Recently, in conversation with others about Israel, I used the word “Zionism” and was asked exactly what that meant. It is not a frequently used word in most circles, but one we, as Christians, should understand if we desire to support Israel as Scripture teaches us to do.
Zionism has been defined as:
The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims. Jews of all persuasions, left and right, religious and secular, joined to form the Zionist movement and worked together toward these goals. Disagreements led to rifts, but ultimately, the common goal of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland was attained. The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum.
~Jewish Virtual Library
Tens of thousands of churches join in belief of the importance of standing with Israel and blessing the Jewish people. This is called Christian Zionism, and it stands opposed to Replacement Theology which posits that, because the Jews rejected Jesus, He has rejected them, and all the promises of God through the great covenants are now transferred to the church.
One of the problems with that false theology is that God promised Abraham and his descendants the land we now know as Israel. Thus, if the church has replaced Israel, how do we explain the fact that God is in the midst of fulfilling the prophecies of Ezekiel 36-37, including the land promise?
Indeed, Zionism has to do with Israel’s right to return to their homeland. Christian Zionism is defined as Christians who support the right of Jewish people to return to their homeland. In a broad sense Christians qualify as Zionists no matter their reasons for support. When questioned about their support of Israel, Christians may answer from political, historical and/or religious perspectives.
Biblical Zionism, however, places emphasis on God’s promises via the Abrahamic Covenant, and often focuses on the fact that God’s promise of land to Abraham and his descendants is the key to the movement. It is through that covenant that God chose to birth a nation through which He will redeem the world.
Because the Abrahamic Covenant is still valid today, there remains a national destiny for the Jewish people. God is in the process of fulfilling Ezekiel 36-37. Israel is back in her land…and one day soon God will breathe the breath of life into His chosen people and they will be spiritually revived as well as nationally revived!
As a Christian, be a Biblical Zionist! Stand firm on God’s promises, and stand firm with Israel!