Isn’t the subject of Israel primarily a Jewish concern? I’m a Gentile believer; should this matter to me?
Many Christians have felt this way and mostly this is the result of years of neglect on the part of most Bible teachers. The average church attendee has rarely heard the topic of Israel mentioned much less received sound biblical teaching on this subject. As followers of Jesus, we need to discover the things that are on His heart and then take those matters seriously. Even a casual reading of Scripture should convince us that Israel’s destiny is a major theme in both the Old and New Testaments (Isa. 49:16).
How can I learn more about God’s heart for the Jewish people?
The best and safest way is by first setting your heart on this journey. We must learn of God’s heart for this subject by revelation. One of the wisest ways to encounter His heart is by establishing a regular habit of fasting and prayer. Set aside a day or two a week for this purpose and you will be surprised how quickly your heart will grow in love and understanding. We have provided a list of recommended reading material that contains insights from some of the finest Bible teachers on this subject. We believe you will find these resources to be extremely useful »
What is “replacement theology,” and is it harmful?
Replacement theology teaches that because the Jewish people frequently turned away from following God’s commands, that God in turn has rejected them and canceled His covenants and withdrawn His promises. These covenants and promises have now been transferred to the Church. This teaching is against the Jewish people, the Church, the Word of God, and the very character and nature of God. It violates the Jewish people by attempting to remove promises clearly established by God as “everlasting promises.” It violates the Church by causing us to distance ourselves from our Jewish heritage. It violates the Word of God by grossly distorting the truth. And it violates the character of God by claiming that He makes promises that He doesn’t intend to keep. This is one of the great end-time deceptions and should not be minimized. (Jer. 31:35–37)
There are many opinions about whether a Gentile believer should celebrate the Jewish feasts. What does the Bible say?
It is a common misunderstanding among many believers (Jewish and Gentile) that the feasts were given solely to the Jews. Although it is true that the Lord first spoke about the feasts to Moses, the feasts were called “the feasts of the Lord” (Lev. 23:2), not “the feasts of the Jews” as many have assumed. Gentile believers should be familiar with these feasts as they are part of the instruction of God’s Word and contain priceless insights about their Messiah, Jesus. The real issue is “have to” versus “allowed to.” Gentile believers are under no command to celebrate the feasts (Acts 15; Col. 2:16), but are allowed to celebrate them if they so choose. In the millennial age, all the residents will be participating in these divine celebrations, so why not become familiar with them now?
When Jews become believers, shouldn’t they forsake their Jewish heritage, join a good church, and just become Christians?
The current Messianic movement began in the 1970s, where it emerged because the Holy Spirit began to awaken and connect Jewish believers to their Jewish heritage. Most Jewish believers in the Western church appear to be settled in Gentile congregations and are at peace with that choice. Others have been led by the Spirit to gather in congregations with other Jewish believers so that they can experience their Messiah in a more familiar context. Most Messianic congregations today are composed of over 60 percent of Gentiles. This is a direct fulfillment of Scripture. (Eph. 2:15)
Isn’t the Old Testament written for the Jews, and the New Testament written for Christians?
Although some Christians have believed this to be true, the Bible is the inspired Word of God from Genesis to Revelation (2 Tim. 3:16–17). God’s Word was never intended to be broken up and parceled out to special groups of people. It is one continuous book that has divine inspiration flowing through it from cover to cover. Both Jews and Gentiles need God’s full revelation to mature in the faith.
Why don’t most Gentile congregations hear sermons about Israel?
Most Bible teachers share information their teachers have imparted to them. The Gentile church officially severed all relationship with the Jewish people in 325 AD, and since that time we have suffered many negative consequences resulting from that decision. Pastors are not trained theologically to understand the subject of Israel and most receive revelation on this subject because God graciously imparts it.
If the Jewish people are God’s chosen race, does that mean God loves them more than He loves the Gentiles?
Israel was God’s original vehicle for introducing salvation to the whole earth. The greater part of the nation is feeling the weight of God’s justice, but this will not always be the case. In the age to come, Israel will once again be restored and will have the primary redemptive role. The issue of calling has nothing to do with the degree of love God has for a particular people; He loves all men equally (Jn. 3:16–17). Just as God has given a husband a different role assignment than his wife, the same idea applies to Israel and the Gentiles: it has nothing to do with favoritism and everything to do with function. Thus, Israel has been given a unique role assignment, and God loves the Gentiles to the same degree as He loves the Jews.
What is the primary calling of the Gentile church with regard to Jewish believers?
According to the Apostle Paul, we are to be God’s provoking mechanism (Rom. 11:14). We are to provoke them by walking in righteousness (Mt. 5:16), moving in the supernatural (1 Cor. 1:22), preaching the gospel (Rom. 10:14–15), fasting, and praying (Isa. 62:6; 58:6–9)