JERUSALEM – Around the world, hundreds of millions of Christians are celebrating the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s modern Independence Day.
Many Christians believe that the Jewish state’s dramatic rebirth in 1948, against all odds, was a sign of Bible prophecy coming to pass, or at least beginning to.
Yet not all Christians believe that.
Last month, ALL ISRAEL NEWS founder and editor-in-chief Joel C. Rosenberg was asked to address this topic in webcast to pastors and theologians in 47 countries.
Speaking from a TV studio here in Jerusalem, Rosenberg titled his address, “Is The Rebirth of Israel The Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, Or Simply An Interesting Geopolitical Development?”
During the message, Rosenberg noted that “in all the polling data that I have reviewed over the past 20 years or so – and certainly in my own experience traveling and speaking with Evangelicals all over North America – there is no question that the vast majority of Evangelicals believe that God is supernaturally rebuilding the State of Israel and gathering the Jewish people back to the Land, just as the biblical prophets foretold.”
“However, not all Evangelicals believe this,” he added, “and among pastors and seminary professors and theologians, we definitely see a higher degree of doubt about this premise.”
In 2017, Rosenberg and the ministry that he and his wife founded – The Joshua Fund – helped finance an extensive survey of how American Evangelicals view the Abrahamic Covenant, the State of Israel, the Jewish people, the Palestinians, the peace process and so forth.
It was a project they did jointly with the Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem and Chosen People Ministries.
The survey of 2,000 Evangelical Christians was professionally conducted by LifeWay, the research division of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Rosenberg walks through the survey data – and more recent data.
He also answers nine of the most important and controversial questions that some Christians ask when it comes to this topic.
“There are, of course, are some prominent voices in the Evangelical world arguing that there is simply no connection between the modern State of Israel and Bible prophecy,” Rosenberg stated.
He cited Dr. Gary Burge, for example, formerly a professor at Wheaton College, now at Calvin Theological Seminary, who told National Public Radio in 2017: “If you reach into the Old Testament and say, ‘God has given the Holy Land to the descendants of Abraham,’ that’s fine. The question is whether the modern state of Israel is that nation that was imagined back in the Bible.”
“A number of years ago,” Rosenberg continued, “I was having dinner in Washington with a group of Evangelical leaders, and one of the guests was Ted Haggard. This was before he fell, and at the time Haggard was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. We got talking about Israel and – unprompted and completely unexpected – he told me the following.”
“Joel, I love Israel and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her,” said Haggard. “But I simply don’t believe that there’s anything Biblically significant about the current State of Israel. It has nothing to do with the ancient prophecies. And if Israel were to disappear tomorrow, that would be sad, but it would be biblically insignificant.”
“I have to admit, I was astonished,” Rosenberg said. “This was, as I say, not some unknown pastor of a church of 20 people in the middle of nowhere. This was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. But he was certainly not alone in his views.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.