Israel, Jerusalem, the 1000 Year Kingdom - Part 2

Continuing our discussion from last week concerning all the controversy surrounding the current conflict in Israel, we highlighted that many are saying, “We must protect Israel.” Nevertheless, their motivation for saying such isn’t necessarily for humanitarian or political reasons. They are speaking out because they believe protecting Israel has to do with the “end of times” and the “coming 1000-year reign of Jesus.” So, once again, what are Christians to make of all that? Can we discern the truth of the matter? Fortunately, the truth is easily attainable in Scripture.

God Has Already Fulfilled His Promises to Israel
The false doctrine of Premillennialism claims that God has promised to restore the land of Israel back to the Jews. This is partially based on taking verses out of context like Jeremiah 30:3, “the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.‘ ” Yet, this promise was fulfilled when King Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to their land, “that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled’ (2 Chron 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-8)

After that promise was completed, God had no further prophecy of special plans for the land of Israel.

In fact, Jesus taught that the kingdom would be taken from the Jews and given to another “nation” (Matt 21:43) which had nothing to do with the land in which they lived. He also said that God would destroy Israel (Matt 21:41), along with Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24). From a cursory glance at history, we see that, indeed, Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 by Rome, which ultimately wiped out true Judaism. Thus, it is now impossible for Jews to trace their tribal lineage, which is essential for temple worship and discerning the lineage of their still awaited Messiah.

The Kingdom Has Already Been Established!
Today, God’s kingdom is a “spiritual house,” a “holy nation” – it is no longer a physical nation. Christians are the “Spiritual Israel” (1 Peter 2:5,9; Rom 2:29, 11:23; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11). Jesus’ kingdom was established on the Day of Pentecost with the church – they are one and the same (Matt 16:18-19; Col 1:13; Rev 1:9). Therefore, God has no further, special role for physical Israel. They have already fulfilled their role in the scheme of redemption. No longer are the Jews God’s only people. Now, all of humanity has the opportunity to be part of His holy nation (Acts 17:30; Gal 3:24-29; Eph 2.11-17; 1 Tim 2:4). Thus, His spiritual kingdom/nation has no special land, nor physical boundaries John 18:36; Luke 17:20-21). There is absolutely no spiritual need for a physical land on this earth.

While it is extremely sad and terrible that this conflict has killed thousands of innocent people and destroyed countless lives, we must be careful not to allow some false, religious doctrine to be justification for the war. Our hearts certainly hurt for the souls lost due to the violence, terrorism, and misguided zeal. But, just as Jesus told His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me . … I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” John 14:1-3), that is most important for the Christian! It is not some future “rapture, tribulation, Armageddon, or 1000-year reign.” Those are all false doctrines.

When Jesus returns to bring His saved home, that will be the true “end of the age,” and no one knows when that Day will come (1 Thess 4:13-18; 2 Peter 3:10). This war in Israel certainly isn’t the sign for it (even if the world did end during the conflict). So, let us pray for all those affected by the war, but more importantly, let’s make sure we are ready for the return of Jesus, today! Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2)! Instead of waiting for some fictitious, “second chance” event like Premillennialism teaches, why not get your heart right with God today?