How Should Christians Think About The Nation of Israel?

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How Should Christians Think About The Nation of Israel?

We must always hear Scripture first in its proper context and setting to arrive at its meaning. Once we’ve done this, we can then ask what difference does this make to the way we are supposed to live. We worship God by applying the principles that come from that proper understanding. To hear examples of this in the preaching ministry of Dr. Caldwell, consider listening to the following sermons where he exposits some of the more difficult passages of the Scriptures:

Mercy's Measure

The Blessed or The Cursed - Pts. 1-4

Prayer For The Spiritually Exhausted

Christian Contentment - Pts. 1 & 2

Why Christians Love Each Other

No Fear Of Judgment

The Golden Chain Of Redemption

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How Should Christians Think About The Nation of Israel?

How Should Christians Think About The Nation of Israel?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the nation of Israel. Dr. Philpot says that as Christians, we see the nation of Israel come into existence through our reading of the Old Testament Scriptures. A people declared by God to be His people, given land and other promises, from whom in time would come the Messiah. But today, we know that on the whole, the Jewish people do not accept Jesus as the Messiah. How should Christians think of this nation today?

Dr. Caldwell first tells us we need to recognize that the phrase, the people of God, has more than one reference. When we speak of the people of God today, it is not the same as that of the Old Testament. Dr. Caldwell explains that he is a premillennialist. In simple terms, this is a view of eschatology or the end times as it relates to the nation of Israel. Premillennialists hold to the biblical understanding that God is not yet finished with that nation. Dr. Caldwell explains that he believes there will be a great outpouring of salvation at the end of the age, and many Israelites converted.

What God Has Promised

An earthly kingdom will follow where Christ will rule and reign over the nations for 1000 years, and this will include the nation of Israel in some exalted role. The history of the nation of Israel begins in Genesis 12 where God first made a promise to Abram. Dr. Caldwell goes on to say, after describing what God has promised, is that he sees a plan of God that involves the physical descendants of Abraham, who are the people of Israel. But that’s different, however, than to say that God’s plan was or is to save every individual Israelite, which is not true. The book of Romans is a good place where we can go to unpack some of these things and to understand that not all that have descended from Israel belong to Israel.

Secondly, he tells us that when we think of the people of God in terms of redemption and salvation, the people of God in this day and age are the Church. The Church and the nation of Israel are not the same today. However, the Church does consist of both Jews and Gentiles. Anyone who is in Christ Jesus is a child of God; they are a son of God. So today, these are the people of God, and only these people are the people of God.

So when we think of the modern nation of Israel today, the vast majority of those people do not know Christ. They do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. They are lost, and their greatest need is for evangelism and the gospel.

A Special Status Regarding Salvation

Our hearts ought to reflect this understanding for them, just as we have for the rest of the lost and dying world. But the modern nation of Israel is not the Israel of God; they are not the people of God in the sense of salvation. Yet, Dr. Caldwell tells us that Israel today is a nation we can be thankful for. From a political point of view, they are our friends and allies (speaking as U.S. citizens). They represent a democratic form of government, which is a blessing. But in terms of having some special status regarding salvation, other than God’s plan for the end of the age, that would not be true.

Dr. Philpot speaks of the time that Jesus was on the earth, which we read from the Gospels. He reflects on a time when Jesus is walking with some disciples on the road to Emmaus. He tells us that those disciples didn’t recognize Jesus as the resurrected Christ. Jesus calls them foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken.

Jesus then begins with Moses and all the Prophets and interprets to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself. Elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus speaks of many of the Jews as seeing but not seeing, and as hearing but not hearing. Dr. Philpot wonders if maybe this is what is going on today.

See Jesus On The Pages of the Old Testament

Many of the Jewish people today would call themselves faithful to the Torah. Some of them are very conservative in their application of the Old Testament Law. He goes on to say, they have the ability to read and understand, but it seems as though they do not see what it’s meant to be pointing towards. He asks if it is similar in some ways today, making the comparison to what we read in the Gospels and the New Testament?

Dr. Caldwell says that he would not just say that it is similar. He would say that's exactly what is going on. There’s a veil that stands between them and the Law of God. They can read it and understand it on some level. They can even apply it to the best of their ability as lost people, striving with all their might to live it out. But until one's eyes have been opened to see Jesus on the pages of the Old Testament, there cannot be an understanding of the message to which it points. For a Christian, though, this is amazing.

When we read Isaiah 53, and the Psalms that are messianic in nature, it is so clear to us. We see that it is Jesus it speaks of in those passages. For the Jews who have that veil over their hearts, they cannot see and cannot hear. There's a foolishness and a hardness that rests upon them. But this foolishness and hardness is not on them alone; it’s on the gentiles as well. And this is true for anybody that rejects Christ, who is the Lord Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, the Son of God.

Biblical Times and Post-biblical Times

Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Philpot take up a short conversation about the nation of Israel, both in respect to biblical times and post-biblical times. They speak of the past persecution and ongoing persecution that this small nation has faced, and they consider why this might be so. They give us lots to think about and chew on. But as Dr. Caldwell notes, none of it makes sense if you take God and His Word out of the picture. But when you consider it in light of the Bible and God's plans for the world, then it begins to make sense.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 12 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Makeup Artist
Samantha Claveria

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

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