The relationship between the Church and Israel in 2022

Pastor Jeff Struecker

We have been studying the last three weeks on the law of God. Why did God give rules in the first place? We learned about the civil reason how human beings can’t dwell together in harmony. We would kill each other if there weren’t some rules.

The theological reason for the law. The law is supposed to be a school teacher that teaches our hearts. How to do right and not do wrong because our hearts are broken as a result of sin.

We’ve even learned about a Christian’s responsibility to the law and whether or not Christians have to obey the 10 commandments.

Today we’re not going to talk about the law of God anymore. We’re going to talk about Israel. Now let me pause for just a second because when you hear the word Israel in your mind. Are you thinking about a little country in the Middle East? That’s right on the Mediterranean Sea right next to the Jordan River.

It is always in the news because there is all the time war going on around there. If that’s what you’re thinking about, I need you to think bigger than just a piece of land. Although we do talk a little bit about a piece of land.

As you watch the news. Do you feel like things are crazy over in Israel right now? Does it feel like the world is going crazy around you? Because it feels that way to me. There’s a song. It’s actually a beautiful song and it’s a question and answer song about how your heart feels about the world around you and how your heart feels about God and his return.

Let us talk about a Christian’s relationship to Israel because this discussion tonight is about Israel. But keep in mind when I say the world word Israel, I’m not talking about a country in the Middle East and a piece of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

I’m talking about the people, Israel. I’m not talking about the people that live in that country. I’m talking about what the Bible describes as the people of God often used as Jacob or Israel in the old testament. Even the new testament still makes references to the Jews or to Israel or to the sons of Jacob from the old testament.

I want you to start thinking about what should be our relationship as Christians all over the world. Doesn’t matter if you live in Europe or North America or Asia or Africa. I want to ask you, what is your relationship to Israel today? Not the land, but the people Israel as the people of God.

In order to help you start to process this, I want to give you a verse from the Bible to think through this is a memory verse. We as a church, commit to memorizing one verse of the Bible every week and this week, the verse that I want you to memorize comes from the book of Ephesians.

I want you to work each day on memorizing this verse from Ephesians that describes Christians’ relationship to God and to the people of God.

Memory Verse

Now, if you were alive when this verse of the Bible was written almost 2000 years ago in your mind, there were only two categories of people on planet Earth. There were the Jews, the people of God, and everybody else was lumped into a one really big category called Gentiles.

If you didn’t live, if you didn’t come from a Jewish family and part of the Jewish culture 2000 years ago, you would have been a Gentile, I would be considered a Gentile today.

What Ephesians chapter two is describing is what Jesus did when he welcomed Gentiles into the family of God.

You see, before the sacrificial death on the cross that Jesus died for us. Before his bodily resurrection on that Easter Sunday, most of us on the planet would have considered the Jews, not just a country but a religion.

What the Bible is saying is Judaism, Christianity is no longer a country, Gentiles and Jews are no longer groups of people. It’s now actually a way of life.

Did you know that Christians have been wrestling with a question for hundreds of years, all the way up until 2020 to this brand new year? Many Christians all over the planet are still struggling with this. In fact, there are lots of people that have very different opinions about this. I want you to think about this question and to answer your thoughts about this question out loud. But before you answer it, I want you to think about why you’re answering this question.

A Challenge

What is the relationship to the Church and Israel today? Notice that, I didn’t say what the relationship should be. I’m talking about “Capital C” Church, which means all Christians all over the planet, doesn’t matter where you live.

When I say “Capital C” Church, I’m talking about Jesus’s Global Church, what is the relationship between that global church and Israel today?

You may be thinking, “are you asking the relationship between the global church and the land of Israel, the nation of Israel?” Well, yes and no, I do kind of want to know what do you think about your relationship as a Christian?

All Christian’s relationship should be to the land of Israel, the geography, the territory of Israel today, but that’s not my primary reason for asking this question.

The real reason I’m asking this question is to ask you, “what is the relationship between Jesus, Universal Church, and the people that call themselves Israel today?”

In other words, what is the relationship between Jews and Gentiles that follow Christ today? I want you to think about that, I want you to pray about that. And then I want you to answer that question out loud because that question will impact your politics, your political views, and also your views on what should happen in this little sliver of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.