MANY OF TODAY'S CHURCH LEADERS seem to hold views about ethnic Israel that express institutionalized prejudice and an "anti-Jewish" bias. But how did the church get so far removed from the Jewish roots of the faith? Is Christianity essentially anti-Semitic in its perspective? Is it possible to be a sincere Christian and yet be anti-Jewish?
When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים), you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice (Deut. 4:30).
Such words of the Hebrew prophets make no sense if we allegorize Israel to "really mean" the Church (or conversely, if we claim that the church really is "reconstituted Israel"). This sort of exegetical error might have been excusable in the Middle Ages or even during the Reformation when there was no State of Israel in existence, but since 1948 we've seen the Jewish people returning to the ancient Promised Land from all over the world. Am Yisrael Chai - "the people of Israel live!" How certain Christian teachers can ignore such a "mega sign" from heaven in light of the explicit promises that God will NEVER abandon his original covenant people is therefore entirely inexplicable.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
Have you seen the sun, moon or stars today? If so, you can be assured that the ethnic nation of Israel retains a place in God's plan. The gift and the calling of God is irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning, When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first born in God's family.
Most Covenant theologians will not say they are "anti-Israel" in principle... Some of them insist that Israel - like any other secular state - should be judged according to principles expressed in international law and therefore should be given no preferential treatment. For example, in his article, "Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?", John Piper calls the Jewish people "a non-covenant-keeping people" without divine right to the land unconditionally promised to the descendants of Abraham. Piper makes the claim that "both the blessed status of the people and the privileged right to the land are conditional on Israel's keeping the covenant God made with her" (ibid). This conclusion agrees with Scripture only if an allegorical method of interpretation is being used, since Brit bein Ha-Betarim, the covenant "between the parts" (Gen. 15) was clearly an unconditional covenant that was later appealed to by the Apostle Paul to explain the doctrine of "justification by faith."