Israel was established by God as His priestly, “missionary,” nation to provide the place for the Promised One, the incarnate Son of God, to be born, live, and accomplish God’s plan of salvation for the world ( Genesis 12:3; Exodus 19:6; Galatians 3:8).
God has always wanted all people to respond to His offer of eternal salvation, which was promised in the Old Testament through Israel, looking forward to Christ, the Messiah (Isaiah 2:1-3, 49:6; Jeremiah 3:17; Daniel 7:14; Luke 24:47; Acts 15:17).
An image that can help picture much of this is seeing Israel as God’s commando force behind enemy lines establishing the entry point for God’s invasion by His Son. There have always been other sympathizers who did not have contact with Israel, like Job. God’s commandoes, Israel, gain some converts from among the enemy even before the invasion. Finally, there are many, many converts who join after the invasion comes but are not required to live like the commandoes did. All of these converts, along with the commandoes, are the army/people of God and are under the same ultimate relationship. However, Israel, God’s commando force, was the vanguard with a special mission requiring special disciplines before the invasion/coming of the Savior. The rest of us owe them much and can learn much from their example. But, any of them who are fallen away from a grace-through-faith relationship with God have gone over to the side of the enemy. The hope is that many of them will return to God’s side as they see God working among the rest of us.
Israel never was and never will be saved any differently from anyone else. Salvation has always been by grace through faith in God’s promised Savior, for all people (Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 3:30; 10:1-4; 11:23;, Ephesians 2:8).
The People of God, since Abraham, have included and will always include both believers who were circumcised as Jews and believers who are gentiles, but all circumcised in heart (Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:11), joined in one new body, the church (Ephesians 2), and finally pictured as one city (Revelation 21:10-14).
God wants all believers to respect and appreciate Israel as our roots and seek for all Jewish people to come to faith in the Savior (Romans 10 and 11).
God will fulfill His promises to Israel and there will be a restoration of a remnant connected with the Messianic age, the climactic events of the end of this age, and the dawn of the new age (Jeremiah 31 and 33; Ezekiel 36 and 37; Acts 1:6-8; Romans 11:25-32). According to the Scriptures, God is not finished with Israel. Therefore, it is very possible that the existence of the modern nation of Israel is part of the fulfillment of God’s promises, particularly in Ezekiel 37. It would seem that a critical loyalty to the nation of Israel is appropriate, along with prayer and ministry to them.
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