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“Isn’t God done with Israel? Didn’t the church replace the Jews as God’s people?”
I hear this question from well meaning Christians from time to time. The answer is no and yes but not really.
It is plain from scripture that God is not done with Israel. Paul writes on this issue in Romans 9-11. Rom 11:25-30 in particular speaks about Israel’s future salvation:
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. -ESV
While Jewish folks have ‘hardened their hearts’ for nearly 2,000 years when it comes to the Gospel, this scripture indicates that at some time in the future the ‘time of the Gentiles’ will be complete and they will accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.
That time could be coming soon since more Jewish folks have come to Christ in the last 10 years than ever before- since the first century.
Meanwhile the church is the current covenant people of God made up of both Gentiles and Jews. Plus there is only one way to Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ and him alone.
However, all of the promises of God to Israel and the Jews have not been forgotten-they are ‘irrevocable’. Also, all of the prophecies concerning that people will be fulfilled. It is important for Christians to support Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The modern nation of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 66:8-10) founded suddenly in a day. Also, Christians should always be among those who oppose antisemitism in all of its forms. After all, our Lord Jesus was Jewish and all of the original Apostles and first members and leaders of the church.
A better (scriptural) way to look at all of this is- we (Gentiles) have been grafted into their family- adopted into the family of Abraham. And as we get closer to the 2nd Coming of Jesus more of the natural branches (Jews) will be grafted back in as they become believers in Jesus and the church will be blessed with those natural branches. And I believe in the process the church will gain a better understanding of the Old Testament and the promises of God.