Saturday, August 27, 2005

Israel ... God's Chosen People

There is a dangerous doctrine being spread in our churches today called REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY that basically teaches that the church (Christians) have replaced Israel as God's chosen people.

Those of us who adhere to a biblical position that the Jews and the church are two separate and distinct entities are now being called CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS. Replacement proponents, also known as Covenant Theologians, are comparing us to the New Testament Messianic believers who attempted to mix Judaism with Christianity. This is simply not the case. We are taking a stand on an historic fundamental position that God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants was literal and eternal.

Genesis 12-17 outlines the Abrahamic Covenant where God promised Abraham that his seed would be blessed and be God's chosen people.

When the Jews rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah the gospel was then given to the Gentiles (Romans 1:16). This is not to say that we were an after thought and that the gospel was given to us as God's Plan B. It simply changed how it was presented to us. If the Jewish people had embraced Jesus Christ as their Messiah then those of us who are not Jewish would have been given provision to convert. Since they did reject Him the gospel was offered to us directly.

Galatians 3 teaches that we, the Christians, are now able to "share" in the Abrahamic Covenant but we DO NOT replace Israel. God is now working through the church but He is NOT finished with Israel. The Tribulation period (The Time of Jacob's Trouble) is their opportunity for redemption and reconciliation with their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Proponents of REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY base their belief on a misinterpretation of I Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..." as being proof positive that the church are now God's chosen people. While we argee that as Christians we can apply this verse to ourselves we must ALSO remember the context of the message of the passage. According to I Peter 1:1 Peter was addressing the "strangers scattered" which were Messianic Jewish Believers who were scattered from their homes and their lives because of their new found faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, Peter was telling these converted Hebrews not to lose heart because they were still God's chosen generation. He wanted them to understand that they were not losing out by accepting Christ but they were gaining.

The argument is given today that the Jews who inhabit Israel now are apostate and secular. They have not kept the covenant. That is true, however, the whole point of Genesis 17 was the fact that God already knew from the beginning that they would not keep covenant BUT He chose them anyway!

It pictures our salvation. We don't work to keep ourselves saved. God does the saving and the keeping. It's ALL on Him. Hallelujah!

God's heart still cries out to Israel. He's a Father. Even when a child becomes rebellious and disobedient it may cause the father not to give his blessing or his favor or even his full help to that child BUT it does not change the fact that that child STILL belongs to that father and he still loves them. God loves His people. Yes, they need to accept to Jesus Christ as their Savior and without Him they will spend eternity in Hell but that doesn't mean that God doesn't still have a plan for them. They are STILL the apple of His eye!

"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon theface of the earth." Deuteronomy 7:6