Read Part 1.
We are in the midst of a short series intended to bolster our confidence in the fact that God still has a future for Israel. His Word to His chosen people will certainly be fulfilled literally—not merely spiritually—in accord with the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). This unconditional covenant provided a paradigm as to how history would unfold from the day it was given until the final coming of God’s kingdom to Earth. It was also the basis of the other unconditional covenants that God gave to Israel.
As we are considering the development of opposition to this clear teaching of Scripture, we looked in Part 1 at the Apostle Paul’s warning to the elders of the church at Ephesus in Acts 20:29-30. We also saw how the origins of replacement theology really go back to the serpent in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.
We ended by thinking about the fact that the work of the Reformation must be continued—as the Reformers themselves need reforming on this particular point of replacement theology.
We pick up here with the contemporary scene.
Refuting Replacement Theology
Is replacement theology spreading and altering the church again in our day? As we have already seen, it has been woven into the fabric of the church’s teaching for centuries. However, in recent decades it would appear that we have witnessed a considerable decline for our view of a literal future for the people, nation and land of Israel—especially among many who once promoted these teachings as strenuously as The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry continues to do.*
In this regard, then, our ministry is filling a void in the church when we go out to proclaim and teach that God will fulfill every promise ever made, and every prophecy ever given, to His chosen nation. As He has been with them from their Biblical past, so He is watching over them today in the strategic present, and thus He will be with them to the end of the prophetic future.
Replacement theology diminishes the church because it removes the sense of urgency to share the gospel with “the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16), as well as to teach about the incredible significance of Israel within Biblical prophecy.
Reinforcing Our Hope
We face a new and frightening phenomenon in our world today that threatens every single one of us—in terms of our careers, our finances and even our most basic liberties. We call it cancel culture. When we veer outside the arbitrary lines drawn by the cultural elites, we face the daunting possibility of being sent into technological exile—cancelled.
We may rest assured, however, that Israel will never be cancelled—certainly not by God, nor by Satan, and not even by the church—no matter how misguided (even if well-meaning) some of her leaders might be (see Jer. 31:35-37). God will not replace Israel. He will, instead, restore Israel—the people, nation and land—in accord with all that He has promised (see Jer. 31:38-40).
And that gives all believers hope, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
Next time, in the concluding installment, we’ll consider a unique and significant question: Who or what is meant by “a synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9; see also 3:9)? There are a variety of opinions regarding the meaning of this obscure phrase. I will attempt to sort through them and demonstrate why I think this short description is filled with meaning that sheds light upon the issues we are studying here.
* I addressed this point specifically, and interviewed several Christian leaders for their analysis, in the following article: “Young, Restless, Fundamentalist: Is There Still a Future for Israel?” Baptist Bulletin Vol. 85, No. 6. (Nov./Dec. 2019): 17-20. See also my more recent article from the January/February 2023 issue of Israel My Glory, titled “Facing Replacement Theology.” It is available online at https://israelmyglory.org/article/facing-replacement-theology/, accessed 9 August 2023.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Paul J. Scharf (M.A., M.Div., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary) is a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, based in Columbus, WI, and serving in the Midwest. For more information on his ministry, visit sermonaudio.com/pscharf or foi.org/scharf, or email email@example.com.