In Matthew 12:48-50 Jesus asks, “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?
He then stretched his hand toward his disciples, and said, “Behold my mother and my brethren”! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
All throughout the old and new testaments we see consistently the distinction between those who are God’s people and those who aren’t is based on these truths.
On the contrary, some Christian Zionism advocates claim that ethnic Israel has a covenant with God and it is the moral and spiritual duty of Christians to support national Israel unwaveringly because they remain the people of God, regardless if they are doing right or not.
Some Christian ministers actually call unbelieving Israel our brothers and sisters even though they are not followers of Jesus and in some cases these Jews are hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Christian Zionism, which is based on a “proof –text theology” advocates that there are unfulfilled promises concerning ethnic Israel and that end time Bible prophecy revolves around ethnic Israel because God has unfinished business with them and ultimately they are at the center of God’s agenda for the yet future. This theology often views the Church as a Gentile entity and a parenthesis until God get’s back to ethnic Israel.
On the contrary, the Church is the body of Christ and the body of Christ is the temple of God consisting of Jews and Gentiles. The church is not a mere stop-gap until God gets back to dealing with Israel; rather, the church is the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny and identity in the Messiah. The mystery that was hidden in past generations was that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs with the Jews in one body of believers in the Messiah through the power of the gospel (see Ephesians 3). Therefore the church consists of believing Jews and Gentiles in one body with a covenant that God said he would make with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
Christ is the King of Israel and it’s only in Him, i.e., becoming a part of HIS BODY which is the church, that the Jew finds his true identity. If we’d think in terms of “the body of Christ” and “the temple of God” when we refer to the church, we wouldn’t see the church as Israel’s replacement but Israel’s calling and destiny in Christ.
The hope of Israel is in the Messiah and that hope becomes a reality when the Jew believes in Jesus. In Jesus the Messiah, the Jew and Gentile have become united in one body and have become the Temple of God through His Holy Spirit.
A term that many have heard but few may have ever taken time to research is “church age.” Yet, the Bible never uses this term or concept.
Paul, who gave us the concept of the body of Christ never refers to the church within the framework of an age or dispensation which will eventually give way to another. Paul refers to the church as the body of Christ in whom God will FOREVER be glorified (Ephesians 3:21).
Yet, the belief of a church age is very prominent within Christian Zionism theology because it helps support the idea that God has unfinished business with ethnic Israel.
Christian Zionism makes no connection between Israel in the flesh under the Law and the Church in Christ Jesus under grace.
Israel was called to be the light to the nations and Israel failed in her commission because Israel, like the rest of humanity, was under the power of sin and in need of redemption. Yet, God in His faithfulness has done what Israel failed to do. God sent His Son Jesus, who is Israel’s Messiah and through Him God has provided salvation for the whole world.
Israel’s history as the people of God in the flesh came to an end in the death of the Messiah because the Law Covenant given to them through Moses, which covenant brought them under the curse, was fulfilled in the death of Jesus.
Through the cross Israel’s history continues as she is transformed from God’s people in the flesh to God’s people in the Spirit. That is why Israelites who reject Jesus are cut off from being God’s people and Israelites who believe in Jesus have life from the dead and are partakers of a New Covenant which God promised to give to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This new Covenant is not a covenant with Israel as an ethnic people. It is with Israel as a spiritual people and believing Gentiles are grafted in with them, having their hearts and not their flesh circumcised.
God’s covenant people no longer limited to the physical borders. Abraham’s descendants are from every nation under heaven. The promise of God to Abraham was to make Him the Father of “many nations” and that promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It was to this end that Israel was called and chosen.