In his book ‘Coming Events and Present Duties’ (1867/1879), J.C. Ryle summarises his views on prophecy and presents a handful of sermons preached on various aspects of this subject.
Concerning the future of the Jews, Ryle states:-
Ryle develops this conviction in a sermon entitled ‘Scattered Israel to be Gathered’. Based on Jeremiah 31:10, this contains fairly standard teaching for a mid-19th-century Evangelical, and makes the following assertions:-
The word ‘Israel’ carries only three meanings in Scripture: (a) it means Jacob; (b) it means the ten northern tribes (as distinct from Judah); (c) it means the entire Jewish nation.
David Pawson, in his book Defending Christian Zionism, asserts that there are not one or two, but five covenants in the Bible. They are: 1. Noahic, 2. Abrahamic, 3. Mosaic, 4. Davidic, and 5. Messianic. Pawson asserts, quite properly, that the New Testament only ever refers to the Mosaic covenant as ‘old’ and therefore replaced by the ‘new’ (Messianic) covenant (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Heb 8:8, 13; 9:15; 12:24). As Grudem explains (Systematic Theology, p521), ‘the Mosaic covenant was an administration of detailed written laws given for a time to restrain the sins of the people and to be a custodian to point people to Christ (Gal 3:19, 24).’
The Abrahamic covenant, however, with its promise of ‘the land’ (Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:2-9), has never been annulled. …
I’ve blogged quite a bit recently on the delicate but important subject of Israel. Much of what I’ve written tends towards the conclusion that the ‘Christian Zionist’ position cannot be supported from Scripture. That is to say, the Bible does not, in my view, teach that Jewish people have a God-given right to return to the land of their ancestors and re-establish the nation-state of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.
It’s distressing to note how vitriolic the debate sometimes gets. …
I have found it useful to compile a list (albeit partial) of passages that are relevant to discussions about Israel and the Church and related questions such as restoration to the land, etc.
The debate cannot simply be reduced to whether we interpret the Bible more, or less, ‘literally’. It’s a question of how the New Testament understands the Old Testament promises to have been fulfilled in Christ.
Here’s a list of relevant passages, with some notes appended.…
Genesis 12:3 records a great promise made by the Lord to Abraham – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse”.
Some interpreters argue that this promise to Abraham can be applied to modern Gentile attitudes towards the secular state of Israel.
C.I. Scofield says of this promise: ‘Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew – well with those who have protected him.…