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In the Old Testament, God promised Abraham that His descendants, the Jews, would inherit the land of Palestine (Genesis 12:7). Many people believe that this promise has never yet been fulfilled, but will be when Jesus comes again. So they view the progress of modern Israel as a sign that Jesus is about to return. What does the Bible say?
The Old Testament book of Joshua tells the story of Israel's conquest of Palestine. Having led Israel to victory over the inhabitants of the land, Joshua concluded in 21:43,45: "The Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein ... There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel. All came to pass." Notice that Israel possessed all the land God had promised to give them. Nothing failed. All came to pass! If so, why should we believe that they will receive it again when Jesus returns? In fact, where does the Bible give any special promises to the Jews which have not been fulfilled?
The New Testament says that the death of Jesus removed all spiritual distinction between Jews and Gentiles. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, ... for ye are all. one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" - Galatians 3:28,29. As far as God is concerned, all races and nationalities are the same and all can receive the blessing promised through Abraham. So Ephesians 4:4 says there is "one hope of your calling." The future hope is the same for all people, Jew or Gentile, and all can receive this hope by obeying the gospel - Romans 1:16. How then can events among the Jews have any significance regarding Jesus' second coming?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2003
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