The nation of Israel has been heavily in the news this last week over its election of a Prime Minister. Regardless of what conclusions political pundits draw over the aftermath of this election, there remains a belief by the friends and foes of Israel alike that this nation has no lasting hope for survival.
Israel is a tiny nation the size of New Jersey with only six million Jews, and it is trying to exist in an area where it is surrounded by 22 Arab nations with over 300 million people who are determined to destroy it. The odds are greatly stacked against this embattled little nation.
Does Israel really have any hope for survival? Or, is it doomed to annihilation as a nation and extinction as a people? I think you and I both know that the Bible paints quite a different picture than what the world seems to believe about Israel’s chances.
On our television program “Christ in Prophecy” this week, Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of 17 Bible prophecy experts who answer the very question – “What does the Bible say about the future of Israel?” For what their responses are, read below or watch online. We’ll start with my answer and end with Dr. Reagan’s response.
Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Israel, since they were exiled out of the land, has been living in kind of a crucible as the Lord continues to refine the people to bring a believing remnant of Jews to Him. And so, to achieve this, Israel is going to get hit by the worst time in all of their history, Jeremiah 30:7 calls it the “time of Jacob’s trouble.”
Israel is going to have to deal with a number of wars, like possibly a Psalm 83 War where they will have to deal with the nations bordering them. They are going to have to deal with Iran and Russia and Turkey and other Islamic nations coming up against them. The Lord Himself personally steps in on that one according to Ezekiel 38-39.
Israel will then have to endure seven years of Tribulation, where God is going to make life so difficult for the people on this world that they will have no choice but turn to the Lord in repentance. The decision will be so easy: either choose the Lord, or choose the Antichrist. When Jesus comes back, prophecy tells us that a third or remnant of the Jews will come to know Jesus as their Savior.
The blessings come for Israel as the believing remnant lives on into Jesus’ thousand year Millennial Kingdom. The believing remnant will be a priestly people serving under Jesus and receiving all the promises that the Lord has promised them.
So, Israel has a terrible time ahead, but they also have a great and wonderful future ahead as well.
Jobe Martin, Biblical Discipleship Ministries
The nation of Israel will continue to exist forever. It doesn’t matter how many people want to try to destroy it. It doesn’t matter if some nations have a commitment to remove even the remembrance of Israel, like the nations say in Psalm 83. Israel is going to be here forever.
That doesn’t mean that part of Israel will not, for a short period of time during the last part of the Tribulation, be removed by God to a special place of protection. I don’t know where that is, but the partial exiles will be brought right back to Israel.
A believing remnant of Israel and believing Gentiles will live on into the thousand year reign of Jesus. The Jewish people will be there, too. They are going to be in the land forever. The history of the Jewish people is one that will not be terminated in any way.
Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible Church
There are some difficult things and then there are some good things. The difficulty that’s predicted in Zechariah 14:2 and other passages predict that all the nations of the world will come against Israel in the last days. She won’t have a single friend. That would even include the late great United States of America, sadly, as we’ve been a faithful ally to Israel in the past, but we are even now seeing the political climate shift on that stance.
Israel at that point reaches out to the only friend that extends the olive branch to her, which is the Antichrist. He gives Israel a temporary peace. But, 3.5 years later, the Antichrist replicates what the Jews well remember in their history from the days of Antiochus concerning the desecration of the Temple. At that point the Antichrist betrays them.
The Jewish eyes, I believe at that point, are largely opened for they realize this guy is not their Messiah. They’ll realize that their Messiah came 2,000 years ago. That’s when the blessing starts, because Jesus will save them out of that time of distress, and through that nation He will fulfill every single promise He ever made to them.
So, there are some difficult days ahead for Israel, but there’s a happy ending to the story.
Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
Israel is going to face some dark days according to Bible prophecy from here forward. They are regathering back into the land. There’s a thing called the Tribulation coming up. There’s going to be a signing of a treaty that allows them to go back and use the Temple Mount. There will be a terribly dark time for them mid-way through the Tribulation and war is going to dominate. Two-thirds of the Jews will perish according to Zechariah, but one-third of them will make it through the Tribulation.
The remnant of the Jews who remain alive will look at Him whom they have pierced, they will mourn for Him as one who mourns for an only son, when Jesus returns. Romans 11:25 declares that in that day all Israel will be saved when they look on Him whom they have pierced. They will proclaim, “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai.”
All of the cursing of the Jews in the universe will turn to blessing. It’s all wrapped up in the history of the nation of Israel and the future involvement of the nation of Israel concerning blessing the Lord. Their blessing will continue on into the Millennium. They will become exactly what God invented them to do, which is to be kings, priests and so forth as representatives of the Lord. Christians today will be there in glorified bodies alongside them, executing the plan of God.
A Jewish Messiah named Yeshua – the King of kings and the Lord of lords will rule over the whole earth. I cannot wait!
Bill Salus, Prophecy Depot Ministries
I’m looking at three or maybe four major events. I believe there will be a concluding Arab-Israeli War prophesied in Psalm 83. I believe that will be followed by the Gog and Magog Invasion of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Both of those would be predominately major Muslim wars coming against Israel sequentially.
Israel then is going to build a new Temple. That is a big event that’s going to happen over there in Jerusalem.
Ultimately there’s going to be a confirmation of a false covenant with the Antichrist, which we are told about in Daniel 9. That will ultimately lead to the Tribulation period where the Antichrist will attempt a final genocide of the Jews. We are told in Zechariah 13:8 that this genocide will be horrible, as two-thirds of the Jews will be cut off. But, a faithful remnant of a third of the Jews will come through that and they will go into the Messianic Kingdom and there will be an Israel in the Messianic Kingdom.
Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
Several things are going to happen to the nation of Israel. They are going to continue to nationally reject Jesus as their Messiah. One day they are going to accept Him, but that’s going to be awhile down the road.
I also look for a growing estrangement between the nations of the world and Israel. It’s most unfortunate that our own country is going to grow in its estrangement from Israel. We have policies going back several administrations that have forced Israel to do things that they don’t want to do, things such as the giving up of land that God has directly said that no one is to force them to relinquish. So, there’s an estrangement that’s going to continue to grow.
Also, after the taking out of the Church at the Rapture, Israel is going to undergo persecutions during the Tribulation period.
When that is over towards the end of that time, Israel nationally is going to recognize that Jesus (the one that they call “that man” in the derogatory way today), they are going to accept Him. They are going to recognize Jesus and they are going to say that, yes, He was and He is the Messiah.
Terry James, Rapture Ready
Bible prophecy does tell us exactly what is going to happen in the future to Israel. We don’t have to wonder about it for those of us who study Bible prophecy.
From a pre-Rapture view in particular, Israel is going to become more and more hated, and we see that happening in the news today. The nation will become more and more hated, and more and more isolated. Zechariah 12:1-3 says Jerusalem will become a cup of trembling and a burdensome stone to the whole world, and certainly we see that developing as well.
From a post-Rapture perspective, Israel is not going to have any friends left at all. Israel is going to be finally at peace when a covenant is made with the Antichrist to ensure their security, but it’s going to be a covenant made with death and hell by the Antichrist system. The Antichrist himself will sign that covenant.
From that point on, Israel becomes even more and more hated by the people of the world. Israel will become the most hated nation in world history. The persecution they’ll have to endure will be worse than anything Hitler ever devised against the Jews.
Israel will escape into the wilderness 3.5 years into the treaty, where a remnant who likely are believers, I believe, will be protected. Some people think the location is Petra in Jordan, though I’m not sure, but that is what the thought is. From there they will be protected for basically the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation.
