Why Christian Zionists Really Support Israel

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“Do you support Israel because you want Jesus to come back?”

I had been asked this question a handful of times before by Jewish friends but never in this setting. Riding on a tour bus through Poland, I was the only Gentile and, as far as I know, the only follower of Jesus on the bus. We were all part of an educational trip on the Holocaust. He was seated next to me on the bus when he asked me the question.

“No,” I answered. “I genuinely love Israel and the Jewish people, no strings attached. And I don’t believe Jesus’ return to Earth is dependent on anything I do. Why do you ask?”

The man went on to explain that the evangelicals he knows told him they support Israel and want the Jewish people to return to the land because they believe doing so will hasten Jesus’ return. He was understandably dubious of Christians like myself who say they support Israel.

Although it saddened me to learn that the Jewish people had been taught that believers in Jesus support Israel for selfish reasons, I was glad my friend felt free to confront me with these questions. It showed me that such misconceptions were common, and it gave me the opportunity to explain why I support Israel and love the Jewish people.

Why do Christians support Israel?

To be sure, not every Christian supports Israel. There are Christian organizations, such as Christ at the Checkpoint, that are actively opposed to Israel on political grounds. Many Christian denominations, too, hold to Replacement Theology—the theological concept that the church is God’s new Chosen People and that the Jewish people have no future. Sadly, there is not much love for Israel in these circles.

Thankfully, though, many evangelical Christians do support Israel and believe the Jewish people have a historic, God-given right to the land of Israel in perpetuity. Those of us who believe this way are called Christian Zionists.

So, why do Christian Zionists support Israel and love the Jewish people?

1. We recognize that God has chosen Israel as His unique people.

Christians believe the Bible, both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New Testament, is the inspired Word of God. All throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that He has formed and chosen the Jewish people (physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve tribes) to be a special people for Himself (Isa. 46:13).

To be sure, this doesn’t mean He loves Jewish people more than Gentiles—the Bible teaches He loves all people (Jn. 3:16). But God loves Israel in a unique way and has chosen to reveal Himself to that nation and to work through that people in a way He does not with anyone else (Rom. 9:4-5).

2. We are indebted to Israel.

Paul, the Pharisee-turned-Jesus-follower, described Gentiles as those who are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). That’s a pretty stark picture of those of us who are not Jewish.

We are indebted to the Jewish people for their transmission and preservation of the Scriptures and for the gift of the Messiah Jesus by Whom we have been brought near to God and have hope.

Indeed, part of Israel’s role as God’s chosen servant was to be a kingdom of priests to the world (Ex. 19:6). A priest is one who mediates between God and man. As a kingdom of priests, Israel was to represent God to the goyim, the nations.

Today, the majority of Christians are Gentiles. We, though “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” have come to know the God of Israel through the Scriptures He gave to the Jewish people. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah of Israel, a belief based on the Hebrew Scriptures. By faith in the Messiah, we “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).

We are indebted to the Jewish people for their transmission and preservation of the Scriptures and for the gift of the Messiah Jesus by Whom we have been brought near to God and have hope.

3. We understand God has promised to bless those who bless Israel.

Further, He promised Abraham that He would bless those who bless Him and His descendants and He would curse those who curse him (Gen. 12:3). In fact, God says that aiding the Jewish people in their distress is the same as aiding Him (Matt. 25:35-40). Conversely, harming the Jewish people is the same as doing harm to Him (Zech. 2:8; Matt. 25:41-45). 

As Christians, our desire is to bless the Jewish people, not only for the great blessings we have received through Israel, but also because it reflects God’s heart.

About the Author
Ty Perry

Ty Perry

Ty is a Field Representative for The Friends of Israel in Las Vegas, Nevada. He speaks in various venues educating Christians about the necessity of supporting Israel and the Jewish people.

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