News about Israel is of interest to many Christians primarily because of prophecy, not politics. Specifically, some Christians believe moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is a prophetic sign; others, however, aren’t so sure.
Last month, I summarized the findings of LifeWay’s recent survey of Christian beliefs about issues involving Israel – from the nation’s place in the Bible to its treatment of Palestinians. In that survey, 80% of evangelicals said the “rebirth” of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
With the May deadline approaching, let’s examine two different opinions Christians hold about the US embassy move to Jerusalem.
Position # 1 – Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is a bad idea.
– Christians who hold this position worry the embassy move could lead to violence and bloodshed.
– They reject the notion that God’s promises to Abram apply to modern Israel.
– Their concern is peacemaking, and they don’t want to support practices that seem contrary to the teachings of Jesus, particularly injustice.
– While they agree Jerusalem is the historic capital of Israel, they challenge the idea that Israel still holds an ethnic claim to the land.
– These Christians anchor their thinking not in the Old Testament’s land-based promises, but in the gospel, where tribal theologies about Israel become universal, welcoming all people into a divine promise of blessing.
– They also look at Scriptures such as John 3:16 and believe God loves the whole world and wants to bless Israel and Palestine.
Position # 2 – Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is a good idea.
– Many Christians who support the US embassy move to Jerusalem do so primarily because of a literal interpretation of Scripture; they cite Genesis 12:3 as the rationale to “bless” Israel.
– These believers think the promises God made to Abram in Genesis 12 are still in effect today.
– In addition, they point to Genesis 17:8 as proof of God’s ongoing land covenant with Israel.
– Therefore, these believers point to Revelation 7 as evidence that God still has a plan for Israel, and consequently, they want to support Israel.
While there are undoubtedly other opinions among Christians about this topic, my goal is to illustrate that Bible-believing followers of Christ can interpret prophecies differently.
Meantime, we can all agree that Jesus is coming back to earth, though none of us know when (Matthew 24:36).
As you watch news from the Holy Land, let me help you stay informed:
For a simple explanation of Jerusalem’s complicated history, read my article “Why the Peace (and Pieces of) Jerusalem Are Significant.”
Also, subscribe to my blog and receive a free download to help you understand “Why Jerusalem is Important to 3 World Religions.”
Laura Lacey Johnson is a cutting-edge faith and culture writer who focuses on everyday headlines. In addition to speaking, she is a columnist for Christian Headlines.com. To read Laura’s latest work on the headlines, visit www.lauralaceyjohnson.com, or to download your FREE copy of Why Jerusalem is Important to 3 World Religions, subscribe to her blog here.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/rrodrickbeiler
Publication date: February 28, 2018