The remnant of Israel will see their Messiah returning, as we see in Revelation 19:11, when Christ comes through the black clouds of the apocalypse of Armageddon. All Israel, that is all believing Israel, will be saved. A remnant will be saved to live into the Millennium.
That’s basically Israel’s future as I see it from a biblical viewpoint.
Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
Prophetically the Bible is always filled with a combination of good news and bad news. It’s only bad news for the unbeliever. It’s always good news for the believer who has the Blessed Hope that gives us hope to anticipate the coming of Christ.
For the nation and people of Israel, I would foresee several things prophetically. First of all, Israel will eventually, on the bad news column, suffer an invasion of several nations against her in the end times. The book of Ezekiel and other passages make that very, very clear.
On the good news side, God will dramatically intervene on Israel’s behalf and she will win the Gog-Magog War. There will then be a wave of Jewish nationalism and excitement, even leading to the rebuilding of the Third Temple.
But, on the bad news side, Israel doesn’t through all of that come to a real experience with Christ Himself. Eventually the Antichrist will deceive them after the time of the Rapture into signing a peace treaty with him. He will break the treaty, turn against them, invade Israel, and literally everything will go wrong. Israel will end up having to flee into the wilderness.
God will use those experiences of the Tribulation period to bring many of the Jewish people to faith in Yeshua as Messiah. They will come to understand that Jesus really is the Son of God. He really is the Savior. They’ll remember the Rapture had occurred and they have been left behind, and in the follow-up of that, everything has gone wrong.
God will raise up two witnesses to proclaim the truth of the Gospel from among the Jewish people themselves. Then at least 144,000 will be converted, and I believe many, many more then even that number. God will do an amazing work in the hearts of His people and they begin to finally cry out, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” By the end of the time of Tribulation, the world will see a wave of conversions in Israel like we have never seen before in all of history.
Then there’s the dramatic return of Christ. The good news is the literal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years from the Throne of David in Jerusalem.
When things seem to be going wrong, we always want to remind ourselves God is always going right. He’s on the throne. He knows what He’s doing. God will fulfill His prophetic plan for the nation and people of Israel.
David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Bible prophecy clearly states that the nation of Israel will continue to exist, despite the fact that there appears to be no hope for the Jewish people. Of course, the key to all of this is that the Scriptures say that “He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” That Scripture reminds me of a cartoon showing a tug of war between Israel and the rest of the world’s nations, and Israel is winning because God has His finger on the rope on Israel’s side.
Let me try to provide you with a summary of Israel’s future, presenting the events in chronological order.
Israel will soon experience a major war with her immediate neighbors, those with whom she has a common boundary, and she will win that war overwhelmingly. The whole Arab world will then turn to their natural ally, Russia, and appeal for help. The Russians will respond with a major invasion, together with many Muslim allies, and this great invasion army will be supernaturally destroyed by God on the mountains of Israel.
At that point, the Antichrist will emerge and guarantee the peace of Israel, enabling them to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. This treaty will also mark the beginning of the Tribulation, a seven-year period of unparalleled horror upon the earth during which one-half of the world’s population will die and two-thirds of the Jews will be killed.
But, God will supernaturally preserve a Jewish remnant through this holocaust, and at the conclusion of it, the Jewish people will be brought to the end of themselves and will accept Yeshua – Jesus – as their Messiah, resulting in the salvation of a great remnant. They will cry out, “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai,” meaning, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
That remnant will then enter the Millennium in the flesh and will serve as the initial population of the state of Israel. Jesus will reign in Jerusalem as the King of kings and Lord of lords. David, in his glorified body, will reign as the king of Israel.
And to this Jewish remnant and their descendants, God will fulfill all the kingdom promises that He has made to Israel. The nation will serve as the prime nation of the world, and through it all God’s blessings will flow to the other nations. This is why the Bible says in Zechariah 8:23 that in those days when ten Gentiles see a Jew walking by, they will grab his robe and say, “Let us go with you, for we know that God is with you!”