descended from Abraham (that is all Jews) are God's chosen people. In essence, it was taught that God had two different chosen people, the physical descendants of Abraham (Jews) and the Spiritual descendants of Abraham (Christians). Thus, since we're both God's chosen people, we are friends, allies, and brothers who worship the same God and should support one another. And since God promised Abraham that his descendants would possess all of the land in Israel, we came to believe that all descendants of Israel have a right to all the land God promised. So Christians came to believe that Israel should rule the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River because that's what God promised Abraham. So Christians began to support Israel in all their efforts to reclaim that land. Christians do this by sending millions of dollars to Israel to make it happen. (They also believe that when this happens that Jesus will return, so there's quite a bit of incentive to get it done)
ABRAHAM'S DESCENDANTS, GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE?
Of course the problem with the above theology is that it is simply not true. Not everyone who is descended from Abraham is God's chosen. In fact, the Bible clearly teaches that only a select few descendants of Abraham are God's chosen people. Let me give you a few texts which back up this claim.
From the Mouth of JesusOn one occasion Jesus was talking with a large crowd of descendants of Abraham and Jesus told them that he could set them free. They responded by saying, "we are not enslaved, we are descendants of Abraham!"
Jesus answered them saying, "I know that you are descendants of Abraham, yet you seek to kill me because my words find no place in you. But I speak of what I have seen from MY Father and you do what you have heard from YOUR father. And the people answered him saying, "Abraham is our father!" But Jesus answered them saying, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works that Abraham did, but you seek to kill a man who tells you the truth that I received from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works of your father... for you are of your father the devil."
So we clearly see that Jesus acknowledges that the Jews are descendants of Abraham and yet he says that they are not children of Abraham because they do not do what Abraham did, namely, believe God. Jesus seems to think that the blood descendants are not really God's chosen people but instead God's people are those who believe Jesus' message. What do you call people who believe and obey Jesus' message? Christians! So according to Jesus the only descendants of Abraham that are God's chosen are those who become Christians.
From the Pen of Paul
"God has not failed (to save his people) for not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants...it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but it is the children of the promise." In other words, Paul is correcting the erroneous idea that all descendants of Abraham are God's chosen people. Paul clearly says, "being a descendant of Abraham is not a physical thing but a spiritual thing." Only the "children of promise" are God's chosen people. And who are the children of promise? Those who believe and obey the gospel of Jesus, which we commonly call Christians.
Also, in the book of Galatians Paul says that those Jews who reject Jesus are like Ishmael (descended from Israel but definitely NOT God's chosen) and the Jews who receive Jesus are like Isaac (descended from Abraham AND God's chosen). He also says, "Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham." (Gal. 3:7). In other words, those who are not of faith are not sons of Abraham. Scripture could not be clearer on this point.
What we see in Scripture over and over again is that Christians are God's chosen people. The Gentiles that entrust themselves to Jesus are God's chosen. The descendants of Abraham that entrust themselves to Jesus are God's chosen. This is why it can be said that Jesus destroyed the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. Before Jesus, Jews were the chosen people of God and the Gentiles were the un-chosen. Now that Jesus has come, there is no more Jew as chosen and Gentile as un-chosen. We are now all equally God's chosen if we are in Jesus. Thus, the physical bloodline means nothing. Being a physical descendant of Abraham means nothing. Remember Jesus' words, "I know that you are descendants of Abraham... but if you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works that Abraham did (have saving faith)" Descendants of Abraham are not truly descendants of Abraham unless they believe and obey the Gospel. When I was a kid I remember singing the children's song, "Father Abraham had many sons... I am one of them and so are you." That's good theology for a child's song! But how can a gentile boy sing that he is a son of Abraham? Because "those of faith who are the sons of Abraham" and not those who are of flesh and blood.
DOES GOD SHOW PARTIALITY?
There was a time when God showed partiality. God chose Israel out of all the world to be his own ethnic people. No other ethnicity mattered. Jews were the only chosen people of God. God entered into covenant with them, delivered the law to them, and established the line of the Messiah through them. God dwelled with them, protected them, blessed them and established them in the land. They were a people to whom all the promises were given for God promised these things to Abraham's seed.
There was a time when God showed partiality but that time has come to an end. God entered into covenant with ethnic Israel and promised to be their God if they would keep the covenant. When God entered into covenant with them he said, "if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." They however did not keep the covenant and so the promises which came with the covenant could not be given to them. Not one single Jew ever kept the terms of the covenant and not one single Jew could therefore be given the promises... well ok, there was this one Jew who did keep the covenant. To him all the promises were given, and to him alone. Paul puts it this way, "All the promises of God are yes and amen in Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 1:20) He is the keeper of the covenant, he is the recipient of all the promises, he is the seed of Abraham to whom all the promises were originally given. Paul makes this clear in Galatians 3:16 "Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ."
The bottom line is this, God does not favor any ethnicity over any other. I know that this is hard to hear if you're an American Christian and have been taught all your life that Israel does have favor in God's sight. But think about that position for a second. Doesn't the Bible say that Jesus has destroyed the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile? Doesn't the Bible say that God sees all ethnicities equally and that he doesn't treat one differently than any other? Doesn't the Bible teach that the only way to be on good terms with God is through faith in Jesus? The only way to be called the people of God is to be joined to the Son of God. All others are imposters. That is the gospel that the Apostles preached and that is the gospel that the Jews hated to hear. Israel is made up of those who love and accept the gospel of Jesus and those who hate and reject the gospel of Jesus. Similarly, every nation on earth is made up of the same. Israel does not have some special status in God's eyes. To support Israel is not to support Jesus. To support Israel is to support those who hate Jesus. Israel is not any more friendly to Christians than it was 1,900 years ago. We Christians should know that. Acceptance or rejection of Jesus means everything!
In part 2 we will look at why Israel cannot be God's people and how we, as Christians, are the only people that can be God's people. We will also look at how we should view the Palestinian conflict in light of this Biblical truth. Be sure to subscribe to the blog in order to get the second installment of this important subject. Don't let ignorant pastors lead you into unintentionally supporting enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
*In the United States we have the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and other such departments. In Israel they have what is known as the "Department of Counter-Missionaries." It is a non-profit organization that is funded in part by Israel's department of the interior and was created to stamp out missionary efforts and the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can click on the links below to see what they are currently doing in Israel.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3