Israel in End Time Prophecy

Many people say that modern day Israel is God's prophecy fulfilled and must be preserved if the Lord is to return. They often cite Rev. 16:16. What does the Bible say about modern day Israel, its role in the world, and whether Christians should support its existence?

Answer: 

The topic of "Israel" is very much a part of many people's conversations regarding the End Times. Those who embrace the concept known as "millennialism" and especially the "dispensational premillennialists" (usually called "dispensationalists") are largely responsible for people thinking that the modern nation of Israel has a dominant role to play in the end-time drama that will unfold according to divine providence. But biblically, the modern nation of Israel is not assigned a specific role.  The precise role the modern Jews or the modern nation of Israel are to play in these Last Days is dependent on divine providence, but nothing has been revealed in the Bible. We choose not to speculate on such things. 

Dispensationalism is contrary to various clear and explicit Bible statements and based on misinterpretations of several Bible prophecies (mostly in the Old Testament). You mention Revelation 16:16 with its reference to Armageddon. Armageddon is Hebrew for "hill [or mountain] of Meggido" a frequent site of battles in the history of Palestine due to its strategic location. Dispensationalists understand the Bible verse as a reference to a physical battle to take place at that specific geographical location within the boundaries of modern Israel. When understood in its context of apocalyptic literature and visions, it may more reasonably be understood as a pictorial affirmation that the forces of evil (Satan and his angels plus wicked people hostile to the gospel and Christ's people) will be thoroughly dealt with by the Lord when he returns in glory. The modern nation of Israel, that is, the individual members of that nation, will be judged on the basis of their relationship to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The same is true of all mankind.


Search the Archive

Begin by entering a topic. Then press "GO".

Search the Q&A archive to find answers from WELS seminary professors. Can't find your question in the archive? Submit your own.